November’s Watermark Wednesday Social Networking Mixer

By : Danny Garcia
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Join us for Watermark Wednesday on November 13 from 6-8pm at The HONU Restaurant as we network and socialize!

This FREE networking social will be hosted by the HONU Restaurant.

As always, light bites will be provided and with your business card, your first drink is on the house!

Bring cash for fabulous raffle prizes!

Raffle will benefit PFLAG of Dunedin

Adam Rippon spends birthday on ice

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Olympic medal-winning figure skater Adam Rippon turned 30 on Nov. 11, and he took to the ice to celebrate.

He decided to commemorate his milestone by shooting a video of himself dancing a “birthday joy skate.”

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Pence extols Trump’s anti-LGBTQ adoption rule as ‘decisive action’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence extolled an anti-LGBTQ adoption rule proposed by the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled Nov. 12 a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes.

Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar.

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Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride Guide 2019

By : Dylan Todd
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Find all the greatest spots in Sarasota for arts and entertainment, dining, nightlife and much, much more!

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O’Rourke explains view on penalizing anti-LGBTQ religious orgs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Beto O’Rourke has explained his view on penalizing anti-LGBTQ religious orgs. (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Amid ongoing conservative backlash, Beto O’Rourke took to the airwaves Morning morning to defend recent comments in favor of lifting the tax-exemption on churches that oppose same-sex marriage.

O’Rourke didn’t repudiate his earlier remarks, but articulated on MSNBC a more nuanced view that religious organizations, including non-profits, should face penalties if they discriminate against LGBTQ people.

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Catholic adoption agency refusing to certify LGBTQ homes wins in court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge has in ruled in favor of a taxpayer-funded Catholic adoption agency in Michigan refusing to certify LGBTQ couples as qualified to take children into their homes.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a preliminary injunction Sept. 26 in favor of St. Vincent, a faith-based non-profit based in Lansing, Mich., concluding the state is targeting the agency for its religious beliefs.

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Elliott Darrow

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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21 | Transgender | He/Him/His

Whether surrounded by land or sea, St. Petersburg native Elliott Darrow is dedicated to making a difference.

As an educator at The Florida Aquarium, the University of South Florida student teaches children about conservation, ecology and animal welfare. He also volunteers with the Foundation for Sustainable Families, where for years he’s advocated for the LGBTQ community and focused on providing resources to all communities in need.

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10 LGBTQ youth in Central Florida and Tampa Bay who are making a difference in their communities

By : Jeremy Williams & Ryan Williams-Jent
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We may be biased, but the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay are overflowing with passionate leaders, trend-setters and inspiring champions. That’s why each year we select the cream of the crop and name them as our Most Remarkable People of the Year.

As we looked around our community we noticed something interesting—that many of the community advocates standing up to be leaders, making a difference in the world and all-in-all being remarkable were getting younger and younger. That’s why we decided to recognize the tremendous work these amazing individuals are doing.

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Illinois conducts surveys on crime against LGBTQ individuals

By : Wire Report
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(Image from Facebook)

CHICAGO (AP) | State officials are conducting a survey on crime against LGBTQ individuals that will help inform how to disperse funding and state and local policies.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) says research shows LGBTQ individuals experience crimes at a higher rate, particularly violent crime. The agency is seeking information on topics including victims’ experiences and the need for services.

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San Francisco police chief apologizes to LGBTQ community for past treatment

By : Wire Report
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(Image from SFPD Twitter)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) | San Francisco’s police chief apologized Aug. 27 for the way the department historically treated LGBTQ people and for “the harm that was caused.”

“Unless the wrongs of the past are acknowledged and dealt with appropriately, our past will continue to put a stain on the present and on our future,” Chief William Scott said during a “Reflection and Reconciliation Session” aimed at increasing trust between the LGBTQ community and police.

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Issue: 26.17 25th Anniversary

By : Dylan Todd
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Watermark celebrates its 25th Anniversary in this commemorative issue, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Watermark 25: Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Watermark began covering Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in 1995, not long after its 1994 founding in Orlando.

It was more than a decade before I would move to Florida and more than two before I would be fortunate enough to become Watermark’s Tampa Bay Bureau Chief, but it’s a decision I’m very thankful that our founder Tom Dyer made just the same.

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