Ex-Colorado official: No bias in same-sex wedding cake case

By : wire report
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DENVER (AP) — A former Colorado civil rights commissioner whose remarks on religion were the basis of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling for a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple insisted last Wednesday she has no religious bias and wouldn’t have said anything if she’d known how her remarks would be used.

Diann Rice acknowledged she made remarks cited by the high court when it ruled last Monday in favor of Jack Phillips, a suburban Denver baker. But she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she made the comments after Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission already had ruled against Phillips and for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins.

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Day of Love and Kindness announced to honor Pulse anniversary

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – While there will certainly be a number of events launched in the coming months to pay homage to those who suffered from the June 12 massacre at Pulse, the city and the county are preparing for the event in the best way they know how. A “Day of Love and Kindness” has been planned to coincide with vigils at the Pulse site, Lake Eola and the History Center.

Orlando’s LGBTQ Alliance, which formed in the wake of the tragedy, is working with the municipal governments to make “love and kindness” matter. Alliance member Jennifer Foster of Foster Productions Inc. says that June 12 should be a day where everyone makes a special effort to be kind in traffic, maybe donate blood and generally be good to locals.

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Watermark’s 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has chosen those who stood out from the LGBTQ community – 16 remarkable individuals who made a mark in 2016; whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

It has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, and those we have selected have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

Below, our 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16.

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After two terms as Hillsborough’s first openly gay commissioner, Kevin Beckner is taking some time to rest before getting back into the ring

By : Jeremy Williams
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TAMPA – For eight years, Kevin Beckner has served as the District 6 Commissioner for Hillsborough County, coming in on the wave of President Obama’s first term of a country that wanted change.

“Like so many at the time, I was not satisfied with the direction our government was going, especially our local government,” Beckner says. “I started thinking of getting in after 2005 when the county commission put a ban on gay pride. That was a tipping point for me. I felt like our local government was not focusing on the issues that were most relevant to the issues of our community.”

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Kevin Beckner launches campaign against Pat Frank to become Hillsborough’s Clerk of Court

By : Greg Stemm
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Tampa – Two-term Hillsborough County commissioner Kevin Beckner has announced that he will be running for Hillsborough County Clerk of Court. Beckner was elected to the county commission in 2008 as the first openly gay elected official in Hillsborough County. He easily won re-election in 2012 and has reached his term limit.

His filing challenges current clerk of court and fellow Democrat Pat Frank, who said she will seek re-election in 2016.

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Kevin Beckner to be honored at EQFL Tampa Gala

By : Staff Report
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Tampa–Equality Florida will present Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner with the 2015 Voice for Equality Award at the Ninth Annual Tampa Gala for his leadership efforts in helping progress LGBT legislation in Hillsborough County.

Beckner was elected as the first openly gay person to hold office in Hillsborough County in 2008. Beckner, a couple months into holding office, introduced a domestic partner registry to the county, which was shot down by a 5-2 vote.

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Anti-gay Hillsborough commissioner in running for Lt. Governor position

By : Staff Report
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Sandy Murman

Sandy Murman

Tampa – One of Hillsborough County’s anti-gay commissioners could be Governor Rick Scott’s choice for Lieutenant Governor. Sandy Murman was named on a short list of potential candidates released by Scott’s office Nov. 18.

Murman was one of four commissioners who voted down a county-wide domestic partnership registry for unmarried couples in the early part of 2013. She said she voted against the registry because it’s personal responsibility to make end-of-life previsions, not the business of the government.

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