Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to seek re-election

By : Wire Report
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples will run for re-election in 2018, facing voters for the first time since her protest against marriage equality in rural Appalachia provoked a national uproar.

Kim Davis could face a familiar foe: A gay man to whom she refused to issue a marriage license said he’s seriously considering running against her.

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Liberty Counsel takes another jab at transgender community

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – Never ones to shy away from controversy, the Liberty Counsel – headed by Mat Staver in Orlando – is raising its hackles against the Affordable Care Act’s clause that is “forcing all doctors and staff [to] perform gender reassignment surgeries and hormone treatments on patients, even children,” according to a press release.

Eight states joined in arguments in a Texas federal court on Dec. 20 after “The Department of Health and Human Services intentionally refused any religious exemptions, despite dozens of requests, and essentially is demanding faith-based organizations and religious people [to] bow to LGBTQ demands.”

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OK, we’ll bite: Rubio is hosting an anti-LGBT event in Orlando just two months after the Pulse massacre.

By : Billy Manes
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We really didn’t want to write about this monstrosity, in that it comes doused in such fetid offensiveness as the Liberty Counsel and it’s “one-t” Mat Staver, seasoned with the stench of a Republican senator/failed presidential candidate/U.S. Senate candidate reborn … oh, and also it comes on a solemn day in Orlando: the two-month commemoration of the 49 killed at Pulse Orlando on June 12.

The Florida Renewal Project will be here with a litany of terrible people, the Miami New Times reports. Oh, dear. (Lest we forget that Republicans now love gays.)

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10.8.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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“Turn and face the strange,” a certain crazy-eyed pop-cultural god once warned us through the bedazzled bullhorn of a 1970s rainbow of weathered hope. “Ch-ch-changes” were at the root of David Bowie’s 1972 rhythmic cause for alarm and call to arms, a sort of anthemic response to a society teetering on various brinks, with only the scary monsters and super freaks holding on to any notion of prescribed normality. Everything – from war crises to social shifts to women’s rights to gay rights – was caught in the shuffle, and, these days, we’re better for it, right? Plate tectonics, changing fads, political upheaval and shifts in the weather have all resulted in who we are right now. And, in many ways, we are better for it. In some, we are far worse.

This week’s Watermark explores the changes we’re going through, both nuanced and on the real-estate surface, against the backdrop of Orlando’s Come Out With Pride celebration, of which we are always proud to be a part. While many, including those of us making journalistic noise at this publication, are urging caution in just how the LGBT community evolves from dissimilation to assimilation, how we negotiate our path into the grand old world of marriage and acceptance and infinite joy, we’re also aware of the shoulders upon which we’ve stood to get us here, even to get us in the conversation. You’ve heard this lecture before: Don’t forget from where you’ve come and never forget the history upon which you stand. You get it.

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Living Loud: COWP 2015 Celebrate, Remember and Fight!

By : Mary Meeks
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MaryMeeksHeadshotCome Out With Pride 2015 is here, and it is time to party! What a year it has been – worldwide, nationwide, statewide and right here in Central Florida. The LGBT community has so much to celebrate and be thankful for this year as we gather around Lake Eola for the annual rainbow shindig. Most especially, we will celebrate how we all have come together this past year to protect, defend and empower our community. That is why the COWP Committee chose “Pride United” as this year’s theme. That is why, after skipping COWP the last two years, I look forward to hosting this year’s COWP Rally.

Obviously the gold prize this year is the realization of marriage equality – Jan. 6 here in Florida and June 26 nationwide. It was a long time coming, and it only happened because an amazing diversity of advocates (and some really great lawyers!) united all over the nation and across state lines to make sure that every state was included. (Come on Alabama, you’ve got some serious loony tunes down there, but no one is left behind!) That alone is cause to pop the corks, but there’s more. President Obama issued an executive order banning discrimination against LGBTs by federal agencies and federal contractors (covering hundreds of thousands of employees), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a landmark decision interpreting the employment protections of the federal Civil Rights Act to apply to sexual orientation. The Pentagon is ready to allow transgenders to serve openly in the armed forces. Heck, even the Boy Scouts have opened their tents to LGBTs!

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National embarrassment: Orlando-based hate group Liberty Counsel lies about Kim Davis rally

By : Wire Report
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kim Davis’ lawyer stood onstage in a Washington D.C. hotel and pointed to a photo on the screen. It showed 100,000 people packed into a Peruvian soccer stadium, Mat Staver told the crowd, all there to pray for the Kentucky clerk battling against gay marriage.

The crowd erupted.

It wasn’t true.

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Anti-gay group joins fight against Lake County Schools District club policies

By : Jamie Hyman
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Mt. Dora – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is acquiring some strange bedfellows in their fight to allow a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at Carver Middle School.

In December 2013, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Lake County School District on behalf of Hannah Faughnan, 12, a seventh-grader who is attempting to form a GSA at her school. The suit is fighting a policy written into the District’s club policy that forbids “non-curricular” clubs at middle schools. The District is relying on the policy to prevent Carver Middle School’s GSA from meeting.

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