Watermark’s Wedding Guide 2017

By : Jake Stevens
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It’s time to celebrate your LGBT love! Watermark is very, very proud and excited to present our third annual Wedding Guide. A wedding guide made specifically to help out YOU plan your big day.

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Issue 24.08: Never Again

By : Jake Stevens
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An exhibit at the Florida Holocaust Museum takes a look at the persecution of gay men in Nazi Germany, Melissa Minyard play Judy Garland at freeFall Theatre, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Media Matters For America looks to ‘eliminate hate’ with new campaign

By : Felicia Roopchand
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Hateful speech and actions seem to be around every corner these days, especially with the current state of politics in our country; however, we have those who are fighting to make sure that hate is silenced.

Media Matters For America has launched the Eliminate Hate Campaign  a new effort aiming to expose, undermine and mitigate the increasing influence and harmful impact of anti-LGBTQ hate groups while empowering and supporting local leaders and community members confronting extremism in their daily lives.

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2nd Circuit (again) finds anti-gay discrimination legal under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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In a case filed by a now deceased gay skydiver who alleged sexual-orientation discrimination in the workforce, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals April 18 declined to accept the legal argument that anti-gay discrimination is prohibited under current federal civil rights law.

In a 13-page decision, the three-judge panel cites a 2000 decision in the Simonton case, a 2nd Circuit ruling that determined Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of the 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce, doesn’t apply to sexual orientation. As a result of that precedent, the panel concludes Title VII cannot be applied in the pending case, named Zarda v. Altitude Express.

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Sen. Baldwin prepares for re-election fight in 2018

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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As Democrats gear up for the congressional mid-term elections in 2018, one race that will be critical for the LGBTQ community and potentially a challenge to win is the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress.

After becoming the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Baldwin will face re-election in a state Trump won in a surprise last year. Her race will almost certainly be a priority for the LGBTQ community seeking to ensure visibility in Congress and to strike back at Trump after his victory there.

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Ex-Iowa official’s discrimination lawsuit goes to trial

By : Wire Report
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)- A former University of Iowa athletic administrator was an outstanding employee on track to head a college program until she was unfairly transferred and later laid off for discriminatory reasons, her attorney argued April 18 during opening statements of the trial over her lawsuit against the school.

The trial is expected to offer a behind-the-curtain glimpse at big-time college sports, with testimony from athletic director Gary Barta, head football coach Kirk Ferentz and others. Jurors must decide whether former administrator Jane Meyer suffered workplace discrimination as a gay woman in a relationship with a Hawkeye coach, whether the school retaliated against her and whether she was paid far less than deputy athletic director Gene Taylor for similar work.

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‘Diverse’ co-chairs named for LGBTQ march on Washington

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Organizers of a planned LGBTQ march on Washington scheduled for June 11, which has been named The Equality March for Unity and Pride, released on Wednesday the names of 12 of 13 co-chairs of the event but provided few additional details such as how it will be financed or the route of the march.

“The Equality March for Unity and Pride is less than two months away and we are thrilled to host this historic march in our nation’s capital,” a statement released by organizers says.

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Hope & Help takes Orlando AIDS Walk into twilight

By : Billy Manes
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Hundreds, perhaps thousands (we haven’t confirmed numbers yet, but there were quite a few people) showed up to support the Hope & Help AIDS walk April 15.

The walk, which involves ambulating two laps around downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola, was especially important this year. Following the Pulse shooting last year and the election of a seemingly hostile president in November, it was important to let people know that the LGBTQ community and its allies are still paying attention to the HIV/AIDS issue.

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Equality Florida honors community heroes at 2017 St. Pete Gala

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida had another successful St. Pete Gala at The Mahaffey Theater as the celebration the 20th year of the LGBTQ rights organization continues.

The evening honored Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith, attorney Joanna Garcia Parkin and volunteer Karen Goforth.

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Trump’s Easter Egg Roll a slapdash job; LGBT presence unlikely

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The annual White House Easter Egg Roll — an event that has served to enhance LGBT visibility — is haphazardly coming together under President Trump, according to media reports, and will likely not include an LGBT presence.

Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the LGBT group American Military Partner Association, said her organization has been invited to partake in the celebration since 2012, but has “had no communication with the Trump administration whatsoever about this year’s event.”

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Members of Congress urge Tillerson to condemn gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Fifty members of Congress have asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to publicly criticize the arrest of gay men in Chechnya.

They note in an April 7 letter to Tillerson that they are “greatly disturbed by reports of arrests, disappearances and extrajudicial murders of gay men in Chechnya.”

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Gay men sent to ‘concentration camps’ in Chechnya

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A Russian LGBT advocacy group on Monday confirmed a report that gay men in Chechnya have been sent to secret prisons.

Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, on April 4 reported gay men have been sent to the prisons — which reports have described as “concentration camps” — in the semi-autonomous Russian republic. It said one of them is located near Argun, a town that is roughly 12 miles east of the Chechen capital of Grozny.

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