Reggie Greer named LGBTQ liaison for Biden campaign

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Reggie Greer, photo via the Joe Biden campaign.

Reggie Greer, a D.C-based LGBTQ advocate who has worked as an Obama administration appointee and point person for LGBTQ elected officials, has been named LGBTQ vote director for Joseph Biden, the former vice president’s 2020 campaign announced Monday.

“It’s an honor of a lifetime to join this campaign as LGBTQ+ vote director and serve America on behalf of Vice President Biden,” Greer said in a statement. “As a young, black appointee in the Obama-Biden administration, I had the opportunity to see and learn firsthand from Vice President Biden’s dedication to LGBTQ+ advocacy, his willingness to ensure LGBTQ+ voices were at important decision-making tables and his lifelong commitment to elevating the most marginalized across various communities.”

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27.05 Local Wave

By : Dylan Todd
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Central Florida and Tampa Bay pick their favorites in the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, Empath Health, Stratum Health announce merger, LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus conference comes to Orlando, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Award Winners – Central Florida

By : Jeremy Williams
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN

First: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Second: Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan

Third: State Rep. Anna Eskamani

FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVIST

First: George Wallace, LGBT+ Center

Second: Eric Rollings, Foundation for the Florida Environmental Protection

Third: Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida

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Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Award Winners – Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN

First: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

Second: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman

Third: State Rep. Jennifer Webb

FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVIST

First: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

Second: Claire Elisan, Project No Labels

Third: Ashley Brundage, Empowering Differences

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03.05.2020 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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One of the interesting things about my position as Tampa Bay Bureau Chief, a self-enforced rule more so than a mandated one, is that I work diligently to check many of my personal positions at the door.

It isn’t always easy when you’re writing a column. This space exists so that we’re able to connect with readers; so that to a certain extent you’re able to know us as we work to know you. I’m thankful to have this column for that reason, even if it’s the most self-scrutinized thing that I write, because I care deeply about our community.

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Biden has big comeback, routs opponents on Super Tuesday

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Former Vice President Joe Biden, photo via Biden’s Facebook page.

Coming back from disappointing results at the start of primary, former Vice President Joseph Biden won big on Super Tuesday by routing his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination in multiple states.

By early Wednesday, the Associated Press declared Biden had won or was leading in most of the 14 states up for grabs. In particular, Biden had a strong showing in the South, which has a heavy black electorate that turned out for him during the South Carolina primary and resurrected his campaign.

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Equality Florida Tampa Gala raises awareness, more than $310K

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith delivers her Tampa Gala keynote address Feb. 21. (Photo by Dylan Todd)

TAMPA | Equality Florida welcomed supporters to Armature Works Feb. 21 for the nonprofit’s annual Tampa Gala, raising more than $310,000 in its statewide fight for equality.

The sold out gathering featured live auctions led by former Hillsborough County Commissioner and current Clerk of the Circuit Court candidate Kevin Beckner, all benefiting the organization’s efforts. It also honored activists Don Murray and Wayne Spiwak with the 2020 Voice for Equality Award.

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Buttigieg drops presidential campaign

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Husband Chasten (L) and Pete Buttigieg thank supporters. Photo via Buttigieg’s Facebook page.

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had considerable success and made history as a gay presidential candidate, dropped on Sunday night his bid for the White House.

“Tonight, I am making the difficult to suspend my campaign for the presidency,” Buttigieg said in a speech in his hometown of South Bend. “I will no longer seek to be the Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January.”

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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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2020 Presidential Preference Primary Election Guide

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

Ahead of Florida’s presidential preference primary March 17, Watermark contacted each presidential campaign that will appear on the statewide ballot to ask nine yes (Y) or no (N) questions and one open-ended question pertaining to LGBTQ equality.

Below, you’ll find their abbreviated answers of the remaining candidates, compiled via each campaign’s direct response or the websites of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

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Spring Arts Guide 2020

By : Dylan Todd
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Let’s spring out for the arts in 2020 with Watermark’s annual Spring Arts Guide.

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Oklahoma leaders hope to push for more LGBTQ rights in 2020

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Freedom Oklahoma marches for LGBTQ rights. Photo by  Stephanie Montelongo via Freedom Oklahoma’s Facebook page.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) | Leaders in conservative Oklahoma say they are looking for more legislative progress for LGBTQ people this year after notable strides in 2019.

Tulsa and Oklahoma City updated their personnel policies to ban discrimination against city employees based on gender identity or expression, The Oklahoman reported. Norman, meanwhile, went further and became the first city in the state to amend its civil rights ordinance to ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment or public accommodations.

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