Gay ex-mayor pleads guilty in meth-for-sex case

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge startled onlookers on Monday when she ordered the gay former mayor of Fairfax City, R. Scott Silverthorne, held in jail while he awaits sentencing in June after he pled guilty to one count of distributing methamphetamine.

Silverthorne was arrested last August in a police sting operation after he provided methamphetamine to an undercover detective posing as a willing sex partner in exchange for what he thought would be permission to participate in an orgy with other men at a hotel in Tysons Corner, Va.

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A Change of Heart: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and her new advocacy

By : Billy Manes
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It’s hard to remember the Teresa Jacobs of yore. The mayor of Orange County (and former commissioner with a “regular people” angle on governance) has seen her share of public turmoil in recent years. She was, of course, partially responsible for “textgate,” in which commissioners and the mayor were caught discussing earned sick time with lobbyists on their electronic devices during a public meeting. That’s not really legal. There was litigation. It got pretty ugly.

But sitting down with her today, she’s believably a changed woman from the one we confronted about LGBTQ rights in 2012. She’s genuine. She’s crying. Pulse happened under her watch.

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Anti-gay bishop wins runoff election for Rio mayor

By : Wire Report
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Known to the world for its skin-baring beach culture and exuberant Carnival parades, Rio de Janeiro overwhelmingly chose an evangelical bishop as a mayor Oct. 30, signaling a resurgence of conservatism in Latin America’s largest nation.

Sen. Marcelo Crivella easily beat his opponent, socialist state Rep. Marcelo Freixo, taking 59 percent of the votes against 41 percent in the municipal runoff election. Rio was one of 57 Brazilian cities holding runoff votes.

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Charlotte City Council won’t consider LGBT ordinance repeal

By : Wire Report
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The mayor of North Carolina’s largest city applauded the governor Sept. 19 for recognizing the need to repeal the LGBT law prompting boycotts of the state. But she said lawmakers can act anytime they want to, whether or not Charlotte backs down first on protecting people from discrimination.

Feeling pressure from the loss of major events, North Carolina’s Republican leaders offered over the weekend to consider rescinding their law limiting LGBT anti-discrimination protections, but only if Charlotte moves first to repeal its never-enforced city ordinance.

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Changes Coming to St. Pete Pride?

By : Aaron Drake
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The tumult in the community over big changes happening to the St. Petersburg Pride Festival and Parade can simmer down a bit: It appears St. Pete Pride isn’t going anywhere in 2016.

There is no doubt a shift on the horizon, with chatter that Pride is moving the parade and festival to Downtown or possibly the new pier once it is completed, which is estimated for fall 2018. And there’s a possibility St. Pete might be building to become a candidate to host World Pride in the near future, which will take a literal village (or city) to make happen.

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Jacksonville Councilman plans to withdraw LGBT-friendly Human Rights Ordinance

By : Jamie Hyman
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Looks like it’s game over for adding LGBT protections to Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance.

Councilman Tommy Hazouri, who introduced the proposal, released a statement announcing he plans to withdraw the bill at this week’s council meeting. Read Hazouri’s full statement after the jump: 

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Parents join the conversation at 2016 Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Adam Manno
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From Tumblr to transgender trends, the leaders, teachers and students who attended the third annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit tackled a wide range of topics of interest to modern LGBT youth.

Co-sponsored by the City of Orlando in partnership with GLSEN, the Orlando Youth Alliance, and Zebra Coalition, O-YES is a collaborative workshop and panel-based conference aimed at empowering Orlando’s LGBTQIA+ community through dialogue and discourse.

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Palm Bay Council rejects addition of LGBT-protections to HRO

By : Jamie Hyman
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In a 4-1 vote that didn’t happen until about 1:30 a.m., the Palm Bay City Council rejected a proposal that would have added LGBT protections to the city’s existing human rights ordinance.

Councilwoman Michele Paccione proposed adding the protections, which turned out to be extremely controversial. More than 500 people attended the meeting, and according to Space Coast Pride president Lexi Wright, there was a line of people snaking around the corner of the building and into the parking lot hoping to get in. The considerable overflow watched the meeting from outside in the courtyard. After about 45 minutes of regular business, the discussion began and lasted nearly six hours.

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Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance survives motion to withdraw

By : Jamie Hyman
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An LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance is still alive in Jacksonville, despite a motion to withdraw.

At their Feb. 4 meeting, the Jacksonville City Council heard discussion on two proposals relating to LGBT protections.

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Man faces prison time for tweeting anti-gay death threat

By : Wire Report
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Paris (AP) – A Frenchman faces prison time for tweets containing an anti-gay death threat and public insults targeting a Paris city official.

Tarek Laboun, a 31 year-old engineer, is accused of posting the tweets targeting Jean-Luc Romero, an openly gay deputy mayor and AIDS activist when Romero was married in 2013. Thursday’s trial turns on issues of free speech limits online.

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Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance discussions will continue

By : Jamie Hyman
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Feb. 4 marks the first of three “committee of the whole” meetings, where the Jacksonville City Council will discuss a proposed LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance.

The revised HRO is contentious, and has been on quite the journey so far.

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LGBT tech hero Carlos Carbonell hailed at Sentinel’s Central Floridian of the Year gala

By : Billy Manes
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Betwixt the rain, the rush-hour traffic and a packed concert next door, the Orlando Sentinel held its first Central Floridian of the Year event on the evening of Jan. 28 at the Pegasus Ballroom within the University of Central Florida’s student union. Hosted by everybody’s favorite “aw, shucks” political columnist Scott Maxwell, and attended by all of the mucky-mucks and the editorial board members that have crossed them at one time or another (plus Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and his entourage … oh, and the amazing philanthropist Harriet Lake, who left the house for the first time in a long time despite her illness), the catered soiree was just about what you would expect it to be. We had the stuffed chicken.

What we didn’t expect, however, was the presence of LGBT tech entrepreneur Carlos Carbonell, who was shortlisted as one of the finalists for the prestigious Sentinel award. We’ve known other winners and nominees in the past, and you’re not allowed to talk about it. What happens in the paper’s mahogany boardroom STAYS in said boardroom.

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