The 10 sit-in protesters speak out after being arrested at Rubio’s office

By : Jeremy Williams
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On July 11, one month after the horrific shooting at Pulse Orlando that took the lives of 49 people, more than 70 protesters took to the Orlando office of Sen. Marco Rubio to stage a sit-in. The group was protesting Rubio’s anti-LGBT stance on same-sex marriage and his defense of the National Rifle Association.

The protesters held signs, sang songs and took to social media with the hashtag #SitInForThe49. The sit-in lasted nine hours, and when 10 protesters refused to leave until they got answers from Rubio, they were arrested.

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Chief Justice’s suspension adds to Alabama’s political mess

By : Wire Report
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Alabama politics are at a low point even by Alabama standards: In a state that trails the nation in many areas, three top elected officials are embroiled in scandal or facing removal from office while a former governor serves time in federal prison on a corruption conviction.

Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended from his job May 6 and faces possible ouster over his attempts to block gay marriage following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. It’s familiar territory for the Republican Moore, a Christian conservative who was previously removed from the same position in 2003 over a Ten Commandments monument and easily won re-election later.

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Denouncing North Carolina: a round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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From travel bans to cancelled deals, cities, states and corporations are rallying to distance themselves from North Carolina after the governor signed a bill that prohibits municipalities from protecting their LGBT citizens.

Here is a by-no-means comprehensive round-up of those who have taken action so far – the hits keep coming, daily and fast. (Know of one we missed? Let us know in the comments! The list is growing daily.)

Additionally, we already reported on Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph halting business to North Carolina over HB2, but Watermark editor Billy Manes spoke to Randolph about that decision. Find that expanded article below the list. 

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2016 WAVE Awards Spotlight: St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman

By : Jeremy Williams
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rick kriseman

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Advocates for LGBT rights are important regardless of where they are or what field they work in, but they are needed even more in positions of political office, especially in a time when the legislative year brings dozens of anti-gay bills offered up on the state and local levels. In the Bay area, one of the most vocal advocates we have is St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Kriseman was elected mayor of St. Petersburg in 2013 and has shown that he is a mayor for all the residents in the city. He is especially concerned with the needs and concerns of those groups who are traditionally disenfranchised because of sex, race, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Watermark’s 2014 General Election Recommendations

By : Watermark Staff
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In a year of changes surrounding equality, Floridians have some interesting choices before them as the Nov. 4 general election approaches. Amid the negative campaign ads, the ludicrous debate scenarios and ongoing battle over same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State, it can be difficult to see through the muck and distorted truths to find a candidates suitable for your vote.

At the request of many Watermark readers—and a responsibility to tradition—we offer our 2014 general election recommendations.

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7,000 petitions delivered to Pam Bondi in support of marriage equality

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Tallahassee – Equality Florida delivered 7,000 petitions to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office, asking her to withdraw her notice of appeal that has put a stay on a judge’s decision that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

“We have been gathering petitions all across the state to show Pam Bondi that our friends and our neighbors are asking her to do the right thing and to respect all of our families and to let Judge Garcia’s ruling stand,” said Jennie Reiken, a Get Engaged coordinator for Equality Florida. “It was just a great way for folks to be a part of the amazing work that’s going on here in Florida”

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Tampa couple weds in Castor’s Washington office

By : Staff Report
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Washington, D.C. – After seven years as a couple, Tampa residents Keith Bucklew and Mark Anderson decided it was time to get married. There was only one problem—their home state of Florida doesn’t yet recognize marriage equality.

So rather than wait for the Sunshine State to catch up to the trend of inclusion, the couple traveled to Washington, D.C. after they were invited by U.S. Rep Kathy Castor to use her office for a ceremony.

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