Crist promises Day 1 order banning LGBT discrimination in state agencies

Associated Press Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he will sign five executive orders on his first day back in office if he’s elected in November.

Charlie Crist Crist made the announcement Tuesday. He also said he would sign orders banning discrimination against gay and transgender employees at agencies under his control and their contractors, and another to require equal pay for women. He said he would also order agencies under his control to require that contractors pay employees at least $10.10 an hour. Contractors would be required to, whenever possible, hire Florida companies as subcontractors. And Crist said he would sign an order to require agencies to provide public records at the lowest possible cost to the public.

Crist served as a Republican governor from 2007 to 2011 and is now running as a Democrat.

Equality Florida Applauds Orange County Elected Officials for Supporting Marriage Equality

July 29, 2014 - 12:35pm by Sue.

A majority of the Republican-led commission announce their support. July 29, 2014 (Orlando) - Equality Florida applauds a bipartisan group of Orange County elected officials for supporting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Last week, a majority of the Republican-led County Commission vocalized their support for marriage equality. Commissioners Scott Boyd (R), Pete Clarke (R), Jennifer Thompson (R) and Tiffany Moore-Russell (D) all announced their support.  Commissioner Fred Brummer (R) reiterated his opposition. “These announcements reflect the growing trend of Floridians from all political parties that support the freedom to marry,” said Michael Farmer, Equality Florida's Director of Development for Central and North Florida. “With recent polling showing that 57% of Floridians support marriage equality, having the support of both Republican and Democratic elected officials is so important to the thousands of LGBT constituents and their allies in Orange County.” In just the last two weeks, two Florida judges have ruled against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage and in favor of the freedom to marry.


These Native-American Tribes Are Pioneering Marriage Equality

Tim LaCroix, left, a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan, married Gene Barfield under tribal law in March 2013. Photo from Wagner College
The Puyallup Tribe is the latest to join a growing list of Native-American tribes legalizing same-sex marriage, many in states that have banned it. BY Connie Wu July 28 2014 9:00 AM ET This year, the list of states with marriage equality expanded to include Oregon, among others. While that's big news, of course, gay and lesbian couples could already legally marry in a certain part of the state. Five years before the state of Oregon established legal same-sex marriage, the Coquille Indian Tribe amended its marriage laws to include same-sex couples. Because Native-American tribes are federally recognized sovereign nations, they can create their own laws regarding marriage. The Coquille Tribe was the first of 10 tribes that have now extended marriage rights to include same-sex couples, many of them doing so years before their states. The latest to join the list is the Puyallup tribe in Washington, which made the announcement last week. The new marriage laws have resulted in many beautiful ceremonies and happy couples who have waited years to be recognized not only by federal and state governments but also by their tribes and communities. Two of the largest tribes, the Navajo and Cherokee, remain staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage. But if the 10 tribes in this slideshow are any indication, many more tribes may soon re-examine their laws.


Gay physician wins AMA Leadership Award

Dr. Carl Streed Jr. recently received the AMA Foundation Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award. Streed has advocated for the inclusion of LGBT health issues in the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health curricula and successfully worked for transgender equity in health insurance coverage. Nationally, Streed has served as the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) LGBT Policy Coordinator and Liaison, advised the American Medical Association Board of Trustees as a member of the Advisory Committee on GLBT Issues, and served on a board of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. “The AMA Foundation Excellence in Medicine Award validates much of the work I and many others have been doing to address LGBT disparities in health care, from medical school training to insurance coverage,” Streed told the Blade.


The Castro in San Francisco, a famous gay neighbourhood, is losing its LGBT residents

Study shows decline of ‘gay neighbourhoods’

29th July 2014, 2:59 PM 

Natassja Zielinski,
A new study has found that areas traditionally known as ‘gay neighbourhoods’ are in decline.
A team led by Amin Ghaziani at the University of British Columbia found that fewer same-sex couples are settling in areas such as the Castro in San Francisco, Boystown in Chicago, and New York’s Chelsea, than did so a decade ago.
According to the study, districts have seen an 8% fall in gay men and 13% decrease in lesbians in the last 10 years.
There has also been an increase in the number of heterosexual families settling in these areas, which Ghaziani believes is evidence of a combination of urban regeneration and growing social acceptance of the LGBT population.


UFC fighter bends over to support gay marriage


JULY 29, 2014 uring a weigh-in before a recent Ultimate Fighter Champion match, Kyle Kingsbury, 32, dropped his drawers to reveal pink-colored underwear with black lettering reading “legalize gay” printed across his behind. The pro-LGBT display has received national attention. Although Kingsbury lost the fight and announced his retirement afterwards, he has caught the eyes of many gay rights supporters, according to the Huffington Post.
See Kingsbury’s weight-in at 25:00 minutes.  



Equality Florida Action PAC is thrilled to announce our endorsement of Cheryl Grieb for Osceola County Commission District 4.

Cheryl Grieb is running to be the
first LGBT candidate ever elected to the Osceola County Commission and one of only two gay women elected to a county commission in Florida's history.

Already in her career, Cheryl has demonstrated how important it is for our community to be at the table. Several years ago, as a Kissimmee City Commissioner, she led the effort to pass domestic partner benefits for city employees. At the time, her colleagues acknowledged it would be unfair to ask Cheryl to do the same job without equal benefits.

