‘Love is Love’ comic raises $165,000 for Pulse victims

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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“Love is Love,” a 144-page anthology comic book, has raised more than $165,000 for the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando, according to Washington Post.

The comic book, created by DC Comics and IDW Publishing, featured characters such as Superman, Harry Potter, Batwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Contributors included Patton Oswalt and Taran Killam. “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins penned the book’s forward.

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Tampa Pride has a Grand time in GaYbor

By : Jeremy Williams
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The streets of the Ybor City Historic District were filled with people spanning every spectrum of the rainbow for the third annual Tampa Pride celebration March 25.

From the street festival on 8th to the parade down 7th to the live entertainment that featured out-singing sensation Steve Grand; the crowds cheered, waved flags and showed Pride.

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State Senator Linda Stewart pushing for ‘Orlando United’ specialty license plate

By : Staff Report
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To commemorate the unity of the City of Orlando in the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy last June, State Sen. Linda Stewart is pushing for the creation of an “Orlando United” specialty license plate, with proceeds funding various mental health organizations.

The three designated organizations that would be receiving the proceeds are The Mental Health Association of Central Florida, the Hispanic Federation, and Two Spirit Health Services Inc., which focuses mainly on the LGBTQ community in Orlando.

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All Hampton Roads cities now have police LGBT liaisons

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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All seven cities in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region now have LGBT liaisons in their respective police departments.

Hampton Roads Pride on March 15 announced the Newport News Police Department appointed Sgt. Jessica Pennington as its LGBT liaison.

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German Cabinet OKs plan to annul homosexuality convictions

By : Wire Report
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BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-World War II West Germany.

The decision also clears the way for compensation for those still alive who were convicted under the so-called Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men.

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Manatee Pride does Bradenton proud

By : Jake Stevens
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The fourth annual Manatee Pride had a huge turnout at the Bradenton Riverwalk March 18.

Hundreds of people celebrated under clear skies with dozens of vendors, food trucks and entertainment from Flamingo’s drag performers to a youth group singing Broadway hits.

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HHS seeks to dump LGBT elders from U.S. health survey

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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LGBT advocacy groups are opposing the Trump administration’s announced plans to remove questions seeking to identify gay, lesbian and bisexual elders in a U.S. health survey, saying the move represents a systematic plan to undermine LGBT progress.

Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders announced Monday the launch of a campaign to oppose the Department of Health & Human Services’ proposed elimination of the questions from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, or NSOAAP. The survey is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of programs funded by the Older Americans Act, such as services for home-delivered meals, homemaker services and the National Family Caregiver Support Program.

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State Dept. defends anti-LGBT activist’s appointment to UN delegation

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The State Department on Monday once again defended the decision to appoint a representative of an organization that strongly opposes LGBT and intersex rights to the U.S. delegation to an annual U.N. women’s conference.

“The United States does seek to include individuals from civil society organizations with diverse viewpoints and allow them to observe the U.N. in action during the Commission on the Status of Women,” Acting spokesperson Mark Toner told the Washington Blade during his daily press briefing.

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Ky. governor signs ‘religious freedom’ bill against LGBT students

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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On the same day President Trump came to visit his state for a “Make America Great Again” rally, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin penned his name to a bill allowing student groups at high schools and public colleges to turn away LGBT people out of religious objections.

Motivated in reaction to a school cutting a Bible verse from a student production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Senate Bill 17 was ostensibly intended to protect the religious expression of students. The measure permits them to express religious viewpoints, wear clothing with religious messages and use school media to announce student religious meetings free from discrimination.

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Pope Francis to visit Colombia

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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CARTAGENA, Colombia — The Vatican on March 10 announced that Pope Francis will travel to Colombia in September.

Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Sept. 6. He is expected to visit the cities of Villavincencio, Medellín and Cartagena before returning to Rome on Sept. 11.

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Celebrating Pride in the Trump era

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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Possible changes in the way LGBT Pride celebrations are carried out in cities and towns throughout the nation in response to fears of a rollback of LGBT rights under the Trump administration are expected to be a hot topic at a conference in Washington this weekend of Pride leaders from more than a dozen states.

The conference, called The Magic of Pride, taking place March 9-12 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, was expected to include Pride leaders from states in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the country. The Capital Pride Alliance, which organizes D.C.’s annual Pride parade and festival, was serving as host for the conference.

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New doc honors owner of legendary gay bar

By : Brian T. Carney of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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The title character in “Jewel’s Catch One” is Jewel Thais-Williams and “Catch One” is the Catch One Disco, the world-famous club she ran from 1973-2015.

During the economic downturn in 1972, Jewel started to look for a recession-proof business opportunity. She noticed that the bar across the street from her failing dress shop was for sale. Although she faced serious obstacles (her lack of bartending experience, an all-white male clientele and a California law that banned women from tending bar), Jewel raised the money she needed to buy the club.

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