Come Out With Pride to go eco-friendly for festival and parade

By : Jeremy Williams
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Come Out With Pride will have a lot of the same things that you have come to expect over the last 15 years since the parade and festival have been held in and around Lake Eola. Food vendors, parade floats, live entertainment, fireworks and thousands upon thousands of attendees.

Some things you won’t see this year—or any upcoming years—will be single-use plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene foam single-use food containers. This is because the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban these items from all city properties back in June.

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2 Pulse survivors to hold ‘ex-gay’ march in Orlando same week leaders look to ban conversion therapy in Orange County

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | As LGBTQ leaders and community supporters gathered Aug. 15 at Stonewall Bar in Orlando to hold a rally to ban conversion therapy in Orange County, two Pulse shooting survivors appeared on a Christian podcast to discuss an ex-gay march they plan to hold at Lake Eola next month.

Luis J. Ruiz and Angel Colon—both survivors of the June 12, 2016 mass shooting at Pulse— are claiming they are no longer gay and want to spread their message of “ex-gay” conversion by holding a march at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, less than two miles from Pulse, on Sept. 14.

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Support builds as LGBTQ groups call on Orange County to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Heather Wilkie, Andrew Chang and Eric Rollings are among the community leaders helping to ban conversion therapy in Orange County. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), One Orlando Alliance, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.

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Petition launched in Central Florida demands Orange County ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County, Florida has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, The Trevor Project, Zebra Coalition, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) and One Orlando Alliance.

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Orlando bans single-use plastics, foam on city properties

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Former Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor and environmental activist Eric Rollings says he was beside himself with joy when the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene single-use containers in the city of Orlando on all its properties.

“I was just one giant goosebump seeing it actually happen,” Rollings says with a smile.

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Orange County has largest primary voter turnout for 2018 midterms

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Voters in Orange County turned out in record numbers for the 2018 midterm primary elections Aug. 28.

More than 170,000 Orange County voters went to the polls to vote for their party’s nominees in state races for governor, Congress, attorney general and the Florida Legislature, as well as local races including Orange County mayor, Orange County Commissioners and Orange County School Board Chair.

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LGBTQ and ally candidates talk Florida’s Aug. 28 vote

By : Samuel Johnson
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The midterm election primaries are right around the corner on Aug. 28. The LGBTQ community numbers nearly 900,000 Floridians, comprising 4.1 percent of the adult population of Florida. Of that adult LGBTQ population, more than a quarter of them are raising children. Based on these numbers, the LBGTQ vote can impact elections, especially in the primaries.

In Florida there are candidates throughout the state who are advocates for the LGBTQ community. They are vowing to protect and promote equality for LGBTQ—and all—Floridians. The midterm primaries in Florida are boasting at least eight openly gay candidates, plus a slew of advocates and allies who are running.

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Central Florida candidates describe differing enthusiasm levels among young volunteers

By : Layla Ferris
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ORLANDO | A push for stricter gun laws, among other prominent issues, has politically mobilized Florida’s youth; however, Central Florida candidates say they have conflicting experiences with the enthusiasm levels of young volunteers and voters.

Three Central Florida candidates — Eric Rollings, Susan Makowski and Anna Eskamani — discussed how national enthusiasm has translated at the local level during a June 27 Pride & Allies Meeting held at the Orange County Administration Building in downtown Orlando.

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Phone Bank for Eric Rollings with the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of FL

By : Maia Monet
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Share this story:

Join the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida phone-bank for Eric! 

Coffee and Pastries will be served in the morning and pizza, snacks and soft drinks in the afternoon (vegan/vegetarian options too).

10.19.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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We are nearing the end of Pride season; Oct. 21 marks bi-coastal celebrations in Volusia County and Sarasota, and we close with Sanford Pride Nov. 5. As the Pride door shuts the holiday door swings open.

You can always tell when the holidays are coming, and I include Halloween as the official kickoff to the end of year holiday extravaganza. Pumpkin spice is everywhere, people are complaining that Christmas trees are already on sale and the temperature drops from a balmy 98 degrees to a cool 92. Ah yes, fall in Florida. There really is nowhere I’d rather be. I’m so basic that I love everything pumpkin, it’s never too early for tree shopping and nothing is better than warm weather. Fall is arguably the best time of the year.

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Eric Rollings looks to become the first openly gay Orange County Commissioner with his run at District 3

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Orange Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor and Board Chairman Eric Rollings will officially announce he is running for the Orange County Commissioner seat in District 3 at the Orange County Administration Building at 10:45 a.m. Oct. 19.

Rollings filed the appropriate paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections Oct. 13. Rollings filed for a run at the District 3 seat for 2020, but may actually be eying to take the seat as early as 2018.

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Central Florida elected officials gather at JOY MCC to stand with the transgender community

By : Jeremy Williams
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(ABOVE: (L-R) Orange County District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla, Florida Senator Linda Stewart, Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, JOY MCC Senior Pastor Rev. Terri Steed Pierce, Orange County District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke, Florida House District 49 Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan.)

ORLANDO | Nearly two dozen elected officials are standing in solidarity with the transgender community after President Donald Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military.

Eric Rollings, Orange County’s Soil and Water Conservation Chair, spoke from the pulpit at JOY Metropolitan Community Church July 30, reading from a list of Central Florida politicians who stated they unequivocally stand with the LGBTQ community, especially with the transgender community in light of the recent attacks.

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