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Legislature considers anti-discrimination bill for LGBT rights

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When it comes to LGBT issues, Florida’s Republican lawmakers are known more for trying to keep transgender people out of bathrooms, protect pastors from marrying same-sex couples and seek exemptions for private adoption agencies who don’t want to place children with gay and lesbian couples. But this year, some Republican lawmakers are backing a bill that would give lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents the protection against discrimination. “It’s a breakthrough for the South. It’s of huge significance that a…

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Patrick Murphy gets pummeled on Facebook after defending his vote on Syrian refugees

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Last week, Jupiter Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy joined 46 other House Democrats in voting for the SAFE Act, which requires new screening requirements on refugees from Syria and Iraq before they can enter the United States. That vote came despite a vow by President Obama to veto the legislation if it ultimately arrives at his desk. Not surprisingly, his vote was immediately denounced by Alan Grayson, his chief opponent in the Democratic Senate primary, who said Murphy was “cowering in fear…

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‘Religious freedom’ bill to prevent gay adoptions refiled for 2016

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State Rep. Julio Gonzalez filed his first bill of the 2016 legislative year on Wednesday, and it was a doozy: a proposal to give immunity to certain businesses who wish not to render certain services on grounds of “religious freedom,” including private child-placement agencies. Specifically, the bill amends the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1998 to read that an entity owned by a religious institution is “not required to produce, create, or deliver a custom product or service that would be contrary…

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Tampa Bay Rays to host Pride Night on Friday

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The Chicago-Tampa Bay rivalry moves from the hockey rinks to the baseball diamond this weekend when the White Sox travel to St. Petersburg to play the Rays for three games at Tropicana Field beginning Friday night. That game will also be Tampa Bay Rays Pride Night. The Rays are inviting fans who want to help the ball club support the local LGBT community the opportunity to purchase a specially priced seat in the lower box area, with partial proceeds from each…

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GOP ‘Freedom to Marry’ group forms for SCOTUS same-sex hearing

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Attempting to build up positive momentum in the lead-up to next week’s U.S. Supreme Court hearing on same-sex marriage, a new group has been formed to show the growing bipartisan backing for gay marriage in the Sunshine State. It’s called, “Florida Republicans for the Freedom to Marry,” a joint effort between Equality Florida and Freedom to Marry, a national organization based in Washington. “Government needs to stop telling its citizens how to live their private lives. There is no reason…

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Study finds LGBT discrimination costs Florida businesses big

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Intolerance and bigotry is expensive business in Florida. That’s according to a report released Wednesday by a coalition of major employers in the state called Equality Means Business. Their report found that discrimination against the LGBT community costs employers more than $362 million a year. The losses are linked to employee turnover and loss of productivity. “We’ve long said that discrimination takes a toll on our economy, and we now know that price tag is more than $362 million a…

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***Updated*** Exclusive: Clear Channel rejects gay-themed artwork for billboards promoting St. Pete Pride

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

***Update***6:14 p.m.*** St. Pete Pride responds to Clear Channel’s efforts to remedy the situation: Thank you for your response. First off, St. Pete Pride would be happy to continue our relationship with Clear Channel Outdoor Tampa Bay and appreciate your mentioned commitment to promoting Pride in the Bay area. However, we feel that the two ads in question were tasteful representations of our community and our event. Again, I repeat that neither ad included any image that would be seen…

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