Watermark Wednesday – Social Networking Mixer

By : Danny Garcia
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Meet and mingle with the Watermark team, LGBTQ+ professionals and allies at Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar. During this event we will host a raffle drawing. All ticket sales will go directly to Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival!

Gay conversion therapy ban won’t pass in Utah this year

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Supporters say the fight to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in conservative Utah is over for the year after lawmakers gutted the proposal.

A prominent activist on March 6 blasted Gov. Gary Herbert’s support for the changes that would have allowed therapists to talk about changing sexual orientation as long as they didn’t promise to reverse it.

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Cottonelle’s gay toilet paper ad draws criticism

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cottonelle recently released a new ad that includes a gay couple but the 15-second spot angered some TV watchers.

In the commercial, one man is about to meet his boyfriend’s parents.

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Local LGBTQ film ‘At the End of the Day’ gets digital release date

By : Amanda Espinosa
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LAKELAND, Fla.| Local filmmaker Kevin O’Brien’s religious LGBTQ film “At the End of the Day,” about a conservative professor going undercover in what turns out to be an LGBTQ support group, is being released on digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play on Feb. 26.

The award-winning film was written, directed and co-produced (along with his wife, Teresa) by O’Brien and stars Stephen Shane Martin, Danielle Sagona, Tom Nowicki, Chris Cavalier and Susan Mulholland.

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Watermark’s February Third Thursday Networking Mixer

By : Danny Garcia
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Join Watermark for our February Third Thursday! Light bites provided by Bites & Bubbles with live entertainment by Mad Transit. First drink will be provided. Remember to bring cash for the raffle tickets to win some great prizes! This month’s social benefits LGBT+ Center Orlando – The Center

Central Florida LGBTQ homeless coalition offers foster parenting informational sessions

By : Abigail Brashear
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The Zebra Coalition, a Central Florida-based network of organizations that provide aid to LGBTQ youth, is offering foster parenting informational sessions for those who are wondering how to become a foster parent. 

Robin Daily, community engagement and coalition manager of the Zebra Coalition, said during these informational sessions, staff from the Zebra Coalition and their partners Devereux and Embrace Families, as well as current foster families, will answer any questions that attendees might have about the process. 

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Church rally draws more than 200 after LGBTQ sign vandalized

By : wire report
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TOWSON, Md. (AP) | The Baltimore County executive has agreed to meet with a coalition of community activists and people of faith in the next 30 days to discuss further actions after a church sign promoting support for LGBTQ people was vandalized.

The Baltimore Sun reports County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. attended a rally Feb. 17 at Maryland Presbyterian Church in Towson with his 3-year-old daughter, Daria, and more than 200 other people. The church’s sign was vandalized more than a week ago.

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Queerly Beloved: Reclaiming the Culture of Love

By : Rev. Jakob Hero Shaw
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Valentine’s Day? Nope. I am not a fan. I came to a stern critique of Valentine’s Day despite having my own ridiculously sweet Valentine’s Day story. My husband accidentally proposed to me on Valentine’s Day a few years ago.

How do you accidentally propose to someone on Valentine’s Day? He claims it was not a planned proposal and had nothing to do with the holiday. To this day, I remain skeptical about that, but I digress.

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HRC pushes lawmakers to expand background checks, protect LGBTQ community

By : Amanda Espinosa
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, reiterated the request for Congress to advance H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This will enforce a background check for every sale that involves a firearm, and prevent anyone who has a violent criminal history from easy access to firearms.

Under the current federal law, there is a loophole that permits access to non-licensed dealers to sell guns to individuals without a background check. This gap in the law is allowing private gun sales to be done online or at gun shows.

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Watermark’s Swipe Right Party – Central Florida

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark is celebrating love with the Swipe Right Party Feb. 7.  The party is an LGBTQ singles mixer where any and all can come out to try and find that special someone.

Here’s how it works:

-Bracelets will be made available as you arrive.

-Blue means you’re looking for a man.

-Purple means you are looking for a woman.

-Orange means you’re taken.

-Yellow means you’re looking, non-binary.

-Wear as many as you feel expresses who you are.

The event is free and open to all looking for love. Light bites will be provided and cash bar available. Come out and find your Valentine!

Watermark’s Swipe Right Party – Tampa Bay

By : Danny Garcia
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Watermark is celebrating love with the Swipe Right Party Feb. 7.  The party is an LGBTQ singles mixer where any and all can come out to try and find that special someone.

Here’s how it works:

-Bracelets will be made available as you arrive.

-Blue means you’re looking for a man.

-Purple means you are looking for a woman.

-Yellow means you’re looking, non-binary.

-Orange means you’re taken.

-Wear as many as you feel expresses who you are.

The event is free and open to all looking for love. Light bites provided by Iberian Rooster and cash bar available. Come out and find your Valentine!

Some summer camps try to better support transgender campers

By : wire report
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Inclusion is a core value shared by many summer camps, and in recent years there’s been a lot of discussion in the camp community about how to help transgender and gender-nonconforming youth succeed.

Tom Rosenberg, president and chief executive officer of the American Camp Association, says the group is doing more every year to support camps that want to be more welcoming to kids of all identities. “Our goal is to offer expert educational support for camps that wish to welcome transgender kids, and also to really learn more and develop the culture of their camp to be more inclusive,” he says.

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