High school student comes out while running for Citrus County School Board position

By : Colton Adkins
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CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. | 18-year-old high school student Adam York, who is running for the District 5 seat on the Citrus County School Board, came out as gay during a public forum June 29.

York expressed that coming out in such a public way was never intentional, as the county is predominantly conservative, but a question during a forum motivated him.

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Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidates pitch for votes

By : Wire Report
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s five Democratic candidates made their pitches to party activists at their annual convention June 30, hoping to swing support and drum up donations in advance of the August primary.

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and developers Jeff Greene and Chris King dashed between interest group caucuses in hopes of solidifying support among party stalwarts in advance of the Aug. 28 primary.

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Florida AG candidate Sean Shaw fights ‘for the people, not the powerful’ if elected

By : Layla Ferris
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TAMPA | Rep. Sean Shaw (D-Tampa) pledges to fight “for the people, not the powerful” if elected as Florida’s next attorney general.

Shaw, a Sunshine State native who studied law at the University of Florida, has represented District 61 for the State House of Representatives since 2016. While in office Shaw supported The Florida Competitive Workforce Act and voted to ban conversion therapy statewide.

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Hate crime charges filed in South Florida gay pride parade attack

By : Wire Report
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Hate crime charges have been filed against four men accused of attacking two men and shouting anti-gay slurs following Miami Beach’s gay pride parade.

The enhanced hate crime charges mean the four could face as much as 30 years in prison if convicted, rather than only 15 years on previously filed aggravated battery charges. The Miami Herald reports that prosecutors brought the hate crime charges Thursday.

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Parkland shooting inspires new calls for gun reform. Will it be enough?

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gay candidates are seizing upon the energy for gun control after the Parkland shooting. Screen capture courtesy of ABC News YouTube.

In the aftermath of America’s most recent mass shooting — a tragedy at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead — gun control has emerged as a defining issue ahead of the congressional mid-term elections and LGBT candidates are among those bringing it the forefront.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Darlene Herrick

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Age: 45

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

How you identify: “Try-sexual”

What’s your sign: Libra

“I’m very passionate about my work,” Darlene Herrick says. “I love cooking. I love being a chef. I love creating.”

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Brooke Renney

By : Jeremy Williams
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Age: 27

Hometown: Polk County, Florida

How you identify: Lesbian

What’s your sign: Scorpio

Brooke can be summed with two words: passion and politics.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Michael Deeying

By : Jeremy Williams
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Age: 33

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

How you identify: Gay

What’s your sign: Aquarius

Michael is a self-professed nerd; he loves golf, Pokemon Go and board games. Above all, he values one thing the most: intelligence.

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Florida man robbed at gunpoint in Grindr app setup

By : wire report
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Florida police say a man thought he was going on a date set through an app, but instead was attacked and robbed at gunpoint.

Police say a 21-year-old Taborice Lee Foster lured his target using Grindr, a dating app for gay men. When the victim arrived to his home in Panama City, Foster and another man attacked him, pointing a gun from behind while searching the date’s pockets and stealing his wallet.

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Palm Beach County is first in Florida to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, Vice Mayor Mack Bernard, Commissioner Hal Valeche, Mayor Melissa McKinlay, and Commissioners Mary Lou Berger, Paulette Burdick and Steven Abrams. Photo courtesy Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. | While many councils in the state have passed conversion therapy bans in their own cities, no Florida county had passed a ban until now.

The seven county commissioners voted 5-2 to prohibit conversion therapy for minors in Palm Beach County Dec. 19. Commissioners Steven Abrams and Hal Valeche were the two to vote against the ban.

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Stalled in Congress, LGBT rights advance at the local level

By : Wire Report
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At the U.S. Capitol and in most statehouses nationwide, supporters of LGBT rights are unable to make major gains these days. Instead, they’re notching victories in seemingly unlikely venues, such as Morgantown, West Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama.

They are among scores of cities and towns in Republican-governed states that have acted on their own, passing resolutions and ordinances pledging nondiscrimination protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the absence of comparable statewide laws.

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Florida’s Competitive Workforce Act is back with bipartisan support

By : Jeremy Williams
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Three Florida legislators have again filed the Competitive Workforce Act, an update to the state’s Civil Rights Act of 1992 which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of groups protected against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Florida law currently offers these protections based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability status, national origin, age and marital status.

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