Conservative religious group calls for the repeal of Jacksonville’s HRO protections for LGBTQ people

By : Jeremy Williams
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Empower Jacksonville, a newly formed anti-LGBTQ group in North Florida, is attempting to get two initiatives put onto the 2018 ballot that would strip away protections from the city’s Human Rights Ordinance based on people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The group, which introduced itself at a news conference last month at Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church, announced they would begin attempts to collect signatures for the two initiatives immediately with the hope to have both on the ballot in August 2018.

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Uprisings: A New Deal?

By : Billy Manes
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On the last day of February, our national leader and television star Donald Trump launched his congressional speech with a nod to his wife and to Black History Month, attempting, apparently, to launch a new narrative about the Trump presidency, one that doesn’t involve salacious groping and Twitter accounts.

“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” he said with all the gall of a teenage actor.“ Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

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LGBT State Rep. David Richardson replies to John Stemberger’s fundraising fear-mongering gracefully

By : Billy Manes
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DavidRichardsonThanks to our friends at FloridaPolitics.com, we can stick a cup up against the virtual door and hear how a true political hero – in this case, State Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami, who happens to be gay – responds to dishonored Boy Scout (or whatever you want to call him: hate group leader, generally terrible person) John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council and Florida Family Action. Stemberger issued a backhanded compliment to Richardson a few days ago via FloridaPolitics.com. To wit:

Dear Rep. Richardson:

Since your election to the Florida House of Representatives in 2012 until now, I have always known your reputation as a legislator to be one of nothing but respect for the dignity of the institution, for the legislative process and for your fellow colleagues. Even those who firmly disagree with you on matters of public policy speak highly of you, of your talents as a legislator and the unique perspective you bring to the process.

However, after the tragic and despicable acts of evil which took place right down the street from my offices in Orlando June 12, I was both shocked to learn of your repeated statements accusing your fellow legislators of creating an environment that gives rise to such horrible violence when they speak out against any LGBT bills as bad public policy in the Legislature.

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Uprisings: October 8 – 21

By : Billy Manes
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It shouldn’t be a political banner for the requisite public waving in front of a coming election – a disturbed gunman follows in the footsteps of all of all of the disturbed gunmen before him and arbitrarily takes the lives of nine individuals ranging in age from 18 to 67 in what can only be described as a massacre on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Oct. 1 – but it has become one, regardless of from which side of the aisle you’re armchair quarterbacking the decline of western civilization. In the aftermath of the latest campus terrorist attack (and yes, that’s exactly what it was), politicians were once again called to task, once again asked for answers, on exactly how it is that we comfortably walk this tangent bridging mental health and forced death into one blur of public-relations horror.

“Stuff happens,” presidential hopeful and gaffe-master Jeb Bush opined, according to the Tampa Bay Times via the Washington Post.

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Boy Scouts membership falls 7 percent in decade-long decline

By : Wire Report
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The Boy Scouts of America’s youth membership fell 7.4 percent last year, continuing a decade-long decline for one of the nation’s oldest youth organizations, a spokesman said Jan. 16.

More than 2.4 million youth participated in its programs in 2014, along with just fewer than 1 million adults, spokesman Deron Smith said. Enrollment fell 6 percent the year before, and in previous years declined slightly or seen little to no change over the last decade.

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Accidental Advocates

By : Steve Blanchard
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Notorious pastor Fred Phelps Sr. died on March 18, sparking mixed reactions from LGBTs and the community at large. His Westboro Baptist Church and his so-called congregation made national news often with its protest of the funerals of AIDS patients, Matthew Shepard and fallen U.S. soldiers.

Phelps and his Topeka-based church had the same message at each appearance: The country was doomed because of its tolerance of homosexuality.

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What the other side says: We break down John Stemberger’s response to Florida’s marriage equality lawsuit

By : Jamie Hyman
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Like clockwork, every time the LGBT community takes a step forward, the Florida Family Policy Council will release a statement complaining about why the progress is anti-Christian. Florida’s lawsuit for marriage equality is no exception.

The same day the lawsuit was filed, John Stemberger, the notorious anti-gay activist who is President and General Counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, issued a statement in response. Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, summed it up pretty well with her Facebook status declaring Stemberger’s statement Arrogant. Condescending. Bigoted. Expected.

But we couldn’t resist the urge to take it apart, line by line. Stemberger’s words are in bold.

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