2016 Watermark Reader Valentines

By : Watermark Readers
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Watermark readers are a loving bunch – at least that’s how it seems each year when we ask for your Valentine’s Day greetings.

You delivered in a very big way this this year, and we’re happy to showcase so many happy couples in our midst. 

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Is St. Pete Pride on the move?

By : anonymous
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Tampa to host the NAGAAA Softball World Series
The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance has named Tampa as the spot for the Softball World Series, well in 2018, so you have a few years to get ready for it. The NAGAAA is an international sports organization (that’s right, they play with Canadians!) that got its start back in 1977 as a way to provide opportunity and access for the LGBT community to participate in organized softball competition in a safe environment. The league is currently working with over 13,000 players from 43 cities, including Tampa. So let’s get out there and throw them balls and swing them bats and make sure that in 2018 Tampa gtes to say they won the whole damn thing in their own backyard.

Is St. Pete Pride moving?
Facebook was all asunder after several members of the community started to voice concerns about where and when St. Pete Pride would be holding the annual Pride celebration this coming summer. In the past, the parade route has started in the empty lot across from Georgie’s Alibi and would move through Kenwood and down Central Avenue through the Grand Central District where the festival would be, but with the closing of Georgie’s it has been speculated that the parade and festival may make a move to downtown. Officially nothing has been announced, and no final decisions have been made (St. Pete Pride’s website still shows last year’s route), but that didn’t stop the battle from waging as the fact that the lot across from where Georgie’s once was is not (and never was) owned by Georgie’s came to light. Many came to the defense of St. Pete Pride calling the other side “keyboard warriors” and stressing that everyone should wait and see before getting upset. An announcement should hopefully be coming soon from the St. Pete Pride camp and once we know, you will know.

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Road to Tampa Pride begins with grand marshals announcement, Miss Tampa Pride pageant

By : Jeremy Williams
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In the midst of preparing for the 2016 Miss Tampa Pride pageant, festival organizers issued a press release announcing the names of the parade’s grand marshals Jan. 13.

Lorraine Langlois, CEO at Metro Wellness and Community Centers, and Russell Rhodes, FOX TV 13 Morning Anchor for “Good Day Tampa Bay,” will be the grand marshals for Tampa Pride 2016.

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Philadelphia’s new mayor denounces anti-gay, hateful acts in Mummers Parade

By : Wire Report
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Philadelphia (AP) – Philadelphia’s incoming mayor and organizers of the city’s annual New Year’s Day parade condemned expressions of hate, a day after some Mummers Parade participants mocked Caitlyn Jenner, were accused of harassing gays and painted their faces brown to portray Mexicans.

Officials with the 116-year-old Mummers Parade pledged Jan. 2 to cooperate with authorities looking into any complaints. They said in a statement that they will continue discussions on sensitivity, on what is considered satire and what is “over the line.”

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Tampa Pride announces plans for 2016

By : Jamie Hyman
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Tampa Pride has released information on the much anticipated parade and street festival that will invade Ybor City in March 2016.

While information on grand marshals and celebrity entertainment will not be available until after the New Year, they have released the names of the 2016 Pride board members and several events leading up to Tampa Pride March 26, 2016.

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Mississippi same-sex couple granted divorce after 2-year wait

By : Wire Report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two years after their divorce filing got entangled in Mississippi’s efforts to prevent same-sex marriage, a judge Dec. 1 dissolved the legal union of Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon.

Czekala-Chatham and her lawyer, Carey Varnado, said the end came in Water Valley, 50 miles south of DeSoto County, where the pair filed for divorce in 2013.

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Chris Rudisill stepping down at METRO Tampa Bay

By : Staff Report
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METRO Tampa Bay announced Nov. 23 that after more than three years with the organization, Chris Rudisill will be stepping down as the Director of LGBT Community Center Services, according to a press release.

Rudisill is credited as being an essential part of expanding METRO’s list of programs, as well as establishing the LGBT Welcome Center.

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Obituary: Brett Lawrence Chambers

By : Staff Report
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BrettChambersBrett Lawrence Chambers, 46, of Orlando, Florida, left this life peacefully on his birthday, Sunday, November 8, with his last hours surrounded by the love of his immediate family and dear friends at his bedside.

Brett was born and raised in St. Augustine Florida, the youngest of four brothers, and graduated from St. Augustine High School. Brett then left home for Gainesville to attend the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation. After graduation, Brett moved to Orlando where he chose to settle permanently. Since 2004, Brett worked for Travelers Insurance Company as a senior adjustor in the Work Comp/Claims division. Brett loved the arts, travel, fashion, cooking, spending time with his friends and visits to St. Augustine to catch up with his mother, with whom he held an especially deep relationship.

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Uprisings!: Fox Business Network will be hosting the worst Republican dinner party ever tonight. We’ll be liveblogging at 9 p.m.

By : Billy Manes
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And here we thought we were going to go sweetly into that warm bubble bath as the evening met its slumber. Nope. Instead, we’ll be doing what we do best while drinking in our underpants with dogs akimbo: liveblogging our thoughts on the currents and currency of the Republican presidential runaway train as it makes its next wobbly stop on the TEEVEE at 9 p.m. One and all should gather around their television tubes and bend their antennae in the direction of something onerous called the Fox Business Network. OR, you can pull out your phone, your iPad, your Kindle, your hair and just watch as we ruminate on how low politics can go. Either way, it will be fun. There are numerous drinking games, of course, because that’s what we’ve turned into. Our friend Peter Scorsch at saintpetersblog.com has been getting a chub about them all day. However, we have to work early in the morning, and our drinking will likely be supplemented with a lot of “How bloody dare you?” and “What would your mother think?” exhortations. Still, you don’t want to miss it. (We didn’t liveblog Friday’s Democratic “forum” because it was a “forum” and we were busy, but it was pretty spectacular and civil; Rachel Maddow is our spirit animal). Enough ranting for now. We’ll see you for the BIG GAME tonight. Over/under on Jeb and Marco making out? 0/0.

8:48 p.m.: TOOK A NAP! I have no idea what happened in Junior Varsity yet. Sometimes it’s better when you don’t know. Of course, that’s impossible. Bobby Jindal went batshit and Chris Christie’s “side fender” has been dented according to FOX guy.

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In a post-marriage equality America, one gay adoption ban survives

By : Wire Report
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Jackson, Miss. (AP) – Four lesbian couples are pressing a federal judge to overturn Mississippi’s last-in-the-nation ban on allowing same-sex couples to adopt, but lawyers for the state argued the lawsuit should be tossed out.

Plaintiffs want U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III to issue a preliminary injunction allowing members of two couples who don’t have parental rights to adopt their spouse’s children immediately. They say that after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, there’s no need to wait for a full trial.

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Mississippi Supreme Court narrowly grants same-sex divorce

By : Wire Report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A divided Mississippi Supreme Court voted to allow a lesbian couple to seek a divorce, even as two justices questioned the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and suggested that landmark ruling has no constitutional basis.

The 5-4 decision Nov. 5 came after DeSoto County Chancery Judge Mitchell Lundy Jr. ruled in 2013 that the Mississippi Constitution and state law prevented him from granting a divorce to Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon because the state didn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

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Spooky Empire 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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Spooky Empire’s 2015 Halloween weekend was a madhouse of cosplay, tattoo artists and horror memorabilia when it took over the Hyatt Regency Hotel on I-Drive Oct. 30- Nov. 1.

The ghost and goblins mingled with superheroes and celebrities in the annual convention that brings together the best of horror, sci-fi and fantasy.

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