Baker action: Opponents of former mayor Rick Baker sound off on his equality record

By : Samuel Johnson
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ST. PETERSBURG – We will go forward; we’ve come too far to go back. This was the overarching sentiment of some 20 LGBTQ advocates at a press conference in Saint Petersburg May 11. They gathered on the front steps of City Hall to voice their concerns about ex-St. Pete mayor, Rick Baker, and his announcement that he is entering the city’s mayoral race for this year.

Ed Lally is a St. Pete resident who works with Equality Florida. He was on hand for the event, brandishing a “Rick Baker Never” sign. Lally didn’t mince words in his assessment of Baker. “He’s not a man for equality for the whole community. I don’t trust the guy and would never vote for him. … His prior actions with the LGBT community would rate a big fat F,” he says.

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With a ban in Tampa and a proposed ban in St. Petersburg, the Bay area is saying no to conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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TAMPA – The practice of conversion therapy has not only been deemed ineffective, but has been called harmful by every major medical organization, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Even with all this opposition to conversion therapy, there is still no nationwide ban on the practice, so some state, county and city leaders have taken it upon themselves to get it banned at local levels, including right here in the Bay area.

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Council Chair Darden Rice announces she’ll undergoing breast cancer treatment

By : Jeremy Williams
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ST. PETERSBURG –St. Petersburg Council Chair Darden Rice announced in a press release Jan. 30 that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I’ve always championed transparency and have been straightforward with my friends, family, colleagues, and constituents. You have placed your trust in me – for that reason I am disclosing a deeply personal issue in my life: I have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer,” Rice begins in her press release.

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The gloves come off as the race for District 70 gets closer

By : Jeremy Williams
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ST. PETERSBURG – The candidates are upping their attacks as the Democratic primary for District 70 gets closer.

St. Petersburg business owner, and openly gay candidate, Dan Fiorini has called Tampa Bay area lawyer CJ Czaia out for hiring Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter as a campaign consultant.

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Catching up with St. Petersburg’s first gay councilman

By : Aaron Alper
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Steve Kornell became the first openly gay elected official in 2009 for St. Petersburg City Council. Since that time, Steve has become a champion for not only the LGBT community, but for human rights, artists, musicians, writers and youth culture. In a sense, he is the antithesis to the cynical-politician stereotype.

When confronted with the idea that coming out at 32 and being the first elected gay official in St. Pete at 42 is remarkable (skipping the “gay adolescence” many late-bloomers have via the disco or, these days Grindr), Kornell simply laughs.

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Remarkable Trio: St. Pete’s 3 LGBT city council members are our Remarkable People for 2013

By : Staff Report
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St. Petersburg – The Sunshine City made history in 2013 when its residents elected two more openly gay candidates to sit on its City Council. Darden Rice and Amy Foster handily won their campaigns in November in districts 4 and 8, respectively, and join sitting district 5 councilmember Steve Kornell who won his campaign back in 2009 behind the dais.

Of course, there are five other members of the St. Petersburg City Council, and those five straight elected officials are allies to the LGBT community. But having three, openly gay, seated officials is monumental for the city, and for Florida.

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