HRC gives a perfect score to Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg in annual ratings

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Oct. 8 that Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s seventh annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The report examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in each city rated by the organization. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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LGBTQ groups gather in South Florida to announce Gillum for Governor endorsements

By : Jeremy Williams
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MIAMI | Three LGBTQ organizations—one local, one statewide and one national—gathered at the CIC in Miami Sept. 24 to jointly announce their support for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in his bid to become Florida’s next governor.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) joined with Equality Florida, the state’s largest civil rights organization, and SAVE, a South Florida LGBTQ advocacy group, to commit working together to secure full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community, according to an HRC press release.

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HRC, NextGen America encourage UCF students to “charge your vote”

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | NextGen America, a nonprofit and political action committee focused on environmental advocacy, dispatched teams across Florida for National Voter Registration Day Sept. 25, attempting to register as many students as possible before the Oct. 9 deadline.

The organization claims it has registered almost 40,000 voters in the state so far for the 2018 election and received over 15,000 pledges to vote.

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Watermark Third Thursday – September Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Join Watermark for their September Third Thursday Social at The Hammered Lamb! Light bites and first drink will be provided. Remember to bring cash for the raffle tickets to win some great prizes! This month’s social benefits HRC Orlando / Central Florida!

Eric Holder to headline annual Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the upcoming annual national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign in D.C., the organization announced Wednesday.

Holder, who served as the first U.S. attorney general during the Obama administration, is set to be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Sept. 13 along with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia.

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PHOTOS: HRC Orlando’s 7th Annual Disco Bowl

By : Meghan Sweeney
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Team Watermark attended Human Rights Campaign Orlando’s seventh annual Disco Bowl Aug. 12 at Aloma Bowl.

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HRC survey: Nearly half of LGBTQ workers are not out at job

By : Kathy Ruiz
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has been conducting surveys about the queer experience at the workplace since 2008. This year, when they conducted the survey, they found that nearly half of LGBTQ employees are not out at work.

The survey, titled “A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide,” seeks to uncover the prevalence of LGBTQ workers feeling pressure to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity on the job and the cost of that hiding both to individuals and employer. It also focuses on researching the benefits to employers and workers when workplace climates are more welcoming of LGBTQ people.

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Mike Huckabee resigns from Country Music Association board

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) speaks at the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 25, 2015. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Almost 24 hours from his appointment as a board member of the Country Music Association Foundation, Mike Huckabee has announced his resignation after an outcry from the Nashville music industry.

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Central Florida attorney elected chair of HRC board of directors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Central Florida attorney John Ruffier was elected as the vice-chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors and will become the chair of the organization next year.

The announcement was made by the law firm Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.— where Ruffier is a practicing attorney—in a press release Jan. 12.

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Human Rights Campaign launches $26M campaign ahead of midterms

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s leading gay rights groups, is launching a $26 million political organizing effort ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

While the effort is nationwide, the group is focusing its resources in particular on several key states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada. All six states are expected to have competitive Senate races next fall, and each is a presidential battleground.

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Unity prevails at the June 11 Equality March on Washington D.C.

By : Billy Manes
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By the time Sunday, June 11, rolled around in Washington, D.C., the weekend of celebration took a more political turn, as was planned.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” hundreds of thousands screamed as they walked past the White House. The Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU were heavily present, and the pomp of a parade gave way to the circumstance of a march. That march ended up on the Washington Mall, where speakers screamed down history and screamed up civil rights.

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Trump ‘religious freedom’ order silent on LGBT issues

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Many LGBT advocates breathed sighs of relief after learning that a long-awaited “religious freedom” executive order issued by President Trump on Thursday did not include specific anti-LGBT provisions that media reports said were included in an earlier draft of the order.

But officials with several national LGBT advocacy organizations expressed concern that the two-page executive order, called “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” gives U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions authority to interpret existing federal laws and regulations in a way that could result in discrimination against LGBT people.

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