Florida lawmakers, activists divided on how to best legislate equality

By : A.S. Reynolds
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Florida’s legislative session convenes each March, a time where our legislators make or amend state law. With each session comes an opportunity for lawmakers to add LGBTQ employment and accommodation protections to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, which currently secures freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap or marital status.

Since 2007, lawmakers have introduced legislation fighting for equality on these fronts but have met failure in the conservative Florida legislature. This year, Rep. Jennifer Webb (D-Gulfport), Sen. Darryl Rouson (D- St. Petersburg) and Sen. Joe Gruters (R- Sarasota) have introduced two differing LGBTQ equality bills ahead of the 2019 Florida legislative session, scheduled to begin March 5.

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Florida plans to build first affordable housing project for elderly LGBTQ residents

By : Melanie Ararat
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South Florida plans to follow the lead of Los Angeles and Chicago by building the state’s first affordable housing project for elderly LGBTQ residents in Wilton Manors, Fla.

South Florida is a popular settlement for retirees—both LGBTQ and straight—but the myth of LGBTQ couples being wealthy and leading lavish lifestyles isn’t backed up by the numbers, experts say.

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Dean Trantalis becomes Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay mayor

By : Jeremy Williams
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Wilton Manors attorney Dean Trantalis defeated former police chief and current vice mayor Bruce Roberts with 64 percent of the vote March 13 to become Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay mayor.

Trantalis was also Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay city commissioner. Trantalis was elected to the city’s District 2 seat in 2003 and served until 2006. Trantalis was re-elected to the seat in a 2013 special election and served up until his mayoral win.

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Adult film star Matthew Rush enters drug program after third arrest

By : Staff Report
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WILTON MANORS, Fla. | Gay adult film star Matthew Rush was arrested and booked by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Wilton Manors on Jan. 17, the third time he’s been arrested in South Florida since September, according to the gay porn blog Str8UpGayPorn.

Rush, whose real name is Gregory Andrew Grove, was initially arrested Sept. 19 and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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St. Petersburg, Orlando among cities to get top scores for LGBT residents

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO (AP) — Three Florida cities have gotten the highest score possible on an index that measures the quality of life for gays, lesbians and transgender residents.

The gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign, last week gave Orlando, St. Petersburg and Wilton Manors scores of 100.

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FBI: Man linked to LGBT threats facing federal charge

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A man linked to social media posts threatening a Pulse-style attack against the LGBT community in South Florida was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on an unrelated charge.

According to the FBI, 50-year-old Craig Jungwirth was arrested Sept. 3 for a violating bond conditions in an unrelated pending misdemeanor case.

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Police investigate Facebook threats against LGBT people

By : Wire Report
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WILTON MANORS, Fla. (AP) – Law enforcement officials are investigating threats posted on Facebook to “exterminate” LGBT people living in a predominantly gay city near Fort Lauderdale.

Wilton Manors Commissioner Justin Flippen says the threat is being taken seriously by the FBI and local police.

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Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors took over Wilton Drive this year, celebrating 45 years of being proud of who you are and who you love.

With the Stonewall Street Festival starting at noon, the crowds turned out despite the overcast. Vendors and sponsors lined the streets handing out fliers, passing out goodies and coming together to celebrate Pride month in the City of Wilton Manors. There was a variety of food trucks, frozen drink tents, local bars with drink specials and street vendors open throughout the day.

Click the jump below to read more and view more photos

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