Workforce protections bill postponed after tie vote

By : Jamie Hyman
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The Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBTs in the workplace, is postponed to the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee’s Feb. 9 meeting after initially failing on a tie vote.

It was the first time the bill, which has been filed and refiled every Legislative session since 2007, made it before a committee.

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Florida leads states in new HIV infections

By : Staff Report
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Florida is the top state for newly-diagnosed HIV infections.

That’s according to new numbers released by Centers for Disease Control, which states Florida had 5,377 new HIV cases in 2013 and 6,147 new HIV cases in 2014.

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Pope Francis addresses gay issues in his first book

By : Wire Report
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Vatican City (AP) – Pope Francis lays out his case for emphasizing the merciful face of the Catholic Church in his first book as pontiff, saying God never tires of forgiving and actually prefers the sinners who repent over self-righteous moralizers who don’t.

“The Name of God Is Mercy,” a 100-page conversation with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, is being published this week in 86 countries to help kick-start Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy. A copy was provided in advance to The Associated Press.

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Screened Out – The Revenant

By : Stephen Miller
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck

Beautiful, savage, and relentless; those are the words that come to mind watching The Revenant, the newest film by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel). The acting is brilliant. The landscape photography is gorgeous. The film makes its point long, long, long before it’s willing to move on.

It’s like its protagonist – driven, focused, and overwhelmingly cruel. Whether The Revenant succeeds depends on how committed you are to a dogged, ferocious film at 2 hours and 40 minutes, as horrifying, bloody, cruddy things keep piling up.

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Reno youth center cuts ties with chaplain over LGBT views

By : Jamie Hyman
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Reno, Nev. (AP) – A Reno juvenile detention center cut ties with a longtime chaplain over his views on homosexuality, highlighting an issue that some state-run correctional facilities face.

The facility is looking for someone with more tolerant views to lead Sunday services and Bible classes, detention center division director Steven Calabrese said. Calabrese told the Reno Gazette-Journal the decision was made in light of recent sermons made by Marvin Neal.

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Chicago school district may back out of locker room deal for transgender student

By : Wire Report
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Chicago (AP) – School officials in a suburban Chicago district may back out of a newly minted deal with the U.S. Department of Education allowing a transgender student to use a girls’ locker room, over a dispute about a hypothetical: What would happen if the girl decided against using the privacy curtains she’s agreed to use?

Less than two days after school board members approved the settlement, Township High School District 211 Superintendent Daniel Cates issued a statement Dec. 4 angrily condemning a top federal official for how she portrayed his description of it.

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Gay Ugandan activists hope Pope Francis will speak on their behalf during visit

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Gay activists are hoping Pope Francis will preach tolerance toward homosexuals, and even go so far as to condemn violent attacks against gays during his upcoming visit to Uganda. Church leaders, however, are praying he’ll avoid the issue altogether.

The divergent expectations underscore the acrimonious state of the gay rights debate on a continent where homosexuality remains taboo and homosexuals are greatly despised. In Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and where attacks against gays have forced many to seek refuge abroad or lead secret lives at home, gay leaders nevertheless hope Francis when he comes on Friday will weigh in with a firm message of tolerance.

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Screened Out – The Danish Girl

By : Stephen Miller
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Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw

This is a good film. It should’ve been amazing, illuminating and transformative.

There must be more to gender dysmorphia than what Eddie Redmayne shows for much of The Danish Girl. Is it simply the desire to touch silky fabrics and pose like girls in 1920s cigarette ads?

There also is more to Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The Danish Girl is slow, lacking emotional punch. It’s also all small moments of understated drama cut short by painterly views of Denmark, Dresden, and Paris.

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“Mass resignation” of Mormons over anti-gay policies

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Several hundred people with roots in the Mormon faith gathered in Salt Lake City to renounce the church’s new policies targeting gays and their children in an event that marked the latest illustration of the fervor the rule changes have caused.

Billed as a mass resignation by Mormons, people filled out paperwork and dropped off the resignation letters at a church building Nov. 14. The large majority had stopped attending church years ago. But they said the new policy that bans baptisms for children of gay parents until the kids turn 18 and disavow same-sex relationships spurred them to come and formally cut ties and have their names removed from the faith’s membership rolls.

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Headdress Ball 2015 raises $325,000 for Hope and Help

By : Jamie Hyman
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Headdress Ball 2015 is in the books.

Here’s the press release from Hope and Help: 

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Uprisings!: The Republicans are talking at each other again. We’re liveblogging.

By : Billy Manes
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If there’s anything that we love about the public drawing and quartering of the Republican Party presidential bench during this frightful election cycle, it’s that there are tiers of candidates, that there is, indeed, a Varsity and a Junior Varsity contingent, and the lower down you get on the success scale, it doesn’t get any more absurd – it just stays absurd. Juniors are as good as seniors, a Santorum is as good as a blowjob and Lindsey Graham is still happening. Beyond the greenroom issues which made us fall out of our hot tub and into our home theater today, the real issue is whether any of the four folks being cut off constantly on CNBC in the not-ready-for-prime-time-let-me-try-to-get-a-word-in-edgewise. ”

We already have too many government mandates,” tiny man Bobby Jindal says. “FLAT TAX!” Oh, shut up. So, for now, we have Graham, George Pataki, Jindal and Santorum. Someone smells an orgy. No one smells a president. We’ll liveblog the serious ones (cough), later. For now, we’ll just waste our time and gawk.

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Company accused of price gouging AIDS drug will cut cost

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The company that sparked an angry backlash after it raised the price of a drug used by AIDS patients for treating a deadly parasitic infection by more than 5,000 percent says it will roll back some of the increase.

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli told ABC News Sept. 22 that the new price would make Daraprim more accessible, although he did not say what the new price for the drug would be. A spokesman for Turing did not immediately respond to a request for details.

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