Will OPI Lose Tax Exempt Status?

July 21, 2014

Complaints being made against Ocala Pride, Inc. may lead to the organization losing its Non-Profit status.

That would leave OPI donors high and dry as far as deducting their contributions on their own  tax returns. It would also have the organization paying local and state sales taxes.

Loss of the 501c3 designation would certainly hinder the organization that already has a dismal fundraising track record thus far.

Non Profit organizations such as Ocala Pride Inc must adhere to state and federal rules that protect members of the group and the community from abuses by uncaring, negligent and corrupt administrations.

The new 2014 OPI Board that was illegitimately elected in January 2014 has failed to comply with the state statues as they apply to transparency.

 J.T. Smith, the current President of OPI, refers to those laws and statutes as “Imaginary Rules”.

Since being elected Smith has failed to provide documentation of events and financial transactions whenever requested by members or when requested by board members.

While OPI members wait for information requested months ago, former Board Treasurer, Kenneth Craner has taken the OPI violations to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Craner said “I have filed a formal inquiry with Kenny Detzner's office as well as asked Pam Bondi's office to delve into the matter a little bit further. “ Craner also stated that he did so “only after numerous offers to pay an independent auditor to examine OPI's books and receipts ."

Craner had previously advised Out in Ocala that he had sent many emails to JT Smith regarding OPI’s financials and that he never heard from Smith or the Board of Directors.

Lou Bonagura, a former board member, states that Smith never informed the board of Craner’s correspondence. “He (JT Smith) never told the board about other requests for information from OPI’s members.” “Smith operates in a clandestine manner” .

Bonagura added that OPI has a serious Paranoia problem. Smith has stated that the old board members were out to make him look bad. He (Smith) also stated in one email to the board of directors that the owner of the Copa was trying to compete against pride fundraisers. Odd, given that several fundraisers have been held at the Copa.

Keys Marriage Forms Changed For Same-Sex Couples

Associated Press 5 hours 23 mins ago

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) _ Marriage-license forms in the Florida Keys have been changed to accommodate same-sex couples, even though a judge's ruling that gays can marry in Monroe County has been stayed pending a state appeal. Since Judge Luis M. Garcia ruled Thursday, siding with same-sex couples in the Keys who challenged Florida's voter-approved ban on gay marriage as discriminatory, the county clerk's office has been inundated with calls from people making plans to fly to Key West for their weddings, said Ron Saunders, the attorney for the clerk's office. The clerk's office changed its forms even though Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi's appeal created an automatic stay preventing any same-sex marriage licenses from being issued.


Equality Florida's Statement on Attorney's Motion to Lift Stay in Monroe County

Posted on July 21, 2014 - 11:50am by Sue.


From Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director of Equality Florida:  “In his ruling, Judge Luis Garcia confirmed that every single day these couples are denied marriage licenses, their constitutional rights are violated, and they suffer harms and risk of harms, for which they can never be compensated. Even Attorney General Pam Bondi cannot dispute the fact that allowing  these couples to marry right now harms no one. Our families have waited far too long already, and we hope Judge Garcia will lift the stay so that couples can begin obtaining marriage licenses in Monroe County immediately.   Read More...

Obama gives protection to gay, transgender workers

By NEDRA PICKLES of Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the "irrefutable rightness of your cause." "America's federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people," Obama said at a signing ceremony from the White House East Room.

He said it's unacceptable that being gay is still a firing offense in most places in the United States. Until last month, Obama long resisted pressure to pursue an executive anti-discrimination covering federal contractors in the hope that Congress would take more sweeping action banning anti-LGBT workplace discrimination across the landscape of employment in America.

A bill to accomplish that goal — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — passed the Senate last year with some Republican support, but has not been taken up by the GOP-controlled House. "We're here to do what we can to make it right," Obama said. Since Obama announced that he would sign the orders, he's faced pressure from opposing flanks over whether he would include an exemption for religious organizations. He decided to maintain a provision that allows religious groups with federal contracts to hire and fire based upon religious identity, but not give them any exception to consider sexual orientation or gender identity. Churches also are able to hire ministers as they see fit.


 President Barack Obama signs executive orders to protect LGBT employees from federal workplace discrimination in the East Room of the White House Monday, July 21, 2014, in Washington.


Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, has been invited to the White House to witness President Barack Obama signing two executive orders on Monday, July 21.

The first will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the 1965 Lyndon Johnson executive order which banned discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or nationality in hiring by federal contractors. The second order adds gender identity to the list of protected classes of federal workers that already includes sexual orientation.

