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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Rep. Brown becomes first black member of Congress to endorse Buttigieg

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: Rep. Anthony Brown (Photo by Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade)

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), who has made LGBTQ rights a cornerstone of his congressional career, on Jan. 9 endorsed Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg, becoming the first black member of Congress to endorse the gay presidential hopeful.

“Our country needs a president who can heal our divides and restore decency to our nation’s highest office,” Brown said in a statement. “Pete’s message is not defined by exclusion but welcomes everyone into the fight to tackle our nation’s greatest challenges. As we fight for the future of the soul of our country here at home, we also remain entangled in endless wars abroad and the threats to American lives and interests around the world have increased.”

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SERVE Act seeks to aid trans troops discharged under Trump ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Chris Pappas (L), has introduced the SERVE Act to aid transgender troops. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In the wake of the Trump administration implementing its ban on transgender military service, Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) has introduced legislation in the U.S. House that seeks to ensure service members discharged under the policy are eligible for care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Securing the Rights our Veterans Earned Act, or SERVE Act, requires the VA to provide health benefits to these troops if they obtain an “Other Than Honorable” or “Entry-Level Separation” discharge because of their gender identity.

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01.11.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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I have been working at Watermark for several years now, and words that I have pieced together into sentences and strung into readable stories have appeared hundreds of times in dozens and dozens of issues of this publication.

This is however the first time that I have been asked to write something that would appear on this page. It’s not an interview or a news article on an upcoming event. It’s words strung together from me to form an opinion. I wasn’t thrilled at first to be writing anything with my opinion in it.

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Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay Hosts Navy Seal Veteran and Artist Kristin Beck

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay will be honoring retired Navy SEAL Kristin Beck as well as hosting the film screening of the 2014 documentary “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story” on Friday, June 23 at the FreeFall Theatre followed by an Artist Reception and book signing on Saturday, June 24. Both events are free and open to the public.

Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay Hosts Navy Seal Veteran and Artist Kristin Beck

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

The Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay will be honoring retired Navy SEAL Kristin Beck as well as hosting the film screening of the 2014 documentary “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story” on Friday, June 23 at the FreeFall Theatre followed by an Artist Reception and book signing on Saturday, June 24. Both events are free and open to the public.

Air Force grants honorable discharge to 91-year-old gay vet

By : Wire Report
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NEW HAVEN, Conn (AP) — A 91-year-old veteran who was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force as “undesirable” in 1948 because he is gay has had that discharge status changed to “honorable.”

The move by the Air Force comes in response to a lawsuit filed in November by H. Edward Spires of Norwalk, Connecticut, who served from 1946 to 1948 as a chaplain’s assistant, earning the rank of sergeant.

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Gay Air Force veteran, 91, seeks upgrade of ‘undesirable’ discharge

By : Wire Report
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – A 91-year-old veteran who was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force as “undesirable” in 1948 because he’s gay is suing in Connecticut to have his discharge status upgraded.

The federal lawsuit was filed Nov. 18 by H. Edward Spires against the secretary of the Air Force and asks for his discharge status to be changed to “honorable.”

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Openly gay veteran to temporarily fill Virginia city’s council seat

By : Wire Report
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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – The city council of Norfolk will welcome its first openly gay council member at its regularly scheduled meeting July 19.

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports that 46-year-old Nicole Carry is also believed to be the council’s first Navy veteran in recent history.

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Therapy denied because HIV-positive, claims veteran

By : Wire Report
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cure HIV AIDS red ribbon

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Harrisburg, Pa. (AP) – An Iraq War veteran claims in a federal lawsuit that she was unlawfully denied aquatic therapy at an orthopedic hospital in Pennsylvania because she has the virus that causes AIDS.

The lawsuit against OSS Health in York Township seeks a declaratory judgment stating that the alleged denial constitutes discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

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Veteran gets OK to be buried with gay partner

By : Wire Report
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A U.S. Navy veteran can be buried with the ashes of her late partner in a southwest Idaho military cemetery after the state legalized gay marriage.

“It’s done,” 74-year-old Madelynn Lee Taylor said Oct. 22 after successfully completing paperwork to be buried at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise.

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Logan Donahoo gives direction through Fringe Fest’s gay offerings

By : Steve Blanchard
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Who better to guide us through the substantial gay-themed and gay-penned shows at the 2014 Fringe Fest than Logan Donahoo? The Orlando-based actor isn’t only a Fringe veteran, but the star and creator of the wildly successful Field Guide to the Gays, which returns for two shows this year.

“I’m also bringing Field Guide to the Logan to Fringe this year for five shows,” Donahoo says. “It’s more autobiographical. It’s like being on a date with someone who shares way too much about himself—and that date is me.”

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