The Other Side of Life: Standing with Kneelers

By : Jason Leclerc
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Another football season is upon us. Thank God. Thank America.

I stand for the National Anthem. Even at sports bars, if the sound is turned up, I’m that guy who feels compelled to slide off my stool and remove my ball cap while “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays. I’m, admittedly, obnoxious that way. For the dozens of other people around me who don’t partake in this symbolic ceremony, I have no judgment. This, though not hidden, is a private act: a moment of reflection. I know that for those in fields and stadiums and parks and for other hoppy-fruity patriots in other bars, the moments that precede kickoff—including humming or mouthing along to this sonorous anthem—are as important to me as touchdown dances, chest bumps and the high drama of red zone defensive stands.

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Conservative Sarasota County is home to New College, one of the most progressive, trans-inclusive schools in the nation

By : Jeremy Williams
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SARASOTA -State and local governments prying into the personal lives of LGBTs is front page news, with a focus on where transgender people should be allowed to go to the bathroom.

This is an issue that baffles Raina Senae, a senior at New College in Sarasota and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion in their Student Alliance.

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VIDEO: Outfest honors Tom Hanks as a trailblazer

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tom Hanks was presented with the 2015 Trailblazer Award from Outfest UCLA Legacy Project in recognition for his Oscar-winning performance in Philadelphia 22 years ago.

“How appropriate that this event is being held in a church cause I’m now going to preach to the choir,” Hanks said in a speech that focused on the importance of preserving movies as a way for future generations to hear our stories.

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Arkansas cities push against laws deemed anti-gay

By : Wire Report
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Little Rock, Ark. (AP) – After the state faced widespread backlash over measures critics cast as anti-gay, several Arkansas cities worried about the economic fallout are challenging the new laws by expanding their anti-discrimination protections.

The moves range from one city asking voters whether to defy a state law placing limits on local anti-discrimination ordinances to others expanding their own hiring policies to include sexual orientation and gender orientation. The state’s largest city of Little Rock is considering whether to require all its contractors to include anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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Handful of Native American tribes dig in against same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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Even if a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this spring makes same-sex marriage the law, it would leave pockets of the country where it isn’t likely to be recognized any time soon: the reservations of a handful of sovereign Native American tribes, including the nation’s two largest.

Since 2011, as the number of states recognizing such unions spiked to 37, at least six smaller tribes have revisited and let stand laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman, according to an Associated Press review of tribal records. In all, tribes with a total membership approaching 1 million bar the institution.

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Utah’s first privately funded teen homeless shelter opens

By : Wire Report
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OGDEN, Utah (AP) – Six years ago, when Kristen Mitchell started thinking about opening a temporary shelter for homeless and unaccompanied youths, she knew it was an enormous undertaking.

“For most of that time, it was such a big, crazy idea I didn’t dare talk about it,” she said, according to the Deseret News.

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Nation’s largest gay rights group to feature VP Biden at convention

By : Wire Report
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Washington (AP) – Vice President Joe Biden will deliver a speech this week to the nation’s largest gay rights group.

The Human Rights Campaign says Biden will headline its annual convention on March 6 in Washington. The group advocates for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

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Gay rights groups oppose Oklahoma bills, name them anti-gay

By : Wire Report
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Oklahoma City (AP) – Gay rights supporters say Oklahoma is at the forefront of a wave of anti-gay legislation that is unfairly discriminatory and they plan to launch a campaign to oppose more than a dozen bills introduced for the session that begins next week.

Some measures would give broad authority to businesses and corporations to discriminate against gay people. Others would ensure court clerks wouldn’t have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

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Tampa, Orlando edge out St. Pete in LGBT equality ranking

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Tampa and Tallahassee are the top two cities in Florida for LGBT equality, according to a study released by the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Federation Institute on Nov. 19. The second annual Municipal Equality Index is a nationwide evaluation of municipal law.

Categories include: non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, municipal services, law enforcement, relationships with the LGBT community and how the city treats its LGBT employees.

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Ft. Lauderdale gay couple first in line for green card

By : Wire Report
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A Bulgarian graduate student and his American husband are the first gay couple in the nation to have their green card petition approved after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages, their lawyer says.

But Traian Popov, here on a student visa, won’t be able to work or visit his family back home for at least another six months while his green card can be processed. And his marriage to Julian Marsh, performed in New York, still won’t be recognized in Florida where they live.

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