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Nadine Smith

Lawmaker: Governor’s office broke promise to LGBTQs

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

When 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Florida in 2016, Gov. Rick Scott publicly offered his sympathy to the victims’ families and the LGBT community. “These are individuals. Let’s love every one of them,” he said then.

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On Pulse anniversary, Equality Florida calls Rick Scott to ban LGBTQ discrimination statewide

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In a statement proclaiming Monday as “Pulse Remembrance Day,” Gov. Rick Scott  described the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 people a year ago as “an attack on Orlando, our state, the Hispanic community and on the LGBTQ community.” Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, the leading advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Florida, is “glad” Scott acknowledges the killings were a direct attack on the gay community, specifically the Latino gay community. But Smith believes the governor could go even further…

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Hillsborough won’t officially recognize Pulse shooting anniversary, disappointing some

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Monday, June 12, will be one year since the mass shooting of 49 people at the popular Pulse LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando. Less than 48 hours after that horrific night, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, County Administrator Mike Merrill, and a handful of Hillsborough County sheriff deputies participated in an event in Ybor City honoring the victims. At their next meeting, Commissioners supported Beckner’s motion to raise an LGBT Pride flag at the County Center for the remainder of June, also in honor of the victims.…

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At Holocaust Museum in St. Pete, citizens gather to discuss ways to combat hate and fear of the ‘other’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last month, an intentionally set fire damaged a prayer hall at a Tampa-area mosque, the second such fire at a Florida mosque in the past six months. Earlier this month, Joseph Schreiber was sentenced to 30 years in prison for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce on Sept. 11. It was the same mosque that Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen attended occasionally. Mateen shot and killed 49 people last summer at the Pulse nightclub in what was the largest…

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Activists want Bill Nelson to delay confirmation hearing on AG nominee Jeff Sessions

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Of the many Cabinet choices made by President-elect Donald Trump, some of the strongest opposition centers around the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Wednesday morning in Tampa, a group of activists spoke with officials in Sen. Bill Nelson‘s district office, calling on him at the very least to call for a delay a vote on Sessions’ confirmation, scheduled for January 10. Outside, a couple of dozen more concerned citizens held signs and spoke to reporters about their opposition to…

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Federal judge Robert Hinkle going “senior,” but not retiring

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Don’t call it a retirement. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of Tallahassee moves to senior status on Monday – not that that really changes anything, he says. “Our district’s caseload has increased a great deal over the last 30 years, but the number of authorized judgeships has remained at four,” Hinkle said in an email. He sits in the Northern District of Florida; the state has three federal trial-court districts. “When a judge takes senior status, the judge can keep working as much…

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From Key West to Pensacola, Florida’s LGBT attitudes differ

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida’s Key West is one of the most gay-friendly places in the country. The Florida Panhandle – many locals call it the Redneck Riviera – is a different story. The massacre of 49 people in a gay nightclub happened between these extremes, forcing many Floridians to reconsider their assumptions about the state’s evolving culture. Key West has a gay police chief, a lesbian county mayor and was the nation’s first city to elect an openly gay mayor. It attracts 450,000…

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