President Obama’s executive actions will impact 24,000 companies that employ 28 million workers — a fifth of the nation’s workforce.

“I am proud to stand with President Obama as he signs these orders that will provide essential workplace protections for millions of people. This is especially critical for those of us who live in states that lack any statewide laws banning workplace discrimination,” said Nadine Smith. “Even as make progress toward marriage equality in Florida, we continue the essential work of securing statewide non-discrimination protections so that no one is denied employment based on prejudice.”

The executive order protecting transgender federal employees from discrimination will take effect immediately. The executive order prohibiting federal contractors from LGBT workplace discrimination will apply only to federal contractors who enter a contract with the federal government after a date designated by the Department of Labor. The order will likely be fully implemented by early 2015. 


Please take a moment to thank President Obama, for standing on the right side of history and issuing this strong federal contractor executive order, by clicking below!


Cute Child Star-Turned-Sexy Go-Go Boy Blake McIver Gets Candid In New Interview

When former child star Blake McIver (pictured) fell into hard times, he turned to go-go dancing to make ends meet. He would regularly strip down to his underwear and show off his biceps and six pack to drunken onlookers, who happily slipped dollar bills into his g-string. Now, McIver has taken those dollars and put them to good use. Earlier this year, the former Full House star released his first pop album, which he funded with the money he made go-go dancing. McIver recently did an interview with Uinterview promoting his album. Here are some of the highlights: On being a go-go dancer


Appleton to Showcase 8 Florida Artists in 2014 Biennial


‎OPENS July 19th

The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, will highlight eight of Florida’s most creative installation artists when its 2014 Biennial "Outside the Box" opens Saturday, July 19.

The Florida artists chosen to exhibit are: Michael Bauman and Kate Helms of Tampa, Zach Gilliland of Sarasota, Terri Lindbloom of Tallahassee, Patricia Schnall Guttierez of Miami, Rick Herzog of Sarasota, Judith Salmon of St. Petersburg and Mikaela Williams of Tampa.

The seven pieces in the juried exhibition range from a vast wall of ivy constructed from vinyl, mirrors, wood and steel to a multi-media installation addressing the human experience in the digital age.

The biennial was juried by Dr. Matthew McLendon, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, under the aegis of Florida State University.

Awards for the biennial will be announced at the opening reception July 19, from 5-8 p.m. Museum visitors will vote for People’s Choice, which will be awarded after the exhibition closes.
This opening reception, hosted by the museum’s young members group, The Studio, is free and open to the public.

In addition to temporary exhibitions, the Appleton Museum of Art presents a permanent collection of European, American and contemporary art, plus Asian, African, Islamic and pre-Columbian artifacts and antiquities. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed on Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Owned and operated by College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Free parking is available. For more information call the Appleton Museum of Art at 352-291-4455 or visit

CF Webber Gallery Presents 'A Vast Expanse' July 10

"A Vast Expanse: Landscapes from the Collection of the Appleton Museum of Art" opens Thursday, July 10, at the College of Central Florida Webber Gallery, 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Admission is free.

Tyrus Clutter, assistant professor of Art and Art History at CF, curated the exhibition.

"The tradition of the landscape in art has ancient roots," said Clutter, who previously curated two exhibitions at the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida. "Though the images in the exhibition are all from the 20th century, they explore the various dimensions of that tradition over time. All the works are completed through printmaking processes and reveal a great variety of modes of landscape: night scenes, beach scenes, snowscapes and conceptual works."

"A Vast Expanse" runs through Sept. 5. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed Saturdays, Sundays and college holidays. For more information call 352-873-5809.

Basic Computer Classes

Date: Friday, July 25, 2014

Time: 10:30 AM

Venue: Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL


Website: http://library.marioncountyfl.org


"Blogs and Blogging" Learn about computers and databases. Space is limited.


Dunnellon Public Library

20351 Robinson Rd.,Dunnellon,FL, 34431


Website: http://library.marioncountyfl.org


Phone: 438-2520


Map: Directions



Meet the Author: Terry Tibbetts

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  3:30 PM

Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL

Don Holleder had a bright future ahead of him. He was an All-American West Point football star who sacrificed his football career to serve his country in Vietnam. On the morning of Oct. 17, 1967, Don Holleder lost his life and the Battle of Ong… moreDon Holleder had a bright future ahead of him. He was an All-American West Point football star who sacrificed his football career to serve his country in Vietnam. On the morning of Oct. 17, 1967, Don Holleder lost his life and the Battle of Ong Thanh went down in history as a disaster. Join Terry Tibbetts and the Battle of Ong Thanh veterans Clark Welch and Jim Shelton as they share their recollections


Dunnellon Public Library

Address: 20351 Robinson Rd.,Dunnellon,FL, 34431

Website: http://library.marioncountyfl.org

Phone: 438-2520


Master Gardeners Plant Clinic

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM  
Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL

The Master Gardener plant doctors are in! Presented by the UF/IFAS Marion County Master Gardeners, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service.

Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL
Address: 20351 Robinson Rd.,
Dunnellon,FL, 34431
Website: http://library.marioncountyfl.org
Phone: 438-2520


Equality Florida Upcomming Events


Jacksonville Equality Connection at Glenn Certain Studio


July 13, 2014 - 4:00pm


Key West Equality Connection at Wine-O!


July 16, 2014 - 5:30pm


Tallahassee Equality Connection at The Hotel Duval


July 22, 2014 - 6:00pm


Space Coast Equality Connection at Sublime Restaurant!


July 24, 2014 - 6:30pm


St. Augustine Equality Connection at Ice Plant Bar


July 27, 2014 - 4:00pm


Miami Beach Equality Connection at Haven Lounge


July 29, 2014 - 7:00pm


Volusia Equality Connection at Garbo's Lounge!


July 30, 2014 - 6:30pm




Greater Orlando Equality Connection at The Grand Bohemian Hotel


July 31, 2014 - 6:30pm


The Villages Summer Mixer


August 1, 2014 - 6:30pm


Suncoast Equality Connection at the FSU Performing Arts Center


August 6, 2014 - 6:00pm


2014 Jacksonville Gala


September 27, 2014 - 7:00pm


2014 Greater Orlando Gala


November 14, 2014 - 8:00pm


2014 Broward Gala


November 16, 2014 - 5:30pm


2014 Suncoast Celebration for Equality


November 22, 2014 - 5:00pm

See all events



Lowest Gas Prices in Ocala
Ocala Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com

Get The Word Out!


PFLAG Lady Lake is now the only chapter in a very wide area, possibly the only one in the tricounty area of Marion/Sumter/Lake counties.


"PFLAG Lady Lake is a support group for the parents, families, and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning persons. We educate and help people to come to a greater acceptance of LGBTQ individuals. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month at The Holiday Inn Express in The Villages on Hwy 441 at 6:30pm. Contact phone - 352-693-2173" 


Drag legend Lorrie Del Mar retires

Drag legend Lorrie Del Mar retires


JULY 20, 2014

Palace Club. The Diamond Head. The Parliament House. They’re all part of Orlando’s LGBT nightlife history, and soon, one of its legendary performers will be too. Lorrie Del Mar, preeminent drag artist and multiple title-holder, has announced her retirement from the stage. Known for her extreme over-the-top performances, Del Mar’s triumphs in the spotlight took a tragic turn in the mid-1980s when a car accident left her partially disabled. Del Mar’s career – and Larry Ligori, the man behind her – will be celebrated in “A Farewell Tribute,” Mon., July 21, at the Parliament House. An all-star cast of presenters and performers, including several of her former fellow Footlight Players costars, are scheduled to appear in the 9 p.m. show. Advance tickets are $8 at Wanzie.com or $10 at the door. h


Tampa teen beaten in Mideast talks about ordeal

AP Photo: Scott Iskowitz

Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, speaks during interview at his home July 20, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.

 2 hr ago  By JARED LEONE of Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Palestinian-American teen detained by Israeli security forces while on a family visit to the Middle East said Sunday he had been beaten, kicked and blindfolded after a cousin there was abducted and kill Fifteen-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir flew home to Tampa last week and told The Associated Press in an interview from his home in Floridathat he hopes he can eventually visit the region again and "come back safe." "If I want to see my family members I hope I can," he said, adding "I don't want to have any problems with anybody."  Israeli authorities released Tariq three days after he was detained and sentenced him to nine days of house arrest while they investigated what they said was his participation in violent protests over the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian living near Jerusalem.


Hillsborough County Commissioners approve HRO amendment


TAMPA - Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with an authorization for an amendment that would prohibit discrimination within the county on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The 7-0 vote is a stark change to previous LGBT initiatives, which have typically failed or split the board. Prior to the July 16 vote, the floor was open to comments and 23 citizens spoke. Fourteen of those speakers supported the amendment to the HRO and nine spoke against it. The naysayers focused on the alleged persecution that the amendment might pose to religion. Most of the offended parties identified themselves as Christians. A few others simply described themselves as “religious.” Highlights included self-proclaimed “ex-gay” Mark Culligan, who complained of reverse discrimination since “becoming straight,” as well as Troy Cluft, who read Leviticus 18:22, the verse commonly cited when arguing the Bible outlaws same-sex sexual encounters.


