The Last Page with Jason Leclerc

By : Rick Claggett
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What kind of writing do you do for Watermark?

Opinion and editorial.

When did you develop a passion for writing?

First grade. I won a creative writing contest for “Stinky, the Skunk that Didn’t Stink.” I understood what it meant to be different before there was a word in my vocabulary for it.

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New York Times’ Trump-Putin cartoon criticized as ‘homophobic’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The New York Times has come under fire for its cartoon depicting Donald Trump fantasizing about having a love affair with Vladimir Putin which some felt was a homophobic dig.

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Pride Fund to End Gun Violence to launch Orlando campaign

By : Billy Manes
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As previously mentioned in Watermark, Washington, D.C., political action committee Pride Fund to End Gun Violence jumped into existence and immediate action following the June 12 Pulse shooting. The group, which claims, “It’s time to loosen the stranglehold that the gun lobby has on Congress and create the change we need to keep our communities safer,” is one of many philanthropic arms to this post-traumatic stress wake-up call. But it’s also one that could prove the most important on the political scale.

The Pride Fund is going straight to the root of the cause in a manner many organizations haven’t dared to do as of this date. “Pride Fund to End Gun Violence is America’s only LGBTQ organization dedicated to reforming our gun laws,” its press release reads. “Our Orlando community is central to our vision of electing pro-LGBTQ candidates who will act on sensible gun reforms to help prevent acts of senseless gun violence.”

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Uprisings: The long tale

By : Billy Manes
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BobBuckhornLike so many wood-paneled fights between ‘70s parents in various shades of sexual, financial and fuel crises, this year’s presidential preference primary has inspired few, angered quite a few and scared the shit out of nearly double those numbers. Actually, to be fair, the ‘70s – minus a Watergate scandal or Iran hostage crisis or whatever ¬– carried with them the last vestiges of civility in the political arena. In the ‘80s, the fringes started to show, with folks like Ross Perot and David Duke wide-eyeing from the sidelines and pushing everyone into their respective frenzies. And the ‘60s – minus a Cuban Missile Crisis and a war in Vietnam –saw their biggest campaign moments in the reflections from the sweat blobs on Richard Nixon’s debate-head when faced with the coming surge of John F. Kennedy. Neither era saw the amplified rhetoric we’re witnessing at the Klan rallies (ooops, Donald Trump rallies) in recent weeks, really, minus the Republican National Convention riots during the Vietnam War.

OK, so little has changed. We’re just a little more rock’n’roll and a lot less country now, throwing people out of rallies while simultaneously punching them in the gut while shouting xenophobia. Come on, evolution. Help us out here. Oh, wait. You did. Thanks, internet.

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The other side of life: Art, established

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Jason Leclerc

From the same academic program at the same State University, we arrived in Orlando within a year of each other in the early 1990s. Our paths zig-zagged upon the surface streets of Orlando’s trendy neighborhoods. We flirted with each other at Barnes and Noble on Colonial before Grindr and in the age of Firestone. We bleached our super-gelled 1990s hair at the same overpriced Washington St. hair salon and drank mimosas on the same Sundays at Dexter’s brunches. We became buddies.

We were both on other ends of the 1990s culture wars – he a larger-than-life flaming liberal and I a rather boring, haughty conservative with a nice smile.

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Philanthropic organizations are rallying for more LGBT donations

By : Stephen Miller
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More fundraisers are seeking LGBT funds, and not just from and for our own community.

LGBT people keep coming out, getting involved, marrying and mainstreaming –growing more acceptable in the larger society. Because of this, many fundraisers are reaching out with targeted marketing. It’s a significant shift from once quietly refusing LGBT donations or disregarding us to ones that now actively court our community.

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Taking the poverty plunge: Politicians and political hopefuls promise to live on minimum wage

By : Billy Manes
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This morning, the Fight for 15 campaign (along with Organize Now and the SEIU) staged a press conference at Sedano’s wayyyyy out east on Curry Ford Road. If it seems like a pointless effort — a living wage ordinance was just tabled in Osceola County last week — it certainly didn’t feel that way outside the grocery store.

Former Taco Bell employee Andrew Skurow claimed that he could have gone blind from the oil that would fly up into his eyes while preparing the fastest of foods, and his employers didn’t give a damn. Most argued that increasing wages would feed more money into our dire Central Florida economy, which would, in effect, cost businesses no money. As witnessed at the recent Osceola hearing, employers aren’t buying it. As witnessed across the country where these living wage ordinances have passed, though, employers are wrong.

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Anti-gay initiative puts California attorney general in bind

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A California lawyer has proposed a ballot measure that advocates killing gays, putting the state’s process of giving citizens the right to make laws at the ballot box to its latest test.

The state attorney general, Kamala Harris, took the unusual step on March 25 of asking a court for permission to reject the proposed ballot initiative, which has been called offensive, outrageous, reprehensible and illegal. The initiative states that anyone who engages in sex with a person of the same gender would be killed “by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

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