Caitlyn Jenner inks deal with MAC Cosmetics to benefit transgender people

By : Wire Report
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Caitlyn Jenner is partnering with MAC Cosmetics on a limited-edition lipstick she helped create to benefit the company’s effort to improve the lives of transgender people.

The rosy nude shade, Finally Free, will retail for $17. It will be available starting April 7 at maccosmetics.com, with all proceeds going to the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative. The project will expand support for grants to organizations and programs working with trans people, the company said in a statement.

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Gay migrants face violence, abuse as they escape turmoil in the Middle East

By : Wire Report
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Berlin (AP) – Alaa Ammar fled Syria to escape not just civil war but also the threat of persecution as a gay man. Yet when he arrived in The Netherlands last spring, he did not find the safe haven he craved.

He and four other gay travelers had to face newly arrived asylum seekers at a migrant center in the remote northern town of Ter Apel.

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Screened Out – Steve Jobs

By : Stephen Miller
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Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

Steve Jobs is available on DVD and some streaming services Feb. 16.

Like many Steve Jobs inventions, this excellent movie flopped. Why? How?

It isn’t the subject; Steve Jobs is one of the most intriguing persons of the last century. The film’s production team includes writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing), director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), and Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. When this brilliant three-act movie opened in early October last year, the critical praise was high, and there was a lot of Awards buzz.

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“Separate but equal” marriage license bill moves to Senate floor with bipartisan support

By : Wire Report
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Frankfort, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky lawmakers want to create two marriage license forms, one designed for gay couples and another for straight couples, in a move critics say harks back to the “separate but equal” days of the civil rights movement.

One marriage license form would note the “bride” and “groom” and the other form would note “first party” and “second party.” Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Stephen West of Paris said couples, both gay and straight, could use either form.

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Organist Cameron Carpenter to meet with LGBT adolescents

By : Krista DiTucci
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On Feb. 27, world-renowned organist Cameron Carpenter will meet with members of Blake High School’s LGBT youth club Common Grounds for a lecture/demonstration at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

Carpenter will be meeting with 25 student members of Common Grounds to discuss his music, career and the International Touring Organ. He will then entertain students with a brief performance of the touring organ. Carpenter’s appearance is in conjunction with his concert later in the evening at the Straz Center.

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Indiana sees bipartisan push for hate crime laws

By : Wire Report
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Indianapolis (AP) – Forty-five states have hate crime laws, but Indiana isn’t one of them.

Indiana was once a Ku Klux Klan stronghold and the Southern Poverty Law Center says there are 15 hate groups currently operating – which it defines as groups that “attack or malign an entire class of people” regardless of whether the group advocates for or engages in violence or other criminal activity. Efforts to add a hate crime designation to the criminal code have failed for years amid concerns that it would elevate one type of crime over others that could be equally brutal.

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Florida House committee moves Pastor Protection Act forward

By : Jamie Hyman
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After more than an hour of debate and public testimony, the Florida House Judiciary committee voted to advance the so-called “Pastor Protection Act,” which purports to protect clergy from having to perform same-sex weddings.

Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, kicked off the Feb. 4 discussion by proposing and amendment that would narrow the scope of the bill, clarifying what individuals and groups would be protected, and attempting to remove language about public services and accommodations, as it is illegal to discriminate against protected groups when offering public services and accommodations. 

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Nebraska’s defunct same-sex marriage ban could go before voters

By : Wire Report
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Lincoln, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska’s defunct same-sex marriage ban could once again go before voters under a measure in the Legislature that seeks to remove it from the state constitution.

The proposal triggered several heated exchanges Jan. 27 during a legislative hearing, with one senator predicting that voters are too “bigoted” to strike the ban even though it’s no longer enforceable.

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Rock legend Melissa Etheridge talks about the importance of legalizing marijuana and starting her own label

By : Jeremy Williams
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Melissa Etheridge has been a very public face to many groups who needed a voice. She showed young girls that a woman can rock as hard, if not harder, than the good ol’ boys of the music industry. She proved that being openly gay was not an instant death sentence to a career in music. She exclaimed, “I am more than a disease!” (she was so inspiring that India.Arie penned her hit song “I Am Not My Hair” about Etheridge after seeing her perform at the 2005 Grammy Awards bald from chemotherapy) after a cancer diagnosis, and her following treatment that brought her back stronger and healthier than ever.

Now, after nearly 25 years in the public eye, Etheridge has taken up another cause: legalizing cannabis.

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The couple behind Smith & Adams is chasing their chocolate-covered dreams

By : Jamie Hyman
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Behind the glass-encased counters of Smith & Adams, a newly-opened confectionary in Colonial Plaza, the shiny, colorful gems of artisanal chocolate look more like art than candy.

The visual appeal makes sense as Kelly Smith, who handles the product side of Smith & Adams, went to art school before culinary school. Following that, she was a chef at Disney for 25 years before she and her partner, Kim Adams, decided to quit their jobs and take a risk on their own shop. Adams was previously an attorney and handles the business end of Smith & Adams.

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Philanthropic organizations are rallying for more LGBT donations

By : Stephen Miller
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More fundraisers are seeking LGBT funds, and not just from and for our own community.

LGBT people keep coming out, getting involved, marrying and mainstreaming –growing more acceptable in the larger society. Because of this, many fundraisers are reaching out with targeted marketing. It’s a significant shift from once quietly refusing LGBT donations or disregarding us to ones that now actively court our community.

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Jonathan Tasini, Bernie Sanders author, visits Florida

By : Scottie Campbell
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Jonathan TasiniSarasota – Jonathan Tasini, author of The Essential Bernie Sanders and his Vision for America, spoke at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on Jan. 9. The event was one of five Florida stops with an engagement in Melbourne that evening, and three in Miami the following day. A predominantly caucasian audience of approximately 100 attended the Fogartyville event; attendees ranged from teens to senior citizens but skewed elderly, including one gentleman who turned 103 that week.

Endorsed by Sanders, Tasini’s book breaks down the presidential candidate’s policies in an easy to read format to layout talking points for supporters or introduce voters to Sanders. Tasini meticulously patchworked excerpts from Sander’s speeches and press release statements to create the slim, accessible book. He wrote the book in the 20 days following Sanders’ Presidential bid announcement in May 2015.

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