Filipino boxer and senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao says gays “worse than animals”

By : Wire Report
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Manila, Philippines (AP) – World boxing star Manny Pacquiao has drawn an outcry in the Philippines after publicly denouncing people in same-sex relationships as “worse than animals.”

Pacquiao, a high school dropout from a poverty-stricken rural family who went on to become a boxing legend, made the remark when he and other Philippine senatorial candidates were asked by the local TV5 network about their views on same-sex marriage.

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Screened Out – The Witch

By : Stephen Miller
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Ralph Ineson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw

It’s easy to sense the research and commitment that went into the horror movie The Witch, the debut full-length by NYC stage talent and shorts director Robert Eggers. The flick – set in 17th-century New England – follows a Puritan family thrust out into the wilderness, where they battle evil forces that come from the gnarled woods around them.

Alas, the sum here is more mood than sense. By the end, all the dark foreboding, meticulous academics, commentary on fundamentalism, and self-flagellating religiosity has less witchy magic. It devolves into gory absurdism.

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Sarasota County School Board to discuss trans-inclusive bathroom policy after hearing from community

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Sarasota County School Board will discuss the future of transgender-inclusive bathroom policies at a board workshop Feb. 16.

This comes after a Feb. 2 school board meeting where more than 150 people attended to voice their opinions on the subject.

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Poor Rich White Lady: Drunk for Trump

By : Poor Rich White Lady
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poor rich white lady

We couldn’t use the image of the original Poor Rich White Lady because we don’t want to get sued. Here’s one of her beverages of choice, instead.

Listen, I am here to save you. We need to take back our country and make it great again. I don’t know who has taken it, or where they have taken it to, but it’s been taken somewhere by someone. When something is taken, we need someone to bring it back. Justin Timberlake brought sexy back, and I am convinced that Donald J. Trump can bring our country back. Come in closer and smelly my liquor whispers.

Why Trump? Donald Trump knows how hard it has been for us over the last eight years living under a Kenyan-born Muslim president. He knows how it is to make the hard decisions every day. What Ivy League schools should I send my children to? What car should I have the driver use today to take me to the spa? Who broke my blender? Life is tough.

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Wedding Bells at Watermark: Stephen Gibson and Rob Johnson

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Rob Johnson and Stephen GibsonStephen Gibson, 45, who oversees vacation rentals and entertains as “Stephane Blair,” and Rob Johnson, 54, who is a graphic designer by trade, met online toward the end of 2007. Stephen noticed they had a lot in common,so he decided to message Rob.

“I got this message and email, and it said it was this guy from Florida,” Rob says. “And I was like ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to meet anybody from out of town.’ He and I started talking, and it got to the point where we would send messages back and forth online all the time, then we started talking on the phone and then we started talking on the phone every day.”

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The fight for medical marijuana started with the gay community, and it may end in Florida this year

By : Billy Manes
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It wouldn’t be a white Christmas in Florida in 2015; it never is. But you could argue that a green Christmas came in the form of a unanimous ruling in mid-December by the Florida Supreme Court that refined language to the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Backed by mega-attorney John Morgan and his millions of dollars, along with political organization United for Care (formerly People United for Medical Marijuana), the bill received a solid 58 percent approval from a low-turnout midterm electorate, meaning 3.4 million Floridians voted in favor of the amendment, even in a state that is hostile to progressive causes. The state requires a 60 percent vote to pass a constitutional amendment.

“I’mmmmmmmmmmbaaaaaaaaaack,” Morgan told the Miami Herald earlier this month. He’s back, only with $4 million less in his back account.

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As LGBT acceptance grows, Italians struggle to redefine family

By : Wire Report
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Rome (AP) – In Italy, family is considered so sacred that marriage is lauded in the Constitution. But what kind of family?

That has become a bitterly divisive question in a nation where the Vatican packs considerable political weight and where gays have grown impatient as other traditionally Catholic European countries have either allowed same-sex couples to marry or legally recognized their civil unions.

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Tennessee counties try to defy marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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Rogersville, Tenn. (AP) – Despite last week’s defeat of a proposed state bill that sought to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, two Tennessee counties have attempted to vote on resolutions against the ruling.

A Hawkins County resolution against the ruling was approved 13-3 on Jan. 25 with three abstentions, the Kingsport Times-News reported.

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Rock legend Melissa Etheridge talks about the importance of legalizing marijuana and starting her own label

By : Jeremy Williams
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Melissa Etheridge has been a very public face to many groups who needed a voice. She showed young girls that a woman can rock as hard, if not harder, than the good ol’ boys of the music industry. She proved that being openly gay was not an instant death sentence to a career in music. She exclaimed, “I am more than a disease!” (she was so inspiring that India.Arie penned her hit song “I Am Not My Hair” about Etheridge after seeing her perform at the 2005 Grammy Awards bald from chemotherapy) after a cancer diagnosis, and her following treatment that brought her back stronger and healthier than ever.

Now, after nearly 25 years in the public eye, Etheridge has taken up another cause: legalizing cannabis.

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Dawn Elizabeth Waters’ Switching Teams illustrates coming out later in life

By : Billy Manes
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Dawn Elizabeth Waters may not have brought her Xanax (we offered her one; she declined), but she did bring her wife Yvette for a quick sit down about her frank and, honestly, refreshing memoir Switching Teams. Publicizing her life is not really her bag, but she really wanted to present a clear, often poignant, recount of what it is to find that you are living a life that isn’t yours – that having a husband and three children, holding a real-estate license for the purpose of appearances and squelching your own reality, these are not necessarily the seeds of authenticity.

Growing past the 40-year-old line, Waters wanted to make a statement that is too often unheard, buried in the noise of normalcy or explicit overstatement. Waters is a lesbian. She’s also an ex-wife and mother of three who used to consider herself background noise in the suburban dream. She climbed out, found Yvette (who is also present for our interview), and decided to document the realities – minus the histrionics – of coming into her own and out of society’s shadows. A shock of blond hair kicked to the side and some palpable nervousness in tow, Waters knocks it out of the park with her candor and kindness.

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Man confesses to child molestation while fighting against LGBT equality in Jacksonville

By : Jamie Hyman
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Jacksonville – The debate over an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Jacksonville swerved down a dark and disturbing road when a speaker attempting to fight the proposal confessed to molesting children.

Roy Bay, 56, approached the podium during public comment at a Jacksonville City Council meeting Jan. 12. The topic was adding gender identity and sexual orientation to an existing antidiscrimination ordinance, a measure that has been hotly debated for months. Bay told the council that he had been molested in the past, and in turn, he molested children.

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After a yearlong delay, renovated GLBT Center set to open in February

By : Jamie Hyman
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Sometimes, a fire escape is a simple safety mechanism. But sometimes (or this time), it’s the final piece in the much-anticipated, long-delayed renovation of the GLBT Center of Central Florida’s headquarters, located on Mills Ave.

The fire escape isn’t solely to blame for setting the project back about a year longer than planned. “The building was built in 1941,” says Terry DeCarlo, executive director of The Center. “There have been no major upgrades or renovations until this came about. Code enforcement in 1941 was a lot different than [now], and we had to bring everything up to code.”

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