Issue 26.09: Leap of Faith

By : Jake Stevens
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LGBTQ Christians preach their gospel, Tampa elets 1st LGBTQ mayor, Orlando Fringe to celebrate 28th season, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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The Other Side of Life: Lent and the Twin Abstentions

By : Jason Leclerc
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My fellow God-fearers, know that we are two days into the Lenten season, bookended by Mardi Gras and the Resurrection. Like Jesus fasted in the wilderness before launching his ministry, we are to give up something that sates us. Although my usual self-denial is metaphorized by 40 days without swearing or chocolate, I’m giving up on something much more gosh darn important and savory and much more central to who I am.

Abstention one: I’m giving up on defending Republicans. Abstention two: I’m taking a break from actively bashing Trump.

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Queerly Beloved: Reclaiming the Culture of Love

By : Rev. Jakob Hero Shaw
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Valentine’s Day? Nope. I am not a fan. I came to a stern critique of Valentine’s Day despite having my own ridiculously sweet Valentine’s Day story. My husband accidentally proposed to me on Valentine’s Day a few years ago.

How do you accidentally propose to someone on Valentine’s Day? He claims it was not a planned proposal and had nothing to do with the holiday. To this day, I remain skeptical about that, but I digress.

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‘The Walking Dead’s Tom Payne ‘disappointed’ in his gay character’s story

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“The Walking Dead” killed off yet another character on its midseason finale on Sunday with Jesus (Tom Payne) dying after a zombie battle.

Jesus is gay in “The Walking Dead” comics but his sexuality was rarely mentioned on the show. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Payne admitted his character’s sexuality was so unacknowledged on the show, some fans didn’t know Jesus was gay.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Westboro protest got T-wrecked

By : Anonymous
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What happened when the Westboro Baptist Church came to Seminole counTY on Oct. 22 to protest outside of a church? Dinosaurs and Jesus threw a dance party. No, seriously!

A local group that dresses up in inflatable Tyrannosaurus rex costumes, known as the T-Rex’s of Orlando, showed up—one on rollerblades—proudly waving rainbow flags and state flags to counter-protest. They were also joined by a man dressed as Jesus and others. They were loudly singing Katy Perry’s “Roar” along with a playlist straight out of the ‘80s.

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Jesus from ‘The Walking Dead’ comes out as gay

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“The Walking Dead” finally confirmed the character of Jesus’ sexuality on Sunday’s episode.

Hilltop Colony member Jesus (Tom Payne) opened up that he was gay in conversation with Maggie (Lauren Cohan).

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Utah lawmakers look to expand hate crime rules to cover LGBTs

By : Wire Report
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GayUtahAbstrSalt Lake City (AP) – Utah state senators back a proposal that would beef up the state’s hate crime law and add protections for gay and transgender people.

Lawmakers voted 17-12 Feb. 26 to give preliminary approval of the plan after debating it. They must still cast a final vote on the measure sometime in the next two weeks.

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Sordid Lives creator Del Shores wants the dating world to know that it is hard out there for a “minor gay celebrity” in his 50s

By : Jeremy Williams
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Few filmmakers write LGBT stories with equal parts humor and heart and even fewer are able to take that story to cult status, but one who seems to do it with ease is Del Shores, writer/director of the successful 2000 cult film Sordid Lives. Shores is heading to The Cuban Club in Ybor with his one man show, SINgularly SORDID, where he talks about politics, religion and returning to the dating world after getting divorced in his 50s. Tinder and Grindr and Scruff, oh my! Shores was gracious enough to speak with Watermark ahead of his Tampa Bay show about Oscar diversity, election coverage and a much talked about sequel in the Sordid franchise.

SINgularlySORDID is your one man show that you are bringing to Tampa. What can we expect to see from you?
I always consider myself a storyteller or a humorist: I observe, I sometimes steal from my own life and other people’s lives and talk about it on stage. This piece has become very personal, because I have gone through a divorce in my 50s and getting back into the dating scene has been crazy, so a lot of that is the SINgularly Sordid part of this. I just tell tales about Leslie Jordan and Dolly Parton and people I have had encounters with, good and bad. I love politics and controversy. My dad was a Southern Baptist preacher, so we’ll cover religion.

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Mormon Church wary of heightened anti-discrimination laws

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – The Mormon church says Utah lawmakers considering hate crimes legislation this year should not upset a balance they struck last year with an anti-discrimination law protecting both religious rights and LGBT rights.

The statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was in response to a proposal to beef up Utah’s hate crimes law and add new protections for gay and transgender people.

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Pastor Protection Act headed to Florida Senate for a vote

By : Jamie Hyman
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Tallahassee – The Pastor Protection Act, an unnecessary, anti-gay bill that purports to prevent religious leaders from being forced to perform same-sex weddings, is headed to the full Florida Senate.

On Feb. 17, SB110 cleared its final hurdle when the Rules Committee voted 7-3 in favor of the legislation. The bill is redundant, as under current laws protecting religious beliefs, clergy can already opt out of marrying any couple they choose, gay or straight.

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Anti-gay Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act voted down

By : Wire Report
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Nashville (AP) – A bill seeking to block the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling in Tennessee is defeated in the state House over concerns about nullifying federal rulings.

The Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 4-1 against the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon, who argued that the ruling should not supersede an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

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Pope Francis addresses gay issues in his first book

By : Wire Report
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Vatican City (AP) – Pope Francis lays out his case for emphasizing the merciful face of the Catholic Church in his first book as pontiff, saying God never tires of forgiving and actually prefers the sinners who repent over self-righteous moralizers who don’t.

“The Name of God Is Mercy,” a 100-page conversation with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, is being published this week in 86 countries to help kick-start Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy. A copy was provided in advance to The Associated Press.

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