LGBTQ people urged to ‘get counted’ in Census

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The National LGBTQ Task Force is encouraging supporters to “Queer the Census.” Photo via the Task Force’s Facebook page.

The D.C.-based National LGBTQ Task Force has announced it will celebrate Census Day on April 1 by “mobilizing LGBTQ people across the country to get counted in the 2020 Census.”

The Task Force is part of a coalition of national civil rights and progressive advocacy groups that launched the “Queer the Census” campaign last year to encourage members of marginalized communities to make sure they are counted in this year’s Census.

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Equality Florida virtually honors Transgender Day of Visibility 2020

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Equality Florida will host a virtual gathering March 31, photo via Equality Florida.

Equality Florida will mark International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) 2020 on March 31 at 4 p.m. EST with a virtual town hall honoring the transgender community.

TDoV is an annual holiday currently in its 11th year. It celebrates the accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender non-conforming people across the globe while raising awareness of the work still needed to save their lives.

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Subscribe to Watermark today for home delivery

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has been the leading source of LGBTQ news in Central Florida and Tampa Bay for more than 25 years.

We intend to continue our service to our community in this rapidly changing world, offering local, state and national news and more. In addition to our distribution throughout Florida, we can also deliver to your home.

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Please help Watermark continue to provide local LGBTQ news with a monetary contribution

By : Watermark Staff
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For over 25 years, Watermark has been the leading source of LGBTQ news in Central Florida and Tampa Bay. We intend to continue our service to our community in this rapidly changing world.

As many in our community are suffering, so are we. As sales decline in our family of advertisers, so do ours. We can get through this, but we must do it together.

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Florida halts on-site restaurant dining, alcohol consumption

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis, photo via Facebook.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended all on-premises dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants across Florida in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The governor issued Executive Order 20-71 March 20. It allows restaurants to continue takeout or delivery orders and extends the sales to alcohol with proper I.D., effective immediately.

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Florida shuts down bars and clubs for 30-day period

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that all nightclubs and bars across the state will close for 30 days beginning March 17 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

“We know the people who are the most vulnerable,” DeSantis said during a press conference. “We have done a lot to try to help with that, the younger folks are going to be key to that [and] we hope this will reduce gathering in large numbers.”

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Attendee at LGBTQ dance fundraiser in Miami tests positive for coronavirus

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Winter Party Festival, photo via WPF’s Facebook page.

An attendee at a fundraising dance party in Miami for the National LGBTQ Task Force has tested positive for the coronavirus, the organization informed participants last night in a letter shared with the Washington Blade.

The organization — best known for its annual “Creating Change” conference — informed attendees of the event Sunday night about the attendee who tested positive for coronavirus via a letter from Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force.

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2020 hopefuls commit to equality ahead of Florida’s primary

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

It’s been more than three years since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, succeeding LGBTQ ally Barack Obama to become the nation’s 45th commander in chief. It’s been longer still since he became the first Republican to acknowledge the LGBTQ community from the podium of the Republican National Convention. On June 21, 2016, he vowed to protect LGBTQ citizens from “violence and oppression” while accepting his party’s nomination.

The promise drew the immediate ire of journalist Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who was credited as the co-author of “The Art of the Deal,” Trump’s bestselling biography. Schwartz shadowed and studied the real estate developer for nearly two years to write the 1987 memoir for him, which he says today he would name “The Sociopath.”

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Florida organization advocates for transgender women with HIV, immigrants

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Arianna’s Center staff and supporters attend their organization’s lobby day at the Florida State Capitol on Jan. 28, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Tony Lima)

The founder of a South Florida organization that serves transgender women says her goal remains to change her clients’ lives “in a good way.”

Arianna’s Center CEO Arianna Lint, during an interview with the Washington Blade last month at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s annual Creating Change conference in Dallas, said her organization is “the first resource for transgender” people in Florida who are in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody and once they are released.

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Wilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen dies at 41

By : Sallie James of South Florida Gay News
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 Above: Wilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen (Photo from Facebook)

Wilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen, who friends described as a big, burly guy with a bright smile and big heart, died of an undisclosed medical condition Feb. 25 en route to the City Commission meeting he was supposed to lead. Flippen was 41.

Flippen was transported to Broward Health Medical Center at approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 due to a serious “medical issue,” according to Wilton Manors Police Chief Paul O’Connell. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

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Florida-based Seacoast Bank receives perfect score on HRC 2020 Index

By : Samantha Neely
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(Image from Suncoast Bank’s Twitter)

Seacoast Bank was among the 680 companies to receive a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2020 Corporate Equality Index, which measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.

The financial institution is the first and only Florida-based bank to achieve the top score.

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Suspect reports shots fired after robbing, stabbing man

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Victor Morel, photo courtesy Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office via WPTV.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) | A suspect called police officers to report that a man he had robbed and stabbed was shooting at him as he got away, according to authorities in Florida.

Boynton Beach police officers said Victor Morel called them Saturday night to report that someone had shot at him twice.

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