Kathy Griffin files for restraining order against CEO after anti-gay rant

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kathy Griffin has filed for a restraining order against her neighbor Jeffrey Mezger, the CEO of KB Home, and his wife Sandra, in the wake of a verbal altercation between the neighbors over the weekend.

Griffin and her boyfriend Randy Bick filed a noise complaint against Mezger. In audio obtained by The Huffington Post, Mezger is heard using sexist and homophobic language while speaking to Bick.

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KB Home CEO put on notice after rant against Kathy Griffin

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — One of the nation’s biggest homebuilders is putting its top executive on notice after a vulgar rant against comedian Kathy Griffin was caught on tape and went viral.

KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger, who is a neighbor of Griffin’s in California, was recorded by a security camera hurling slurs against Griffin while in a heated argument with her boyfriend. Mezger was angered after Griffin or her boyfriend complained to police over a family get together at Mezger’s house.

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Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith recalls 1993 March on Washington

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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ABOVE: National March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Rights and Liberation on April 25, 1993. Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith was one of its co-chairs. (Washington Blade archive photo by Doug Hinckle)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith is among the LGBT activists who met with then-President Clinton in the Oval Office on April 16, 1993.

The meeting — which was the first between a sitting U.S. president and advocates in the Oval Office — took place nine days before the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation.

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Rentboy.com CEO pleads guilty to promoting prostitution

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – The chief executive officer of a once-popular male escort website pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to promoting prostitution in a federal case that prompted accusations of anti-gay bias.

Jeffrey Hurant admitted in federal court in Brooklyn that he broke the law by promoting “the exchange of sexual conduct in return for a fee” on his Rentboy.com site.

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Duke Energy CEO says utility avoiding North Carolina LGBT law fight

By : Wire Report
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CARY, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy Corp. aims to stay out of the fight over North Carolina’s law limiting protections for LGBT people, the company’s CEO said, noting the company is heavily regulated by the state.

“I’m in a regulated industry with responsibility for keeping the lights on, and my focus is there and attracting a workforce that makes us better, and that’s a diverse workforce,” CEO Lynn Good told The Associated Press.

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Partners in prevention: HIV prevention drugs available in more Central Florida locations

By : Jamie Hyman
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Central Floridians interested in HIV prevention medications now have several options.

Planned Parenthood announced at the end of 2015 that they offer both PrEP and PEP (pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis) at local clinics.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Tampa Pride’s celebrity

By : Anonymous
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Tampa Pride snags its celebrity
With about a month to go, details for Tampa Pride are starting to come in and get finalized. After last year’s huge success when 40,000+ attendees filled the streets in Ybor the pressure is on to try and be bigger and better. Tampa Pride held there Miss Tampa Pride pageant and selected their queen. The grand marshals have been plunked from the community – Fox 13 News morning anchor Russell Rhodes and CEO of Metro Wellness & Community Centers Lorraine Langlois – and now we have our celebrity grand marshal, photographer and designer Mike Ruiz. You might remember Ruiz from Logo’s reality series The A-List, or his appearances on Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, America’s Next Top Model and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ruiz has also been recognized and praised for working to help LGBT homeless youth.

There be Mormons outside this theater
One of Broadway’s biggest hits, the Book of Mormon, paid a visit to the bay area and had a sold out run Feb. 16-21 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. If you were lucky enough to get a chance to see the show, you probably noticed something charming occurring right outside the theater. A group of well mannered, clean cut, real life Mormons! That’s right, the light hearted Latter Day Saints were parked outside saying “Hello!” to guests as they entered the show. Unlike many conservative, religious groups who would set up camp with picket signs and yell out ignorant chants, these young lads hung out Two by Two with a sign that read, “have your picture taken with the real thing.” They smiled, they shook hands and they talked with anyone about anything without pushing any agenda, only talking about the All-American Prophet and handing out the Bible Part 3, if you so wanted to. They even hung out after the show, asked theater goers if they had a good time and enjoyed themselves and never once condemned anyone to a Spooky Mormon Hell Dream. Well done boys.

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Georgia Senate approves LGBT service-refusal bill

By : Wire Report
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Atlanta (AP) – Georgia’s state Senate approved a bill allowing faith-based organizations to refuse services to same-sex couples without government penalties, including loss of grants or other taxpayer funding.

Senators voted 38 to 14 on party lines Feb. 19, despite fear about damage to the state’s economy expressed by the state’s influential business community and opposition from gay-rights advocates.

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Majority of Floridians support laws protecting LGBTs from discrimination

By : Jamie Hyman
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Most Floridians support LGBT nondiscrimination laws and don’t think businesses should be allowed to refuse to serve LGBTs based on religious beliefs.

That’s according to a new poll by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute, based on 42,000 interviews to explore attitudes in all 50 states ahead of legislative battles in 2016.

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Clearwater’s Tech Data establishes LGBT employee resource group

By : Billy Manes
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tech data gay lgbt workforce inclusiveEven as we mourn the loss of a common-sense protection bill, the Competitive Workforce Act, earlier this week in the legislature, some companies are keeping up the compassion and moving forward with the shifting economic playing field. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported on Tech Data’s new in-house initiative called Spectrum, “an employee resource group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and allies,” the Journal reports. It is reportedly the 14th Florida business to do so,  basically because modern businesses need to court modern talent, and much of that is LGBT if not just LGBT-friendly.

Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith was in attendance as the keynote speaker for the meeting and offered her own wisdom on the issue.

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LGBT tech hero Carlos Carbonell hailed at Sentinel’s Central Floridian of the Year gala

By : Billy Manes
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Betwixt the rain, the rush-hour traffic and a packed concert next door, the Orlando Sentinel held its first Central Floridian of the Year event on the evening of Jan. 28 at the Pegasus Ballroom within the University of Central Florida’s student union. Hosted by everybody’s favorite “aw, shucks” political columnist Scott Maxwell, and attended by all of the mucky-mucks and the editorial board members that have crossed them at one time or another (plus Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and his entourage … oh, and the amazing philanthropist Harriet Lake, who left the house for the first time in a long time despite her illness), the catered soiree was just about what you would expect it to be. We had the stuffed chicken.

What we didn’t expect, however, was the presence of LGBT tech entrepreneur Carlos Carbonell, who was shortlisted as one of the finalists for the prestigious Sentinel award. We’ve known other winners and nominees in the past, and you’re not allowed to talk about it. What happens in the paper’s mahogany boardroom STAYS in said boardroom.

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St. Pete mayor gives State of the City speech at The Palladium

By : jeremy williams
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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman spoke of change and progress at the State of the City address at The Palladium Jan. 23.

“The state of St. Petersburg is strong and sunny,” Kriseman said reading a list of words posted to the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts by people describing the city, even managing to get another dig at presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

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