Eleven big firms say Tennessee bills discriminate against LGBTQ

By : wire report
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | Eleven large companies are urging Tennessee’s Republican legislative leaders to oppose bills they say discriminate against LGBTQ people.

The Human Rights Campaign announced April 23 the letter from Hilton; IKEA North America Services; InterContinental Hotels Group; Lyft; Marriott International; MassMutual; Nike; Replacements Ltd.; Salesforce; Unilever; and Warby Parker. They wrote that bills targeting LGBTQ people are bad for employees and their families, customers and business.

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Sweet Divinity: Old Angst Song

By : Divine Grace
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Hello, Dolls.

Well, here we are at the end of 2016. And what a ride, am I right? Usually you have to go to IKEA or Auschwitz for this kind of excitement, but this year has landed enough suffering onto our bruised collective lap to feel like a hysterectomy performed by a steamroller.

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IKEA stops online magazine in Russia due to anti-gay laws

By : Wire Report
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COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, says it is halting its online magazine in Russia out of fears it violates the country’s law banning promotion of same-sex gay values to minors.

The Swedish retailer says its magazine IKEA Family Live “demonstrates various aspects of home life regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation.”

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IKEA and Zebra Coalition

By : Rick
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In June, a team of IKEA Orlando co-workers installed $10,000 worth of IKEA products and in-kind donations at The Zebra Coalition House, which provides a full continuum of services to the growing number of LGBT+ youth, ages 13 to 24, in Central Florida. The Zebra Coalition was named one of 38 charitable organizations across the county that was awarded $10,000 each in IKEA products, services and in-kind donations through the Life Improvement Challenge campaign.

The items included storage, seating, a grill, towels and robes and decor.

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Orlando: Gay for president?

By : Anonymous
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Out Candidate on National Ticket?
Too soon to talk 2016? Not for Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund president and CEO Chuck Wolfe, who was the guest of honor at an April 16 reception hosted by Bob Poe, who sits on the organization’s board. Wolfe touted the organization’s accomplishments, including almost doubling LGBT representation in Congress from four to seven, and electing the first out U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin.

And he noted that out state legislators were elected for the first time in several states, including Florida. Wolfe said his immediate goal is helping elect the first out mayor of New York City, Christine Quinn. But he couldn’t resist biting at a question about the 2016 ticket. His projection: Jeb Bush backed by John Huntsman for the Republicans, and Hillary Clinton and Gavin Newsome for the Democrats. And Wolfe went even further, projecting that an out candidate will be on the national ticket by 2032.

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Orlando: Patty and the pole

By : Anonymous
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Babes, bonnets, scooters and cash!
Two major fundraisers brought in some impressive donations to area causes during the late part of March. On March 23, Scooters for Hooters invaded Lake Eola Park for the seventh time and brought in more than $170,000 for Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation, a local non-profit that provides mammograms and breast healthcare services to uninsured women. The grand total is well above the $140,000 the event brought in last year, indicating that 2013 was an even bigger success.

On March 25, the Orlando Youth Alliance pocketed more than $8,300 after the annual Babes and Bonnets event took over the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House. The evening started with Darcel Stevens and Danielle Hunter introducing some amazing headwear and eventually Michael Wanzie helped out as well.

Patty’s new quest
Although most are probably familiar with the trendy Floyd’s Barber Shop and it’s iconic barber pole, you might not be aware that the county is trying to do away with it. What did a harmless barber pole do to anyone to deserve getting cut, you ask? Turns out, the county isn’t happy that the red, white and blue pole spinning in front of the Mills location isn’t made in the USA and is not UL rated. On March 21, City Commissioner Patty Sheehan was on-hand for the ribbon cutting at the new Mills location. She later posted a photo on Facebook of her standing front and center to the pole with a caption reading “My new quest, save Floyd’s barber pole.” This marks the third Floyd’s location.

Zebra loses its stripes, votes
On March 25, the non-profit LGBT youth outreach organization Zebra Coalition sent out an e-blast informing their supporters that a contest being sponsored by IKEA in which Zebra Coalition is competing for the chance to win $10,000 worth of product and design services from the store had a glitch. Turns out, all prior votes were lost. It asks supporters to please re-cast their votes. Visit TheLifeImprovementProject.com, select Orlando and vote for Zebra Coalition. You can vote once a day through April 8.

Who is Leigh Shannon?
The public will soon find out. Last summer, female impersonator Leigh Shannon posted on his Facebook that he is in pre-negotiations for a reality show based on his life. “I think [reality shows] are the way to go anymore,” Shannon told Watermark last year. And on March 25, Shannon finally posted a sneak preview from his upcoming small screen debut. Careful; it’s NC-17. “It will be about my upbringing in a redneck rural environment and family up to today with my shows, new acting venture, my store, cancer patients and the everyday struggles of a business man/show girl/drag queen and finding out I have a black sister,” Shannon said.

Who’s That Girl?
In case you’ve been living under a rock or simply a DVR junkie and fast-forwarding through your commercials, you can’t escape the new Florida Lottery commercials. You know, the ones where a meek-looking housewife is shopping and then succumbs to the lottery machine while a band of crooners sing “I Only Have Eyes for You.” Well, that Florida Lotto lover is none other than Orlando’s own Amy Runyan. The amber-hued beauty is probably more recognizable from bringing you your favorite cocktails as a bartender at the former Lava and former Sip lounges. Besides, an active modeling and acting career, Runyan is now the owner of Skin Studio in Baldwin Park.