Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

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Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith recognized by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

By : Jeremy Williams
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WASHINGTON | Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) was awarded the Legislative Leadership Award at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation’s AIDSWatch in D.C., according to a press release issued March 27.

Smith was selected for his HIV advocacy and, more specifically, for his part in helping to convince Publix Supermarkets to cover the HIV preventative drug known as PrEP for their employees.

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It’s time to celebrate your favorite picks for Tampa Bay and Central Florida’s best!

By : Watermark Staff
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The curtain is falling on award season, but not before we announce your favorite picks for the best in Tampa Bay and Central Florida. The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence results are here.

In record numbers you listed your favorite people, places and things in our freeform ballot. We took the top three vote getters and opened up the competition for a finalist round. In record numbers again, you spoke and we listened.

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2018 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Orlando Pride soccer

By : Jeremy Williams
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CENTRAL FLORIDA’S FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ SPORTS LEAGUE/ORGANIZATION

If you want to know how many members of the LGBTQ community support Orlando Pride soccer all you need do is check out the backs of our cars. Affixed to our bumpers— next to our yellow and blue HRC equal sign— you will see the Orlando Pride magnet.

The purple and light blue logo featuring the famous Lake Eola fountain can be found throughout the city. Sure, it is usually side-by-side with Orlando City Soccer’s purple and yellow lion shield, but when the ballots were counted it was the women’s team that had our readers busting with pride–maybe next year, boys.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Michael Deeying

By : Jeremy Williams
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Age: 33

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

How you identify: Gay

What’s your sign: Aquarius

Michael is a self-professed nerd; he loves golf, Pokemon Go and board games. Above all, he values one thing the most: intelligence.

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2018 Watermark’s WAVE Awards – Central Florida Final Round

By : Watermark Staff
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We asked for your favorites and you responded in droves. The 2018 WAVE Awards are in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category. Now it’s time to pick the best!

The WAVE Awards, or the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, recognize the best in Central Florida’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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Orlando’s LGBTQ Center changes name, debuts new logo

By : Randa Griffin
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ORLANDO | In honor of a milestone year, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Central Florida, Inc. is changing its name to The LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc.

The Board of Directors approved the decision to legally change the name and logo on Jan. 13 at the organization’s annual board retreat. Board members supported the name change as a way to update the organization and The Center’s imprint on the community.

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Watermark’s Third Thursday – January Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to the first Watermark Third Thursday of 2018 as we meet and mingle at Celebration Gardens in Winter Park. As always, light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. See you there!

Report: Police responding to Pulse nightclub performed well

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A federal report says the response of Orlando police and other agencies likely saved lives during a deadly mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services released a review Dec. 18 of the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, where a man killed 49 people before being fatally shot by police. Officials interviewed first-responders, reviewed 911 calls and researched police procedures.

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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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Orlando mayor honors Transgender Awareness Week

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer honored Transgender Awareness Week by displaying the Orlando city flag in the trans flag colors.

Dyer posted the picture on Twitter Nov. 17, writing “It’s #TransWeek and I am proud to support our Transgender community because everyone deserves to be treated equally.”

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British LGBTQ film event #FiveFilms4Freedom comes to The Abbey Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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The British Council and the British Film Institute have teamed up for the third year to bring the world’s first global digital short-film program, #FiveFilms4Freedom, to audiences, and they are bringing it to The Abbey in Orlando tonight, Nov. 9, starting at 6:00 p.m.

The program is a collection of both dramatic and documentary short films that tell the LGBTQ experience.

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