Texas Pushes Ahead With ‘Bathroom Bill’ as Others Shy Away

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As “bathroom bills” targeting transgender individuals falter across the U.S., fizzling even in conservative bastions like Kansas and Arkansas following the upheaval over a North Carolina law last year, Texas Republicans are doubling down in their determination.

The resolve to make Texas only the second state to restrict bathroom access for transgender persons before Monday — when lawmakers adjourn until 2019 — is raising the possibility of a special session and exasperating business groups and LGBTQ rights organizations that have united in opposition for months.

Continue Reading >>

Get ready to soak up the fun for one of the planet’s biggest LGBTQ celebrations

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

What started out nearly three decades ago as a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for LGBTQ families has turned into one of the largest, and most lucrative, LGBTQ events in the world.

The first week of June in Central Florida brings over 150,000 LGBTQ people from across the globe to the state and generates millions of dollars every year for the local economy, and this year is without exception.

Continue Reading >>

2 men in Indonesia caned dozens of times for gay sex

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – Two men in Indonesia’s Aceh province were publicly caned dozens of times May 23 for consensual gay sex, a punishment that intensifies an anti-gay backlash in the world’s most populous Muslim country and which rights advocates denounced as “medieval torture.”

More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality.

Continue Reading >>

Indonesia police arrest dozens in raid on Jakarta gay sauna

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesian police detained dozens of men including several foreigners in a weekend raid on a gay sauna in the capital, another sign of growing hostility to homosexuality in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said 141 men were detained for questioning in the raid Sunday evening on the gym and sauna in north Jakarta. Police say the sauna was the venue for a sex party promoted as “The Wild One.”

Continue Reading >>

Transgender people search for acceptance in church

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

Continue Reading >>

Romanians celebrate LGBTQ Pride amid moves to limit rights

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Some 1,000 people joined an LGBTQ Pride march in the Romanian capital of Bucharest May 20, demanding greater rights amid government moves they say will curtail their rights.

Some 30 ambassadors expressed support for the march and for protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community and U.S. Ambassador Hans G. Klemm was among those taking part, despite the pouring rain.

Continue Reading >>

Vote for your Orlando Fringe favorites in the first ever Watermark Splash Awards

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicked off its 27th year and, even though it’s only just begun, we cannot believe the amount of talent we’ve seen already.

The shows have started hitting us in our hearts, minds and funny bones; and we here at Watermark can’t decide which ones have been the best, so we are asking you, our amazing readers, to pick for us in the first ever Watermark Splash Awards.

Continue Reading >>

Will Trump, gov’t agencies recognize Pride month?

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

Picture it: President Trump enters the East Room of the White House on a warm D.C. day in June to the sound of cheers from adoring members of the LGBT community holding up their iPhones to document the occasion with videos and photos.

With his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner at his side, Trump welcomes guests and commemorates June as Pride month by recognizing the LGBT community’s accomplishments in recent years.

Continue Reading >>

5.18.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

Billy Manes

It’s time for a glorious distraction. It’s time to look up and out of our socioeconomic boxes and tear-rusted cages to remind ourselves that we still know how to have fun, whether in red shirts or in swimming trunks that bear a startling resemblance to underwear. It’s time to remind ourselves of what has happened and what is yet to come for the LGBTQ community. In short, it’s time to party.

Though everything feels like it’s being viewed through a dilated pupil right now via our political refractions and their requisite reactions, there is still a lot to be happy about, and much of this issue of Watermark – our annual issue that pays tribute those days for the gays in early June – will throw confetti at your face and kiss you on your cheek, slipping you a number on a cocktail napkin and leaving with a sideways glance.

Continue Reading >>

Florida legislators wrap up a contentious session leaving the LGBTQ community relatively unscathed

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

Sine Die, they call it, the antiquated drop of the hanky to end the legislative session in Florida. On May 8, the bicameral bluster in Tallahassee came to an end following the approval of an $83 billion state budget that will siphon more taxpayer dollars to charter schools, and, remarkably, pull some power away from the state’s tourism driver, Visit Orlando. Those were the big headlines.

And while LGBTQ issues made their way around committees and lobbies, Equality Florida was there to fight back on some of the social issues.

Continue Reading >>

Study: Bullying persists in school, reports of sex crime up

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new study shows that 1 out of every 5 middle and high school students has complained of being bullied at school. And the number of reports of sexual assault on college campuses has more than tripled over the past decade.

The study by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Justice Department released May 16 says that overall instances of bullying have been declining in American schools over the past decade. But 21 percent of students aged 12-18 still reported being bullied in 2015. That’s slightly below the international average.

Continue Reading >>

Mississippian sentenced to 49 years in anti-transgender hate crime

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Joshua Vallum

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – For the first time in the U.S., a person was sentenced on federal hate crimes charges for killing a transgender person.

Joshua Vallum appeared before a federal judge May 15 in Gulfport, Mississippi, after pleading guilty in December to hate crimes charges in the 2015 death of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson.

Continue Reading >>