Sexual politics: Money, money, money and the LGBT community

By : Stephen Miller
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Our community is becoming more and more aware of our political clout, especially as public sentiment has slowly shifted and gay and lesbian couples are combining assets. In fact, one major force for change in the political landscape has been brought to you by LGBT donations into political campaigns.

A good indicator for how things have changed was Obama’s run for re-election in 2012, where LGBT money made a significant difference.
In the early 2000s, LGBT donations had, overall, been dropping, both in 2010 and 2014. The Center for Responsive Politics states that funds dropped 58 percent from the 2006 election cycle to the 2010 cycle. It dropped another 12 percent between 2010 and 2014 for most candidates.

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Woman gets jail for group attack on gay Philadelphia couple

By : Wire Report
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A suburban police chief’s daughter began serving five to 10 months in jail Feb. 8 for a group attack on a gay couple that prompted Philadelphia to add sexual orientation to its hate crime laws.

Common Pleas Judge Roxanne Covington questioned how then-hospital worker Kathryn Knott walked away from the victims as one lay badly injured in September 2014.

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Driver complains about “GAY” license plate

By : Jamie Hyman
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1.21.15 This story has been updated with more information about the driver who issued the complaint, and a statement from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph is fielding complaints from local auto dealerships because a driver protested after being issued a license plate that starts with the letters “GAY.”

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Young Objections: USF student group petitions to have C.W. Bill Young building renamed

By : Jeremy Williams
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A University of South Florida political organization is calling for a change in the name of the CW Bill Young building on campus because of the namesake’s association with an anti-gay, state-sanctioned committee from the 1950s and 60s.

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (TBSDS), which only has around 14 regular members, has a petition on the website Change.org asking that the building named after Rep. Bill Young which houses the ROTC program at USF be renamed. The petition currently has more than 400 signatures.

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Tom Hardy shuts down reporter after asked about his sexuality

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tom Hardy and a reporter shared an awkward moment at the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 12.

Hardy was promoting his new film Legend, where the British hunk plays both Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The Kray twins, one of whom is bisexual in the film, were notorious London gangsters.

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Same-sex couples exchange vows in Mt. Rushmore celebration

By : Wire Report
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MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. (AP) — Seven gay couples exchanged vows and another couple renewed their vows Sept. 6 during a group wedding at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The celebration of this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage took place in the amphitheater overlooked by the presidential mountain carving.

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Plan targets health care bias against transgender people

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration proposed Sept. 3 to ban discrimination against transgender people throughout the health care system, expanding anti-bias protections in the president’s health overhaul.

The new protections are part of a much broader proposed regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services. In a first, the overhaul specified that “sex” is a protected category under federal law, and the regulation carries that a step further, clarifying that “gender identity” is included within the Affordable Care Act’s protective umbrella banning sex discrimination.

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OWL, The Center’s new seniors program, is growing fast

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – A new special program at The GLBT Center of Central Florida is gaining participants and attention from the local LGBT community while helping a group that often goes unnoticed.

Older Wiser Learning (OWL) started in April 2015 but its foundation has been present at The Center for much longer, according to The Center’s senior program director Ken Terrell.

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Feds take down Rentboy.com

By : Wire Report
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The chief executive of a Manhattan-based online male escort service and six of his employees at Rentboy.com are under arrest on charges of promoting prostitution.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accused Jeffrey Hurant of selling advertisements to high-priced male prostitutes for several hundred dollars, then charging Rentboy.com customers up to $299 a month to access the ads. The operation took in more than $10 million since 2010, prosecutors said.

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Ellen Page confronts Ted Cruz on gay rights

By : Jamie Hyman
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Des Moines, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz criticized former President Jimmy Carter’s administration during a stump speech in Iowa, one day after Carter announced he was suffering from brain cancer.

Speaking on a political soapbox at the Iowa State Fair Aug. 21, Cruz said there were parallels between the Obama and Carter administrations.

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Puerto Rico prepares for mass wedding of same-sex couples

By : Wire Report
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — More than 60 gay couples are preparing to exchange vows at a mass wedding in Puerto Rico, celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court ruling affecting the socially conservative U.S. territory, organizers said Aug. 12.

Most of the couples are Puerto Ricans, but others from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Venezuela also are participating in the event scheduled for Aug. 16 in San Juan’s colonial district.

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Conservatives warn IRS could target gay marriage foes

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A brief exchange during Supreme Court arguments in the same-sex marriage case has exploded into a full-blown crisis for some conservatives who warn that the IRS could start revoking the tax-exempt status of religious groups that oppose gay marriage.

The attorneys general of 15 states have written Congress asking for legislation to protect religious schools and other groups. Bills in the House and Senate are gaining support.

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