The SMART Ride raises largest one-year total in 15 years for HIV/AIDS research

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The SMART Ride, the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country of its size to donate 100 percent of funds raised to HIV/AIDS research, revealed Nov. 17 that it had raised a record $1,171,849 in its 15th year – the largest one-year total in the not for profit’s history.

Hundreds of riders from Jacksonville, Key West, Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay and across the nation completed the two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West Nov. 16-17. Each rider was tasked with raising at least $1,250.

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South Florida gay man claims Lyft driver pulled gun, shouted homophobic slurs

By : Jaime Donelson
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MIAMI | A South Florida gay man is claiming his Lyft driver pulled a gun on him and shouted homophobic slurs while he was on the way to a friend’s office in downtown Miami Nov. 15, according to NBC 6.

After placing two large boxes in the back seat of the Lyft driver’s car, Andres Berreondo says he sat in the passenger seat next to the driver.

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LGBTQ groups gather in South Florida to announce Gillum for Governor endorsements

By : Jeremy Williams
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MIAMI | Three LGBTQ organizations—one local, one statewide and one national—gathered at the CIC in Miami Sept. 24 to jointly announce their support for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in his bid to become Florida’s next governor.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) joined with Equality Florida, the state’s largest civil rights organization, and SAVE, a South Florida LGBTQ advocacy group, to commit working together to secure full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community, according to an HRC press release.

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Co-editor Roy G. Guzman talks about the release of ‘Pulse/Pulso,’ an anthology of poems honoring the Pulse victims

By : Gregg Shapiro
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Co-edited by queer writers Roy G. Guzman and Miguel M. Morales, the breathtaking poetry anthology “Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando” (2018, Damaged Goods Press), is a literary tribute to the 49 lives lost and 53 wounded at Pulse nightclub in June 2016.

Containing the work of 18 poets; including Caridad Moro-Gronlier, Chen Chen, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Monica Palacios, James A.H. White and Tessara Dudley; “Pulse/Pulso” is a powerful, poetic memorial to lives lost and forever changed on that fateful night.

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Equality Florida Action PAC endorses Andrew Gillum for governor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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MIAMI | Equality Florida Action PAC, Florida’s only political committee working to end discrimination against LGBTQ Floridians, announced its endorsement ofgubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum Aug. 31.

“Andrew Gillum has been a consistent champion for LGBTQ equality, and Floridians will see the stark contrast between his record on equality and his opponent who has embraced the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policies of the Trump-Pence administration,” PAC Chair Stratton Pollitzer released in a statement.

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State Sen. Campbell: ‘The gay people have their rights, I have my rights’

By : Jeremy Williams
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MIAMI | Incumbent state Sen. Daphne Campbell (D-38) answered with “I have my rights” when pressed about her anti-LGBTQ record during an informal, unofficial senate debate Aug. 19. Campbell faced off with challenger Jason Pizzo on CBS Miami’s “Facing South Florida,” a local Sunday morning political show.

Host Jim DeFede, who moderated the discussion, asked Campbell about her 2015 vote, when she was a member of the Florida House of Representatives, to maintain the adoption ban for same-sex couples.

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South Florida judge who ruled on gay adoption case set to retire

By : Wire Report
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MIAMI | For the past three years, Judge Cindy Lederman has walked by a half-dozen statues of playful bear cubs every day on her way up to her high-ceilinged, top-floor office looking out toward Miami’s waterfront. On a shelf behind her desk, below rows of glass awards and family photos, sit two teddy bears. In six months, she’ll take them with her and walk past the statues for the last time.

The stuffed bears are from a program the retiring judge helped start 20 years ago to give every child who came to juvenile court a teddy bear. The building, Miami-Dade County’s three-year-old children’s courthouse, and its bear statutes — meant to be played with by those same unlucky children who find themselves needing court hearings — were a project she began working on with colleagues more than a decade ago to replace Miami-Dade’s previous and notoriously horrible children’s courthouse.

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Judge retires after handling notorious juvenile cases

By : wire report
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MIAMI (AP)| For the past three years, Judge Cindy Lederman has walked by a half-dozen statues of playful bear cubs every day on her way up to her high-ceilinged, top-floor office looking out toward Miami’s waterfront. On a shelf behind her desk, below rows of glass awards and family photos, sit two teddy bears. In six months, she’ll take them with her and walk past the statues for the last time.

The stuffed bears are from a program the retiring judge helped start 20 years ago to give every child who came to juvenile court a teddy bear. The building, Miami-Dade County’s three-year-old children’s courthouse, and its bear statutes _ meant to be played with by those same unlucky children who find themselves needing court hearings _ were a project she began working on with colleagues more than a decade ago to replace Miami-Dade’s previous and notoriously horrible children’s courthouse.

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Study: Orlando second only to Vegas as most sinful city

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | WalletHub, a credit report website, named Orlando the second most sinful city in the U.S., behind only the self-proclaimed “Sin City,” Las Vegas.

The study looked at 182 cities in the U.S. across seven key dimensions: Anger & Hatred, Jealousy, Excesses & Vices, Greed, Lust Vanity and Laziness. Orlando ranked within the top 10 of Lust, Jealousy and most disturbingly, Anger & Hatred, where Orlando ranked fifth.

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World OutGames organizers will not face criminal charges

By : Staff Report
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Miami | Local officials determined that the organizers of the World Outgames Miami will not face criminal charges after an Aug. 16 audit of the organization found no “malicious intent” on their part.

Authorities launched an investigation of the organizers of the World OutGames over their decision to abruptly cancel almost all of its sporting events this past Memorial Day week.

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Ladyfingers: An ode to Jim Philips

By : Sabrina Ambra
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Mind if we take a drive down “Let Me Get Real With Ya” Boulevard real quick? Sometimes I find myself scrambling for topics when it’s time for me to write my next Ladyfingers entry (#giggidy).

I’m an expert in over analyzation, procrastination, and self-deprecation. Am I an artist? Debatable. Did I miss my deadline? Absolutely. However, instead of my “occasional” scrambling (I’m sorry; I love you; thank you for your patience), I’m a day late for a completely different reason. As a matter of fact, this time I had no doubt in what, or in this case, who I wanted to write about: Jim Philips.

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Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith recalls 1993 March on Washington

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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ABOVE: National March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Rights and Liberation on April 25, 1993. Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith was one of its co-chairs. (Washington Blade archive photo by Doug Hinckle)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith is among the LGBT activists who met with then-President Clinton in the Oval Office on April 16, 1993.

The meeting — which was the first between a sitting U.S. president and advocates in the Oval Office — took place nine days before the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation.

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