Maryland voter forms to provide third gender option

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Maryland’s State Board of Elections host a conference to prepare for the 2020 elections and beyond. Photo courtesy Maryland’s State Board of Elections Facebook page.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) | Voters in Maryland will no longer be required to identify themselves as male or female when they register to vote.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland State Board of Elections will soon allow voters to choose “X” or “unspecified'” as a gender when they fill out voter registration forms.

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Issue 26.06: Tampa Proud

By : Jake Stevens
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Tampa Proud

Jane Castor posed to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor, Central Florida performer wins Miss International Queen 2019, Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County announces Pride Guild, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Anti-LGBTQ Pinellas-Pasco judicial candidate Donald McBath loses election

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Publicly anti-LGBTQ Wesley Chapel attorney Donald McBath was defeated Aug. 28 by prosecutor Doneene D. Loar in his bid for the Pinellas-Pasco circuit judgeship.

The candidate first generated headlines May 30 after the Tampa Bay Times highlighted his commentary condemning the LGBTQ and Muslim communities. “If the homosexual continues committing that sin of sodomy, his soul faces ETERNAL damnation,” McBath shared via Facebook Feb. 25, the outlet reported. “Abstain, if you really have that mental illness. It’s not love.”

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More than 2 million attend São Paulo Pride parade

By : Felipe Alface OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SÃO PAULO — More than two million people attended São Paulo’s annual Pride parade that took place on Sunday.

The theme for this year’s parade was “Elections: Our vote, our voice. Power to LGBTIQ+ people.”

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Malta prime minister pledging to introduce same-sex marriage law

By : Wire Report
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VALLETTA, Malta (AP) – Joseph Muscat, who was sworn in June 5 for a second term as Malta’s prime minister, is pledging to introduce a same-sex marriage law when Parliament convenes in the next few weeks.

Official results showed his Labour Party won 55 percent of the vote June 3 to the opposition National Force coalition’s 44 percent, the same margin as his first victory in 2013. The National Force is comprised of the Nationalist Party and the Democratic Party.

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2016 put North Carolina in national spotlight over GOP-backed laws

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – 2016 is the year North Carolina’s identity crisis ran squarely into the national consciousness.

Long perceived as a progressive Southern state, the rest of the nation finally discovered that a takeover of state politics by GOP lawmakers had pushed North Carolina to the far-right. The state found itself in the spotlight over a number of issues including LGBTQ rights, voting rights, redistricting and most recently an unwillingness to let the state’s new Democratic governor keep the same powers that the outgoing Republican governor had.

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Uprisings: July 11 – 29, 2015

By : Billy Manes
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“I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore,” the film Network’s Howard Beale spit into the ether in the foggy 1970s pixilation of televised news via cinema. This is not the 1970s. This, Uprisings, is not your standard news column about the comings and goings of political figures in power suits, nor is it that stick in that yellowing mud that would direct you into the warm embrace of comatose electoral futility. This is not something to scream about from the window in your chosen alley. This, instead, is a party.

Say what you want about the impending election season – that it is terrible, or terrible, or maybe it’s more terrible, because mine is better than yours and yours is super terrible – but if there’s anything we’ve learned about presidential election cycles (replete with congressional and municipal leanings), it’s that no matter how terrible it might seem, disengagement is worse. We could go through the motions of the Bush v. Gore decision that landed on former Gov. Jeb Bush’s nose like a dime; we could talk about Sen. Marco Rubio’s inexplicable immigration dance and the Florida House term that brought it; we could laugh about dancing, Dancing, DANCING!

And we will.

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Top 5 State Stories of 2014

By : Staff Report
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Lawsuits challenge marriage ban
Five lawsuits were filed in 2014 against the state, arguing against the constitutional amendment banning the recognition of same-sex marriages. In each case, judges have ruled the ban unconstitutional.

Pam Bondi’s ongoing appeals
Each time a judge ruled against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal requesting a stay on the decision. Her latest request for an extended stay was filed Dec. 15.

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Poland elects first openly gay mayor in elections

By : Wire Report
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Robert Biedron already made history once in Poland by becoming the first openly gay lawmaker in parliament in 2011. On Dec. 1, he became the country’s first openly gay mayor.

The 38-year-old’s political successes are a marker of how quickly this deeply conservative and Catholic country has changed in the decade since it joined the European Union. Back then, in 2004, gay rights marches were still being banned and homosexuality was treated as a huge taboo. Since then a growing acceptance of gays and lesbians has arrived hand-in-hand with a flourishing economy.

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Election results sobering for LGBT rights movement

By : Wire Report
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Massachusetts became the first state to elect an openly gay attorney general, while the gay candidate in Maine’s gubernatorial race narrowly lost his chance to make history. Nationally, gay-rights activists worried that conservative gains in Congress would hamper their bid for federal anti-bias legislation.

In all, it was a sobering election for the gay-rights movement, contrasting with its recent court victories that have nearly doubled the number of states allowing same-sex marriage. In U.S. Senate races, for example, several Democrats who supported gay marriage — including Mark Udall of Colorado and Kay Hagan of North Carolina — lost to Republicans who oppose it.

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11.6.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185Sitting in the Watermark newsroom on election night was exciting, sickening, disheartening and enlightening.

Once the polls closed at 7 p.m., it was an all-hands-on-deck situation with members of our editorial team monitoring different races in the different counties Watermark covers. We were streaming live television on the newsroom’s flat screen while refreshing the websites for an array of supervisors of elections offices.

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2014 Election Night Watch Party at The Abbey

By : Danny Garcia
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The Democratic Party of Orange County hosted an Election Night Watch Party at The Abbey on Nov. 4.

Speakers included Alan Grayson, Joe Saunders, Eric Rollings and Tiffany Moore Russell. See a video of Saunders’ speech.

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