03.05.20 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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I saw myself in Pete Buttigieg. I know that some people had concerns with him, and he was by no means the perfect candidate, but it is not something I can say for any other presidential candidate in the current presidential race, or any presidential race I have voted in before.

Since Mayor Pete made his historical announcement that he would run to be the next president of the United States I have had my eyes — along with my support and vote — locked on him. I like his calm, cool and collected manner. He doesn’t take a stage yelling and waving his arms around frantically. He doesn’t belittle and demean anyone, unlike the current Commander-in-Chief. Pete is smart, articulate and is well prepared every time he takes a debate or town hall stage.

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Buttigieg’s White House bid ensures place in LGBTQ history

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Pete Buttigieg, photo courtesy Buttigieg’s Facebook page.

NEW YORK (AP) | A divisive debate over same-sex marriage animated the 2004 presidential election as voters across the country approved constitutional amendments banning such unions. Sixteen years later, with those bans invalidated and his husband by his side, Pete Buttigieg became the first openly gay man to become, however briefly, a leading presidential candidate.

Buttigieg fell short of his goal to win the Democratic nomination and defeat Donald Trump. But his candidacy will likely be remembered as an example of the remarkable advances made by LGBTQ Americans in their quest for equality and acceptance.

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Sanders campaign defends accepting Joe Rogan support amid LGBTQ backlash

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: Sen. Bernie Sanders (Photo from CNN/Des Moines Register)

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is defending amid LGBTQ backlash its acceptance of support from podcast host Joe Rogan, who in the past has made comments condemned as transphobic, used anti-gay epithets and jokingly compared a black neighborhood to “Planet of the Apes.”

Briahna Joy Gray, national press secretary for the Sanders campaign, responded to the controversy in a statement to the Washington Blade by emphasizing the need to build a coalition to defeat President Trump in the 2020 election.

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For Florida, 2010s became a decade of mass shootings

By : Wire Report
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) | For Florida, the 2010s were a decade of high-profile mass shootings: at a nightclub, a high school, an airport and a naval base — plus two headline-grabbing murder trials that ended in acquittals.

Florida passed New York to become the nation’s third-most populous state. Meanwhile, in politics, Rick Scott began 2010 as a near-unknown, was elected governor 11 months later and eventually defeated U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. That ended one of Florida’s longest political careers. Donald Trump smothered the 2016 presidential aspirations of former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. Trump took the White House and then became a Florida resident.

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11.27.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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My husband and I recently marked three years of marriage, which is as strange to type as it was to celebrate. Not because I didn’t think we’d make it, I looked forward to our decades to come long before our wedding day, but because I’ve lost my perception of time.

A number of factors have contributed to my inability to understand the calendar year, Tampa Bay Bureau Chief among them operating in Watermark’s two-week press cycle, but I mostly attribute it to living in Florida. Even though I moved here more than a decade ago, I have yet to adjust to the lack of proper seasons; time flies when you’re having sun.

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Klobuchar: Woman with Buttigieg’s record would miss debate

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” (Screenshot from CNN)

CHICAGO (AP) | The 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign drew a record six female candidates to the field. But with just less than three months until voting starts, only one has risen to the top tier.

Is it sexism or just politics?

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Sweet Divinity: The Cost of Paying Attention

By : Divine Grace
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Hello, Dolls!

Every day. Every. Single. Day. Every day and each morning brings with it some sort of fresh new Hell. Every sunrise is greeted by the orange Goblin King and some dementia-laden tweet from the First Toilet at five o’ clock in the morning. Who’s the Emperor mad at today? Bette Midler? Maybe it’s John Legend. Perhaps he’s pulling a classic from the stacks and “crooked Hillary” will reprise her role as the Disney Witch trying to demolish the castle he’s building out of a deck of cards.

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Trump brings up global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality at UN

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a surprise move, President Donald Trump included in his speech before the United Nations on Sept. 24 his administration’s global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the more than 70 countries where it remains illegal.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump said. “And we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Michael G. Batista

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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28 | Gay | He/Him/His

Florida’s 13th congressional district covers Pinellas County from Clearwater through St. Petersburg.

Nearly 730,000 Floridians call the area home, as does St Pete Pride—Florida’s largest LGBTQ Pride celebration and one of the largest in the country. It’s no surprise then that Rep. Charlie Crist, an LGBTQ ally who represents the district, sought out Michael G. Batista.

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Babs Siperstein, pioneering N.J. trans activist, dies at 76

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Barbra “Babs” Siperstein, a transgender Democratic activist in New Jersey who’s credited with taking a lead role in pushing a pro-trans state birth certificate law for her state, died over the weekend at age 76, according to local media reports.

Siperstein died days after the law went into effect on Feb. 1. The “Babs Siperstein Law” allows individuals in New Jersey to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without proof of surgery and offer a gender-neutral option. The law was signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

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Gay mayor, veteran Pete Buttigieg signals entry into 2020 fray

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Pete Buttigieg, a combat veteran and mayor of South Bend, Ind., has signaled he plans to throw his name into the pool of 2020 presidential candidates, raising the possibility of a Millennial and an openly gay candidate joining the growing Democratic field.

Buttigieg announced in a video Jan. 23 he’s forming an exploratory committee for a 2020 bid, which is considered the first step in running for president.

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Ellen DeGeneres makes list of most admired women in world

By : Jeremy Williams
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The queen of daytime talk, Ellen DeGeneres is among the 10 most admired women in the world according to Gallup.

The annual poll, released Dec. 27, asks Americans to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most. DeGeneres, who came in eighth, is the only LGBTQ person to appear on either of the lists for 2018.

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