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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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn in

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – Jackie Biskupski was sworn in Dec. 4 as Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor, a landmark the former state lawmaker acknowledged shortly after taking the oath of office.

Biskupski, 49, said the historic moment should not be taken lightly, and noted great strides have been made for LGBT people in the state.

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Wanzie’s Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular 2015

By : Billy Manes
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Michael Wanzie’s Orange Blossom Trail ‘Living Nativity’ Christmas Spectacular rides again! And has a baby.

Though there will be no more chances to relive the unlivable, to partake in the holy birth of the baby Jesus, like, for real, we did witness the immaculate conception last night, and OH MY GOD. Here are some pictures we snapped of the incredible cast (Doug Ba’aser, Blue Star, Wanzie and more), because your holidays need to be more fucked up than they already are!

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Why does the Holy Land Experience keep getting away with pretending to be a church?

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

Michael Wanzie

It is no secret that about three weeks ago I personally placed the phone call to the Orlando Sentinel informing the publication that Holy Land Experience Theme Park (HLE) had painted a mural on the retaining walls which support the I-4 west-bound exit onto Conroy Road boarding HLE property. The mural consists of an angel and a scroll that is rolled open to reveal a watery-blue backdrop meant to blend in with HLE park theming. I encouraged Sentinel journalists to investigate whether or not HLE theme park sought permission from the City of Orlando and/or the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to create the mural.

I have legitimate concerns when I see a business defacing public property for the purposes of enhancing a private, profit-making enterprise. The powers that be at Trinity Broadcasting Network (the the money-bilking machine that owns the park) can carry on all they want about how their business is not a theme park but rather a church or a museum – thus justifying the tax-free status reprehensibly bestowed upon the theme park by Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee – but let’s be real here; on its web site, HLE lists its $50 entrance fee as a “Gate Price.” One passes through a turnstile to enter an attraction overflowing with gift shops. The park presents a nighttime fountain and light show, and HLE is currently in the process of installing a Putt Putt-style 9-hole mini golf course. HLE recently announced the repurposing of their “Smile of A Child” interactive children’s playground into the (get this) “The Trin-i-Tee Miniature Golf Course” at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo.

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The Other Side of Life: Remarkable tidings

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Jason Leclerc

Recently, in a storied, New England Museum of Art, I stood in front of a painting of Christ on a cross. Beside me, a beautiful Reform Jewish family punctuated by twin girls, fought to gain control of voice volumes and squeaky, scampering feet. When at last, the first-grade bundles of energy were wrapped, I heard them cry out to their yarmelke-topped father: “Tell the story again.” I listened hopefully as they stood—innocent and excited—beside me, eyeing the same ab-perfected, long-haired, halo-sporting figure. I tried to not overhear. Of course, I listened with every bit of my heart.

After an elaborate dance—Na’ale Na’ale, or was it a cha-cha—around the subject, the uncomfortable father began his story, “So this baby was born in a barn,” only to be cut off by the boisterous inquisitors, “No, tell it like Mommy did.”

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