2016 Watermark Reader Valentines

By : Watermark Readers
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Watermark readers are a loving bunch – at least that’s how it seems each year when we ask for your Valentine’s Day greetings.

You delivered in a very big way this this year, and we’re happy to showcase so many happy couples in our midst. 

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Conversion therapy finds new home in Israel

By : Wire Report
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IsraeliStarJerusalem (AP) – A leading American Jewish group promoting therapy it said could turn gays to heterosexuals was ordered shut by a New Jersey court, amid growing efforts in the U.S. to curb the generally discredited practice. But therapists with ties to the shuttered group say they have found a haven for their work in Israel.

Israel’s Health Ministry advises against so-called “gay conversion” or “reparative” therapy, calling it scientifically dubious and potentially dangerous, but no law limits it. In Israel, practitioners say their services are in demand, mostly by Orthodox Jewish men trying to reduce their same-sex attractions so they can marry women and raise a traditional family according to their conservative religious values.

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LGBT anti-discrimination laws still stalling in Missouri

By : Wire Report
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Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon used his final State of the State address to implore lawmakers to bar discrimination against LGBT people, but leaders in the Republican-dominated Legislature say that’s unlikely to happen before Nixon leaves office.

It appears more likely that lawmakers will strengthen Missouri’s religious objections laws, which protect people’s right to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, even if that means discriminating against non-protected groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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Screened Out – In the Heart of the Sea

By : Stephen Miller
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Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy, Charlotte Riley, Tom Holland

Captain Ahab made some bad choices in relentlessly pursuing that notorious white whale. Ron Howard made some bad choices in his filming of the “real” story behind Moby Dick.

It’s not that ITHOTS is a bad film, per se. In fact, many a casual filmgoer will like it. Unfortunately, filmmaking is about making decisions, and a good many of them here don’t make any sense whatsoever. When looking for specificity in moviemaking, you will find a lot lacking in Howard’s approach.

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Watermark Reader Comments: Do we still need gay bars?

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark readers have a lot to say about “Raising the Bar,” our in-depth piece from our latest issue discussing the role and relevancy of gay bars now that LGBTs are arguably mainstream.

Read a sample of reader comments from WatermarkOnline.com and Watermark’s Facebook page after the jump: 

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Parliament House loan deal now official

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – On Nov. 2, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, Parliament House made good on obtaining its projected $3.9 million refinancing loan after months of speculation. On Oct. 30, in advance of its huge Halloween celebration and brimming with excitement, owner Don Granatstein took to social media to declare that the deal was virtually done; at the same time, Parliament House attorney Scott Shuker confirmed to Watermark that the deal was close, but not quite closed yet.

But confirmation to the newspaper of the loan from Lion Financial, a Miami firm co-owned by Ron Simkins and brother Michael Simkins – who are reportedly launching developments in Miami at present – confirmed that the deal would go through on Nov. 3.

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IRS says it will recognize all same-sex marriages after Supreme Court ruling

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is making it official: The tax agency says it will now recognize same-sex marriages regardless of where they were performed.

The IRS and the Treasury Department also said they will interpret the terms “husband” and “wife” to apply to same-sex spouses as well as opposite-sex spouses.

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New gay drama “Freeheld” a personal film for Ellen Page

By : Wire Report
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TORONTO (AP) – Freeheld, a gay-rights drama about the turning tide of social justice, was shaped by the same currents of change it depicts.

In the course of making the true story about New Jersey police detective Laurel Hester’s fight for pension benefits for her domestic partner, Stacie Andree, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality and one of the film’s stars, Ellen Page, came out.

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Sarasota baker will not use his religion against same-sex couples

By : Jeremy Williams
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Since marriage equality started to become law, first state-by-state and then nationwide this past June, some in the conservative, Christian community have declared a war on same-sex weddings using the excuse that it infringes on their religious freedom.

Kim Davis used the excuse to not issue marriage licenses to any couples in Rowan County, Kentucky and many Christian bakers across the country refused to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples saying that a part of them would be participating in the ceremony.

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Committee OKs gender-neutral bathroom proposal in Santa Fe

By : Wire Report
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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A proposal to establish gender-neutral restrooms in Santa Fe cleared a hurdle this week.

Mayor Javier Gonzales’ initiative that would cater to transgender people barely passed May 4 before a City Council committee. The Public Works, Capital Improvements Program and Land Use Committee voted 3-2 in favor of the restrooms.

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North Carolina man arrested in Daytona after killing gay man

By : Wire Report
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A man accused of killing a gay community college worker in North Carolina says the slain victim molested his relative and doing prison time is “the easy part.”

Kenneth Stancil made the unsolicited comments April 14 when he appeared before Judge Christopher Kelly in Daytona Beach. The judge warned Stancil he had the right to remain silent.

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Jewish leaders pull support for Holocaust exhibit

By : Wire Report
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Spindale, N.C. (AP) — Jewish leaders in Florida say they’re pulling their support for a Holocaust exhibit because of its association with a North Carolina church where five members have been indicted on charges that they kidnapped and beat a man because he’s gay.

Students at Word of Faith church in Spindale have created art commemorating Holocaust victims. Ron Shelton, a retired pastor in Cocoa, Florida, is helping bring the art this month to the Space Coast Convention Center.

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