Battle begins for Sarasota County HRO


SARASOTA – Julia Nowak, an openly gay realtor, hopes signatures on a petition will show Sarasota County Commissioners that its residents want a Human Rights Ordinance (HRO). The desire for the HRO came out of a conflict with 2013 Venice condo complex, Casa Di Amici, where Nowak rents her condo to her parents. Last summer, the property released a new restrictions that stated any couple—gay or straight—that is defined as being in a domestic partnership is barred from buying a home at Casa Di Amici. The condo complex said they do not want anyone “living in sin” in their complex. In October 2013, Sarasota County voted 5-0 to create a countywide domestic partner registry that would provide access to essential family protections for any couple that is registered, which also includes same-sex couples. The county, however, does not have a HRO that protects from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


James Garner, One Of Hollywood’s Most Handsome Leading Men, Dies At 86

Veteran screen actor James Garner, who starred in beloved comedies such as Victor Victoria and hit TV series like The Rockford Files, has died at age 86 of natural causes. With rugged good looks, thick dark hair, an ease with a wisecrack and a low-key demeanor, Garner at the beginning of his career was thought to be a possible heir to Cary Grant and Clark Gable leading man status. He first grabbed national attention with The Maverick, a TV western with a comic edge that ran from 1957-62. Garner starred in a series of films during the 1960s including The Thrill of It All and Move Over, Darling, two popular comedies opposite Doris Day, as well as the WWII epic The Great Escape. In 1962 he costarred with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley Maclaine in the drama


Catholic church fires woman from her dream job

Catholic church fires woman from her dream job of feeding and helping hungry families because she is married to another woman Content This is a debugging block By Jay Pulitano, Faith Issues Intern

July 18, 2014

Colleen Simon had her dream job at a Catholic church in Kansas City, Missouri before the church - St. Francis Xavier Church – fired her for being married to another woman. Today, Simon is standing up against this injustice and filing a lawsuit against the Kansas City Diocese. By all accounts, Simon (shown left in the image, with her wife, Donna Simon) was an excellent employee. She was a hard worker, increasing donations to the pantry tenfold during her tenure; and extraordinarily passionate for her work, being a woman of deep faith who took the Catholic church's social mission of helping others in need very seriously.


Basic Computer Classes


Date: Friday, July 25, 2014

Time: 10:30 AM  ·  Other dates and times

Venue: Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL

Website: http://library.marioncountyfl.org

"Blogs and Blogging" Learn about computers and databases. Space is limited.

Category: Community

Venue details

Dunnellon Public Library

Dunnellon Public Library

Address: 20351 Robinson Rd.,Dunnellon,FL, 34431

Website: http://library.marioncountyfl.org

Phone: 438-2520






All of the information above has been reprinted from Quist, an LGBT mobile history app that can be found on iOS and Android devices. Visit HYPERLINK "http://www.quistapp.com/"www.Quistapp.com for more information. The app was created by Sarah Prager and launched in July of 2013.


On July 2nd, the fight for marriage equality in Florida will have its day in court!

This makes June one of the most important months in the march toward the freedom to marry in Florida. We have a lot of work to do as we prepare for the July 2nd Florida Court hearing, and whatever the court decides, we will use this historic moment to accelerate our fight for full equality for all Floridians.

You can help us get ready for the marriage equality lawsuit hearing by participating in our
6th Annual Equal-a-thon, which kicks off on June 16th!

Click here to give us a strong head start by making your gift today! 

This once-a-year fundraising effort is also important because it ensures we can support our grassroots teams throughout the summer, and it determines what equal rights campaigns we can take on for the rest of the year.

I hope you can take part in our 2014 Equal-a-thon, and thank you for all you do for equality!

Nadine Smith
CEO, Equality Florida

Other Event Dates



7578 SE Maricamp Rd. 0cala
(ln the Shores Publix Plaza)
For Carry 0ut Call: 352'687-0158
3375 East Silver Springs Blvd.
(Across the street from 40 East Publix)
For Carry 0ut Call: 352'351'5632
8441 SW Hwy 200, #105, Ocala
(Friendship Center /Winn Dixie Plaza)
For Carry 0ut Call: 352-671-9888
4409 NW Blitchton Rd.Hwy 27
(Marketplace, Winn-Dixie Plaza)
for carry out: 352'867-7070