USF alum Steven Reigns brings ‘The Gay Rub’ to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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University of South Florida (USF) graduate Steven Reigns, now West Hollywood’s first Poet Laureate, says he’s motivated by a sense of love for the LGBTQ community. “Some of the most beautiful and brilliant people I know are a part of it,” the educator says. “We’re complex and complicated.”

It’s that love which led to his touring art exhibit “The Gay Rub,” opening Oct. 15 at his alma mater’s Centre Gallery. The collaborative project, which Reigns created in 2010 and continues to organize, showcases a growing collection of over 350 important markers in LGBTQ history.

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Transgender activism group adopts lobster emoji for advocacy

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) | A transgender activism group is promoting use of Maine’s lobster emoji while it rallies for an emoji to represent the transgender community.

The Portland Press Herald reports the group is urging supporters to use the lobster for now, which can display both male and female anatomy.

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Maine woman playing transgender teen on the big screen

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Transgender actress Nicole Maines moving from documentaries to film. Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue. 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) | A transgender former middle school student who fought to use the bathroom of her choice in Maine is preparing for her big screen debut.

Nicole Maines is starring in the indie horror film “Bit” as a transgender teen trying to co-exist with and understand a group of feminist vampires in Los Angeles.

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Maine Gov. LePage vetoes ‘conversion therapy’ bill

By : Wire Report
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) | Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill that would’ve banned state-licensed therapists from engaging in conversion therapy aimed at changing someone’s sexual orientation.

LePage said Friday the bill is unnecessary for professionals who already have a defined scope of practice and said he has concerns that it could harm parental rights and the work of faith-based counselors.

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Court seeks justification for unusual gay slur hate crime order

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s high court this week ordered a lower court to explain why potential jail time for any future hate crimes he might commit would be justified for a Turner man convicted of twice ramming into the car of a man he believed was gay.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday ordered the Androscoggin County Superior Court to provide clear reasoning for issuing the “very broad and permanent injunction” against Ronald Champagne.

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Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage supports Mississippi ‘religious objections’ law

By : Wire Report
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is backing Mississippi’s appeal to reinstate a law letting merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

The “religious objections” law was struck down in July.

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Maine GOP chairman keeps job after apologizing to gay Democrat

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Portland, Maine (AP) – The head of the Republican Party in a Maine county will be permitted to keep his position after apologizing for degrading an openly gay Democratic lawmaker in an email.

The Portland Press Herald reports  the executive committee of York County Republicans voted July 27 to not take disciplinary action against county GOP chairman Jim Booth.

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Maine Republican says gay lawmaker is hated

By : Wire Report
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Rep._Justin_Chenette

Maine Rep. Justin Chenette

Portland, Maine (AP) – A county Republican Party leader in Maine has come under fire from Democrats and fellow Republicans for an email they say belittles an openly gay state lawmaker.

The Portland Press Herald reports an email from the account of York County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Booth sent to party activists refers to Rep. Justin Chenette, a Democrat, as “Little Justine” on several occasions.

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New book ‘Becoming Nicole’ tells transgender teen’s story

By : Wire Report
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — As a first-time father, Wayne Maines held his newborn twin sons and dreamed of their life together – a dream that, at least then, didn’t include taking one of them to a father-daughter dance.

Maines, an Air Force veteran, said he hopes others can learn from the transformation of his son into a daughter – and from his family’s battle against discrimination that ended in a landmark legal victory.

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Maine senator to withdraw “religious objections” bill

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Augusta, Maine (AP) – A Republican Maine senator says he’s withdrawing his “religious freedom” bill that’s similar to proposals that prompted protests in other states.

Sen. David Burns said on April 15 that he doesn’t believe his proposal would get a fair hearing in the Legislature. He says opponents and the media have “poisoned the well of public discussion.”

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Gay governor candidate leads pride parade in Maine

By : Christal Hayes
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A Democratic candidate who reluctantly made public his being gay last year found himself serving as the grand marshal of Maine’s biggest gay pride parade and festival June 21 and urged activists to continue fighting to eliminate discrimination and promote equality.

Mike Michaud, who would become the nation’s first openly gay person to be elected governor if he unseats Republican Paul LePage in November, said it would be powerful for the gay community to have a seat at the table in discussions with governors across the country on equality issues.

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Gay Maine congressman: coming out was good, ready to get back to work

By : Wire Report
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Portland, Maine (AP) – When the intensely private Rep. Mike Michaud laid bare his private life and announced he’s gay, one openly gay congressman joked that the Maine Democrat had never registered on his “gaydar.”

As he prepares to return to Capitol Hill this week as the seventh openly gay member of the U.S. House, Michaud said the decision to come out last week was a positive experience that drew support from fellow congressmen and hundreds of constituents, even if it was political nastiness that prompted his announcement.

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