BORN IN: Tampa, Florida
IDENTIFIES AS: Gay male
BORN IN: Tampa, Florida
IDENTIFIES AS: Gay male
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | A bill in the Florida House threatening to repeal every local LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban across the state has been neutralized, Equality Florida announced March 21.
The Florida House Commerce Committee voted to amend House Bill 3 (HB 3) to remove language threatening to repeal the ordinances and bans that day. The vote was a “clear sign that legislative leaders are listening to concerns about the unintended consequences of this sweeping legislation,” Equality Florida Senior Political Director Joe Saunders shared.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | The Florida House State Affairs Committee debated HB 3 on March 14, a bill threatening to repeal every local LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban across Florida.
Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, along with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group, condemned the bill at the state capitol March 12. The groups noted 13 million LGBTQ Floridians are protected by the ordinances being targeted.
ORLANDO | Brandon Wolf, a 30-year-old Pulse survivor and LGBTQ activist, recently accepted a full-time position at Equality Florida as the Central Florida development officer and the statewide media relations manager. He says he is happy to pursue his interest on a scale larger than “weekend activism.”
“Equality Florida and I have always had a really strong relationship,” Wolf says. “There’s so much I want to be able to do to help my community and the state of Florida.”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) |Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is adding sexual orientation and gender identity to her department’s list of workplace protections against discrimination.
The Jan. 18 announcement means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will include LGBT employment protections along with those based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age and disability.
It’s fall 2017 and we are somewhere in Tallahassee. Legislative committee weeks had commenced and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida’s first LGBTQ Latinx lawmaker, was telling me about a new man in his life.
He was both giddy and bewildered by how well they were vibing. This guy was handsome (I immediately verified this with some light social media lurking), kind, funny, attentive, smart, successful and, most importantly, emotionally available and into Carlos. His name is Jerick Mediavilla and my friends—This man is remarkable!
Members of the Florida Panhandle’s LGBT community are trying to pick up the pieces from Hurricane Michael that devastated the region earlier this month.
The LGBTQ Center of Bay County, which board secretary Cherie Crim described to the Washington Blade on Oct. 22 during a telephone interview as Bay County’s “first safe space” for LGBT youth, rented a room at an Episcopal church in Panama City.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed legal action against Legendary Journeys, Inc., owner/president Adrian L. Ferguson, Jr. and vice president Charles T. Scott Aug. 21, alleging the defunct travel agency owes consumers over $3 million.
Defendants Ferguson and Scott, commonly known as Al and Chuck, operated the LGBTQ-friendly, Sarasota-based travel agency and its statewide branches until its abrupt closure Oct. 24, 2017. According to the complaint, the duo “deceptively and unfairly collected millions of dollars from consumers for the supposed purpose of booking travel but failed to deliver on the promised trips or to issue refunds to their customers.”
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s five Democratic candidates made their pitches to party activists at their annual convention June 30, hoping to swing support and drum up donations in advance of the August primary.
Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and developers Jeff Greene and Chris King dashed between interest group caucuses in hopes of solidifying support among party stalwarts in advance of the Aug. 28 primary.
ABOVE: Gay candidates are seizing upon the energy for gun control after the Parkland shooting. Screen capture courtesy of ABC News YouTube.
In the aftermath of America’s most recent mass shooting — a tragedy at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead — gun control has emerged as a defining issue ahead of the congressional mid-term elections and LGBT candidates are among those bringing it the forefront.
Sine Die, they call it, the antiquated drop of the hanky to end the legislative session in Florida. On May 8, the bicameral bluster in Tallahassee came to an end following the approval of an $83 billion state budget that will siphon more taxpayer dollars to charter schools, and, remarkably, pull some power away from the state’s tourism driver, Visit Orlando. Those were the big headlines.
And while LGBTQ issues made their way around committees and lobbies, Equality Florida was there to fight back on some of the social issues.
On the last day of February, our national leader and television star Donald Trump launched his congressional speech with a nod to his wife and to Black History Month, attempting, apparently, to launch a new narrative about the Trump presidency, one that doesn’t involve salacious groping and Twitter accounts.
“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” he said with all the gall of a teenage actor.“ Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”