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71% of Floridians think conversion therapy for minors should be illegal, bills to prohibit it stalled in Legislature

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A recent poll shows an overwhelming number of Floridians believe conversion therapy should be illegal, leading LGBT advocates to renew their call for a statewide ban. According to a recent Orlando Political Observer-Gravis Marketing poll, 71 percent of Florida voters think conversion therapy should be illegal for minors in Florida. The poll found 18 percent of respondents said they were uncertain, while 11 percent said they thought conversion therapy should be legal. The survey of 1,243 registered voters was conducted…

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Randy Fine: Bill bolsters local businesses, not victimize LGBT community; detractors not buying it

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Rep. Randy Fine introduced HB 17 simply as a measure to keep commerce moving on an upward trajectory under the leadership of local governments, flourishing enough to bring prosperity to their respective communities. “Its intent is to help businesses thrive and grow – that’s its purpose,” Fine told by telephone on Thursday from Tallahassee. “There are folks that think business should be left up to local government and then there are folks like me who think the nexus of…

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Competitive Workforce Act filed once again in Legislature

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On Thursday, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act was filed again in the Florida Legislature, this time by Rep. Ben Diamond and Rep. Rene Plascenia on the House side, and Sen. Jeff Clemens in the Senate. House Bill 623/Senate Bill 666 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Gender expression is not in the current bill. The FCWA would amend Ch. 760 of the Florida State Statutes (“The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992“), which bars such discrimination based on…

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Polk County Democratic Women’s Club to host Lakeland walk, rally

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The Democratic Women’s Club of East Polk County will sponsor a walk and rally at Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland 5-6:30 p.m., Sunday, which it says is to emphasize women’s and social rights. Karen Welzel, president of the club, said the rally followed by the march around the lake is “to give a voice to groups and individuals feeling marginalized and attacked during this election cycle, and to bring to the forefront issues of importance to women.” Among those issues,…

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Protest marchers take to the streets in St. Petersburg

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hundreds gathered in St. PetersburgSunday night to send a message to elected officials. Their message: A majority of the people do not support the policies and rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump. And, the people want their local and nationally elected officials to oppose those policies — with an eye to Congressional elections in two years and the next presidential election in four years. “We’re watching,” St. Petersburg resident Elizabeth Pomeroy said. “We’re not going to lay down as he basically destroys…

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Marco Rubio uses forum at Christian conference to call for love of gay community

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s faced a torrent of criticism this week for agreeing to speak at a conservative Christian conference that included others with harsh gay-bashing rhetoric, used his pulpit there Friday to urge love for the gay community. “I want to be clear with you, abandoning judgment and loving our LGBT neighbors is not a betrayal of what the Bible teaches; it is a fulfillment of it,” Rubio declared Friday before a reported 500 Florida Christian pastors attending the American…

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David Richardson: An open reply letter to John Stemberger

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Editor’s note: Democratic state Rep. David Richardson offers his reply to an open letter published July 5 on from Florida Family Action president John Stemberger: First, I want to thank you for following my work and words as a member of the Florida House of Representatives. While your letter was addressed to me, it was clearly written for your donors and supporters. These are the people who look to you for guidance and to be their leading voice against equal…

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