Jason and deMarco to Perform at SunCoast Cathedral MCC

By : Krista DiTucci
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As part of their “Anything is Possible” tour, contemporary pop worship artists Jason and deMarco will be performing live at SunCoast Cathedral MCC in Venice on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. The concert will be a free-will offering and coincides with the church’s 21st anniversary.

Susie Brenner, SunCoast MCC program developer, says she is excited about their music and the message they bring.

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Orlando’s LGBT chamber votes in new leadership for the new year

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The Metropolitan Business Association – Central Florida’s gay chamber of commerce – will greet the new year with some fresh faces.

The MBA has elected their new board members, including officially installing President Lu Mueller-Kaul, who was appointed to the role Nov. 1 after the resignation of Nayte Carrick, previous president.

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Reform Jews poised to pass transgender resolution

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – When Rabbi Elliot Kukla became the first out transgender rabbi ordained in the Reform Jewish movement almost a decade ago, he would get questions from other rabbis along the lines of “There’s a transgender congregant coming to services. What should I do?” He would tell the other rabbis to greet them with, “Shabbat shalom,” the traditional welcome for anybody.

Now, other rabbis ask more sophisticated questions and lack the discomfort of the earlier ones: Is there a ritual for a trans man who is converting to Judaism but doesn’t have a penis for a traditional circumcision? How can we celebrate a 12-year-old trans girl’s name change at her Bat Mitzvah?

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Pride Weekend at Parliament House featuring Jordin Sparks

By : Jamie Hyman
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More than 3,400 attendees – a new record, according to Parliament House – packed the Orlando nightclub Oct. 11 for a live show by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. She headed to PH after appearing in the COWP parade that same afternoon.

Sparks’ opening acts were the Footlight Players and DJ VTech, who kept the crowd moving until the main event.

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Pope Francis hung out with gay couple, barely met Kim Davis

By : Wire Report
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The Vatican is distancing Pope Francis from Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk at the center of the U.S. gay marriage debate, saying she was one of dozens of people the pope greeted as he left Washington and that their encounter “should not be considered a form of support of her position.”

And in a new twist, the Vatican revealed that the “only real audience” Francis had in Washington was with a former student and his family, who later identified himself as Yayo Grassi, an openly gay Argentine who met the pope with his longtime partner and some friends.

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Parliament House: Lil’ Kim will “absolutely” perform Saturday night

By : Jamie Hyman
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Lil’ Kim is making some Orlando fans nervous with some cryptic Tweets, but according to Parliament House, Saturday night’s show will go on as scheduled.

The first sign that something might be amiss came Oct. 4, when the rapper skipped out on a scheduled pre-appearance meet-and-greet at The Manor in Ft. Lauderdale. According to TMZ, the meet-and-greet was booked mostly by gay fans.

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UCF Pride Coalition’s fate may be decided Feb. 27

By : David Thomas Moran
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Orlando- The UCF Student Body Senate plans to decide the fate of Pride Coalition at its Feb. 27 meeting. Depending on the outcome of the Senate’s vote, the LGBT programming arm of UCF’s Student Government Association (SGA) may no longer exist come July.

SGA’s Agency and Department Strategic Planning Board (ADSPB) passed an 8-1-0 motion on Feb. 13 that allows a grievance to terminate Pride Coalition to move forward to the Senate floor for a vote.

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Gay lawmaker in the running for Maryland governor

By : Wire Report
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A Maryland lawmaker hopes to be elected the nation’s first openly gay governor.

Delegate Heather Mizeur plans to make her campaign announcement Wednesday for the Maryland 2014 governor’s race.

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John Waters to celebrate Pride in Orlando

By : Staff Report
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Come Out With Pride (COWP) will welcome filmmaker John Waters to the Out in the Open Film Festival, part of COWP’s week of events celebrating Pride.

The Film Festival is Oct. 1-2, and Waters will kick off opening night with a stand-up act. VIP ticket holders will be able to attend a meet-and-greet. Twenty VIP tickets will be sold for $150 apiece and are available for purchase at ComeOutWithPride.com.

COWP will run from Oct. 1-7, with the main event and parade Oct. 6 at Lake Eola.

11.24.11 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshotEvery year between Halloween and Thanksgiving, we find ourselves scratching our heads, wondering where the previous calendar year has gone.
Eggnog arrives on shelves even before trick-or-treaters have a chance to finalize their costumes, and music declaring that we Deck the Halls is piped through department store speakers the same day as those 50% off Halloween candy sales.

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Openly gay intern credited with saving Giffords life in AZ shooting

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HernandezHeroArizonaShootingAbstr_511693156.jpgDaniel Hernandez Jr., the openly gay intern who ran to the rescue of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during last Saturday's shooting in Tucson, was seated next to President Obama Wednesday during a memorial for the victims of that shooting.

President Obama and others repeated referred to Hernandez as a â┚¬Å”hero,â┚¬Â but Hernandez himself urged that the title belongs, not to him but, to Giffords and other public servants.

â┚¬Å”Though I appreciate the sentiment, I must humbly reject the use of the word hero because I am not one,â┚¬Â said Hernandez. â┚¬Å”The people who are the heroes,â┚¬Â he said, were Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, the first responders to the shooting, and the doctors caring for Giffords.

â┚¬Å”We have all come together to realize that what defines us is not the differences,â┚¬Â said Hernandez. â┚¬Å”It is that we are all together, we are all a family, we are all Americans.â┚¬Â

â┚¬Å”Daniel, I'm sorry, you may deny it, but we've decided you are a hero,â┚¬Â said President Obama during his remarks. He was interrupted by applause. â┚¬Å”You ran through the chaos to minister to your boss and tended to her wounds and helped keep her alive.â┚¬Â

Hernandez received a standing ovation when he arrived at the podium during the memorial service. In addition to being seated next to the president, Hernandez was seated next to former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was accompanied by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Hernandez, 20, is a student at the University of Arizona but began working as an intern in Giffords' Tucson office on January 3. He ran toward Giffords when the shooting broke out and, once he saw her head wound, used his hand to apply pressure to curb the bleeding and held her upright to prevent her from choking on the blood. Doctors have credited Hernandez's quick response with having saved Giffords' life.

President Obama visited Giffords before Wednesday evening's memorial service. He told the audience that, shortly after he left her room, Giffords opened her eyes for the first time. Her husband Mark Kelly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) were with her at the time, according to the Washington Post.

Giffords suffered a gunshot to the head Saturday while conducting a meet-and-greet event for constituents in Tucson, Arizona. Six people, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, were killed during the shooting. Thirteen others were injured. Police arrested a 22-year-old man with apparent mental instability after several constituents at the scene were able to subdue him while he attempted to reload his semi-automatic weapon.