EXHIBITION OPENING RECEPTION FOR “STATE OF EXCELLENCE”

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Join us as we celebrate the opening of our spring exhibition State of Excellence: Treasures from Florida Private Collections.

State of Excellence presents more than 100 works of art from outstanding private collections throughout the state of Florida. Focusing on American and European art, the exhibition will include paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and significant decorative works from the 16th century through the mid-20th century.

Showcasing art and collections that are not otherwise available to the public, State of Excellence will bring new recognition to the depth and breadth of collecting in Florida today. This exhibition is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.

Hawaii Department of Education releases transgender protections for students

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Honolulu (AP) – Hawaii education officials have released new guidelines they say are meant to help state schools better address the needs of transgender students.

The state Department of Education’s policies regarding transgender students have been in the works since last year and were presented to the Board of Education on June 7. Under the proposed guidelines, students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity and staff is encouraged to address students by their preferred names and pronouns.

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U.S. Justice Department says HB2 violates federal Civil Rights Act

By : Jamie Hyman
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North Carolina is on notice: The U.S. Justice Department says HB2, an anti-LGBT North Carolina law, violates the federal Civil Rights Act.

The Department sent Governor Pat McCrory a letter notifying him of the violation and giving the state until Monday, May 9 to confirm they will not implement or comply with the law, which bars municipalities from protecting their LGBT citizens through anti-discrimination laws. 

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Arkansas fights court order that lets same-sex parents appear on birth certificates

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Little Rock (AP) – Arkansas is asking its state Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that cleared the way for married same-sex couples to get the name of both spouses on their child’s birth certificate without a court order.

The Arkansas Attorney General’s office filed its appeal April 15 on behalf of the state Health Department, saying the law is based on biology. The state also requested oral arguments in the case.

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Bryan Adams cancels Mississippi concert in response to anti-gay law

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BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – Canadian rocker Bryan Adams is canceling a performance this week in Mississippi, citing the state’s new law that allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples.

Adams said in a statement April 10 that he was canceling his April 14 show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

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Lawsuit challenges North Carolina anti-discrimination law

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Opponents of a new North Carolina law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules and requiring transgender students to use bathrooms assigned to their biological sex wasted little time challenging the measure, filing a federal lawsuit March 28.

Two transgender people, a law school professor and civil liberties groups filed the lawsuit Monday morning. They want the new law to be declared unconstitutional. They also want to prevent its enforcement.

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Equality Florida celebrates LGBT victories with the Tampa Gala as they look at dangerous road ahead in Tallahassee

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida looks to celebrate with 600 of their closest friends at the 10th Annual Tampa Gala at the TPepin’s Hospitality Centre Feb. 20.

“[The Tampa Gala] is one of 14 galas that Equality Florida hosts throughout the year,” says Mark Puskarich, Equality Florida’s Tampa Development Officer and Corporate Gift Manager. “These are times that we take to celebrate the progress made in LGBT equality and take a look at what’s on the horizon for the community.”

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1.28.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Where were you while we were getting high?

By virtue of political plate tectonics and the mahogany-and-starched-shirt drudgery of a state legislative cycle in full swing during a presidential election year, you wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that the earth is actually moving under your feet right now. Nope, not vertigo. Nah, you aren’t drunk (maybe?). High? Hopefully!

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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn in

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Salt Lake City (AP) – Jackie Biskupski was sworn in Dec. 4 as Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor, a landmark the former state lawmaker acknowledged shortly after taking the oath of office.

Biskupski, 49, said the historic moment should not be taken lightly, and noted great strides have been made for LGBT people in the state.

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Watermark Year in Review: September 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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Finally, finally, Kentucky Clerk of Courts Kim Davis ends her 15 minutes of fame. She went out by apparently exaggerating her “meeting” with Pope Francis. Davis’ anti-gay attorney says it was a cozy one-on-one, the Pope’s camp said, nuh-uh! Just a meet-and-greet.

Former Exodus International pariah Alan Chambers releases his autobiography My Exodus, a curiously self-congratulatory collection of memories of not really being honest. Atonement is cute.

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North Port sends HRO to second reading for final vote

By : Jeremy Williams
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North Port, Fla. – The North Port City Commission unanimously voted Oct. 13 to send a city wide Human Rights Ordinance to its second and final reading.

The HRO, which would ban discrimination against employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, will have its final vote Oct. 26.

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Florida removes gay adoption ban, bill giving agencies a right to discriminate dies

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tallahassee – The Florida Legislature has moved two gay adoption bills through the 2015 session—one pro-LGBT, the other anti-LGBT—and both are racing to get to the governor’s desk and become law before the session ends.

On April 14, the Florida Senate passed the first of these bills, the Adoption and Foster Care bill (CS/HB 7013), by a vote of 27-11. The bill strikes outdated statutory language that bans gay people from adopting in the state of Florida.

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