Fla. House advances bill to update state’s HIV criminalization law

By : Lauren Lee
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ABOVE: Fla. Rep. Nick Duran speaks before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on HB 79. Photo courtesy MyFloridaHouse.gov

Tallahassee, Fla. | The Florida House’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 10-3 to advance House Bill (HB) 79, also known as the Florida HIV Modernization Bill, on Feb. 22.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nick Duran (D-Miami), would modify Florida’s existing HIV criminalization statutes which states that if a person knowingly transmits HIV or engages in intimate contact with another person knowing their HIV status is positive it is a third-degree felony with up to five years in prison.

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PHOTOS: Equality Florida Action PAC hosts fundraiser for State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Equality Florida Action PAC hosted State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith’s final re-election fundraiser before the Nov. 6 general election at The Venue in Orlando on Oct. 23.

Dozens of Central Florida voters listened as The Venue owner Blue Star and Smith’s partner Jerick Mediavilla spoke about the importance of voting for the self-professed “proud progressive, liberal, feminist, gay, Latinx, democrat.”

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Florida House candidate Anna Eskamani makes TIME magazine cover

By : Jeremy Williams
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Anna Eskamani, who is running for Florida House District 47, is featured on the cover of the latest issue of TIME magazine in a collage of 48 women who are running for, or have been elected to, a U.S. political office.

The cover story titled “The Avengers: First They Marched, Now They’re Running,” takes a look at the record number of women running for political office in the U.S. since the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.

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Uprisings: Walking forward

By : Billy Manes
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It was 1991, if my memory serves correct, that I got the call from my stepbrother Michael. He knew that I had just come out of the closet. He knew, also, that he was dying of AIDS. “Welcome to the club,” he said, very kindly. I shivered a bit at the time, knowing that we were in the thick of a crisis, and even with all of the pats on the head and begrudging support that finally came from the White House – too late – there were still people dying en masse.

This year, in part to honor Michael, I attended the Hope & Help AIDS Walk. What’s most interesting about AIDS walks, at least to me, is that there are people from the entire spectrum of society in attendance. There were children. There were activists. There were corporations. There were advocates. It’s not a pride parade by any measure – there was not blaring music but that from the bagpipes behind me – but it’s incredibly sincere.

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St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman endorses Carlos Guillermo Smith for Florida House District 49

By : Staff Report
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St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman officially endorsed Democratic candidate Carlos Guillermo Smith for Florida House District 49 May 5.

“While serving in the Florida House, I witnessed first-hand how Carlos can get things done. He knows his district and he understands the issues facing our state. Carlos is a real progressive leader for all of Florida,” Kriseman said in a statement.

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Bill proposed to Florida House would end conversion therapy in minors

By : Jeremy Williams
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Florida House Representative David Richardson (Miami Beach-D) filed HB137, a bill that would prohibit gay conversion therapy for minors.

The proposed bill would prevent “persons who are licensed to provide professional counseling” from providing “treatment with the goal of changing a person’s sexual orientation including, but not limited to, efforts to change behavior, gender identity or gender expression, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward a person of the same gender.”

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Equality Florida’s Mike Reedy Enters Race for Florida House

By : Aaron Alper
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Mike Reedy is a Democrat and is running for State House 63, but he doesn’t consider himself a de rigueur style politician. He is unabashedly grass roots and, while politically liberal, isn’t afraid to be aggressive in pursuit of what he considers to be right. Speaking with him, he presents himself as somewhat of a liberal alpha dog. He is also intensely friendly and almost immediately divulges information about his life with his partner.

“One of the funny things about my partner,” Reedy says, “is that he is a breath of fresh air whenever we go to political functions. When you talk to me it’s all about politics and he would like to talk about anything but politics.”

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Florida House committee advances anti-gay adoption bill

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tallahassee – The Florida House Judiciary Committee voted 11-4 in favor of the Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies bill on April 2.

The Conscience Protection bill would allow private adoption agencies and family foster homes to deny placing a child with a family or couple, if they feel placing the child would conflict with the agency’s religious beliefs or moral code.

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Florida adoption discrimination bill moves to the next level

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Florida House’s Health & Human Service Committee voted to pass the Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies which would allow private adoption agencies to deny someone from adopting based on religious or moral convictions.

The committee of 12 Republicans and 6 Democrats heard arguments from agencies and private citizens before taking up the vote.

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