Melissa Manchester talks about her incredible career and the influence LGBTS have had on it

By : Stephen J. Miller
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It’s hard to pin Melissa Manchester’s style down—that’s what becomes immediately apparent in her newest album, You Gotta Love the Life. The Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter isn’t scared of shaking it up. With over four decades in the business, Manchester has embraced the new and crowd-funded her latest work, loaded with many musical styles.

“It’s about show business. The challenge is the key component of an artistic world. You’ve got to be okay with this version of normal—the unsteady, insane and unsure path. I am, and I’ve always been,” says Manchester, who’ll turn 64 on Feb. 15.

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Dining Out for Life expands to Orlando

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – After years of success in Tampa Bay, Dining Out for Life will make its way to the Orlando area this April with benefits from the day-long fundraiser going to The GLBT Center of Central Florida.

Dining Out for Life raises money for AIDS service organizations. It happens every year all over the nation, and the Tampa Bay area was the closest area in Central Florida to participate. That event benefits the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP). Local restaurants register to donate a minimum of 25 percent of their gross food and beverage sales on the day of the event, or make a single contribution of $750 or more. Each restaurant is provided a volunteer ambassador that will invite potential customers to the restaurant for the event and also help at the restaurant on that day.

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Education Fund Launch to raise money for LGBT scholarships

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – The Zebra Coalition is working to ensure LGBT students have the opportunity to access their education needs.

Zebra is launching their Education Fund at The Sanctuary Downtown Feb. 27 to kick off fundraising for the Jefferson R. Voss Education Fund for the Zebra Coalition Youth.

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Local panel to discuss the impact of Florida’s same-sex marriage ruling

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – HRC Orlando/Central Florida is hosting a discussion panel about the impact of Florida’s same-sex marriage ruling.

The event is called “Marriage 101: A Panel Discussion on the Practical and Legal Impacts of Florida’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling” and will be held at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando on Jan. 22.

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Central Florida Fair celebrates LGBT families

By : Dylan Drobet
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Orlando – The Central Florida Fair has become a tradition in Orlando for many families, but this year the event will make new efforts to welcome the LGBT community with a brand new LGBT family night March 3.

The Central Florida Fair has been working on ways to introduce the fair to more people in the community, according to Sponsorship Coordinator Frances Salas.

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Watermark’s Complete Coverage: Marriage equality comes to Florida

By : Jamie Hyman
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No doubt about it – January 6, 2015 was an historic day. Same-sex couples all across the state lined up for licenses and celebrated ceremonies.

Here are links to all of Watemark’s coverage of the day that love won in Florida.

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Fifty couples tie the knot at The GLBT Center

By : Jamie Hyman
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Fifty couples – 35 newlyweds and 15 reaffirming their vows from previous commitment ceremonies – were married outside The GLBT Center of Central Florida Jan. 6.

After the couples walked down the aisle to “At Last,” Judge Robert LeBlanc presided over the ceremony which included a performance by the Orlando Gay Chorus, a quiet moment for couples to privately say their vows to each other and blessings by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Terry DeCarlo, the executive director of The Center, who also happens to be an ordained minister.

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Vowed and Proud: Orlando City Hall Weddings Jan. 6, 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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More than 50 couples chorused “I do!” on the Orlando City Hall front steps Jan. 6, the first day same-sex couples could be legally married in Central Florida.

At 9 a.m., pairs of radiant couples marched out of the City Hall front doors, most of them hand in hand, many cheering, celebrating and proudly waving their newly-minted marriage licenses.

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West/Central Florida marriage equality by the numbers

By : Jamie Hyman
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Here is a breakdown of number off marriage licenses issued Jan. 6, 2015, the first day same-sex marriage was legally available in Florida.

When available, we included number of couples married on-site, whether at the clerk’s office or courthouse.

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Watermark’s New Year’s Eve 2014 events roundup!

By : Staff Report
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What are you doing to ring in 2015? Watermark has you covered with a round-up of LGBT and LGBT-friendly options in both the Central Florida and Tampa Bay areas.

Feel free to leave a comment if you know about a great party we missed!

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With funding finalized, The Center’s renovation moves ahead

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The GLBT Center of Central Florida is looking for a few good men (and women).

On Dec. 8, The Orlando City Commission gave final approval to a $146,500 to renovate The Center’s headquarters on Mills Avenue, paving the way for the bidding process to begin. Terry DeCarlo, executive director of The Center, said it is hiring roofers first because that has to be fixed before the board can move ahead with other renovations. DeCarlo said the architect plans are also almost complete.

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MBA still searching for answers

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The Metropolitan Business Association is in talks with police about pursuing charges against Mikael Audebert, its former president, but the organization has not yet made the move.

Audebert resigned from the MBA in October and was fired from his post as executive director of Come Out With Pride in November. Since then, the MBA Board and its subsidiary organizations have revealed a financial mess, blaming Audebert, and told Watermark Dec. 2 they planned to go to the authorities with their findings of alleged financial fraud.

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