Cheryl is running a strong race against a conservative incumbent who was a vocal supporter of Amendment 2 in 2008 which banned marriage equality. Her election would mean a critical breakthrough in Central Florida. With Election Day less than 100 days away, Cheryl needs our help.

Please make a donation of any size right now and we can help elect an openly gay champion to the Osceola County Commission.
Paid political advertisement, paid for by Equality Florida Action PAC.
P.O. Box 13184 Saint Petersburg, FL 33733.
Approved by Cheryl Grieb.

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The clock is ticking!

We’re now one month away from the primary! While we do not have a primary challenger and, therefore, are not on the ballot, we can still raise money for both the primary and general elections.
We do want to make sure you’re aware that the amount individuals are allowed to donate changes on primary day. The maximum amount a person can give will drop from $5,200 to $2,600 on August 26th.
We’re running against people with deep pockets and support from plenty of outsiders. With your help we can win this race, but it takes money to spread the word that Florida's 3rd Congressional District deserves better representation in Congress. We all deserve someone who will fight for our needs and not for themselves.
With your help, we can win this election and turn Florida blue!

Marihelen Wheeler


Meet Marihelen! This is what we've got going this week:

Meet Marihelen in Micanopy: Wednesday, July 30th at 5:30 p.m.,
10715 SW 10th Terrace, Micanopy,  
RSVP by calling 352-375-2012


Marihelen Wheeler Campaign
1505 NW 16th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32605

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AT&T Provides $30,000 in Scholarships for CF Citrus Digital Media Program; Apply Now

Thursday, July 24, 2014, ‏‎3:11:48 PM

Students are encouraged to apply now for one of six $5,000 scholarships in the College of Central Florida’s new Digital Media program at the Citrus Campus, thanks to $30,000 in support from AT&T.

"We applaud AT&T’s commitment to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives," said Dr. Vernon Lawter, vice president of the CF Citrus Campus. "We are excited to share this opportunity with our students."

To be considered for a scholarship, students must have completed a CF online application for admission and list Associate Arts: Digital Media as their program of study (program code 1112). Students should then complete the CF online scholarship application. Scholarship recipients must attend Digital Media courses at the Citrus Campus.

The Digital Media concentration within the Associate in Arts degree includes four, four-credit courses: Introduction to Digital Media, Digital Imaging and Fundamentals, Digital Video and Sounds, and Fundamentals of Interactive Design.

The program will first be offered at the Citrus Campus in fall semester, which starts Aug. 20. Classes will meet in a new state-of-the-art 18-station media lab.

"Our company’s legacy is grounded in the belief that education is a permanent asset based on its positive effects on economic growth, individual earnings and stronger local communities," said Troy L. McNichols, AT&T Florida regional director. "These scholarships will prepare students to participate and succeed in Florida’s fast-paced digital media industry where conversion and diversity are vital skills."

According to Enterprise Florida and Digital Media Wire, Florida's fast-paced economic environment, entrepreneurial spirit and large talent pool are a perfect fit for digital media, an industry in which convergence, diversity and fast-paced change are paramount.

The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway in Lecanto. For information about the program, contact Lawter at 352-746-6721, ext. 6109.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at

About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.

© 2014 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.


CF Foundation Taste of Ocala 2015 Set for March 7

Thursday, July 17, 2014, ‏‎1:17:41 PM

The College of Central Florida Foundation will host the 27th annual Taste of Ocala on Saturday, March 7.

The popular scholarship fundraiser will include samplings from local restaurants vying for the title "Best of Taste."

The first Taste of Ocala was held in 1989. Taste of Ocala has raised more than $700,000 for College of Central Florida students.

For more information on the event, as it develops, visit For information or sponsorship opportunities call the CF Foundation at 352-873-5808.

CF to Host Children's Literacy Event Sept. 27

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, ‏‎5:23:53 PM

The College of Central Florida will host its third annual "Journey Into Reading" Saturday, Sept. 27. The children’s literacy event is free and will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Learning Lab School at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.

"Journey Into Reading," hosted by students in CF’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, will include free books for children, as well as activities, parent resources and entertainment provided by community organizations and businesses.

Organizations and businesses are invited to participate in the event at no cost.

For more information, and to learn how to your business or organization can participate, contact Dr. Heidi Maier, associate professor of Teacher Education, at 352-854-2322, ext. 1915, or email

CF Unarmed Security Officer Course Begins Aug. 18

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, ‏‎5:23:27 PM

The College of Central Florida Criminal Justice Institute is accepting enrollment for its Class D Unarmed Security Officer course.

The state-approved course meets the 40-hour education requirement for unarmed security officers. The class will meet from 6-10 p.m., Monday, Aug. 18, through Friday, Aug. 29, in Building 31 at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road. The fee is $140 and includes all training material. All class time must be attended. Registration will be accepted until the first day of class or all seats have been filled.

For more information or to register, contact Pat Kalfs at 352-873-5838, ext.1569, or James Charles at ext. 1431.

Come and see what’s new on display…


Webber Gallery Presents

“A Vast Expanse: Landscapes from the Collection of the Appleton Museum of Art”




College of Central Florida Webber Gallery, 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Admission is free.


“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.



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.


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
Phone: 438-2520


Equality Florida Upcomming Events

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
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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" 


Zebra Coalition scholarship helps fund college for LGBT youth

BY : SAMANTHA ROSENTHAL JULY 28, 2014 Orlando – The Zebra Coalition, in partnership with UCF, will start a fund to provide a scholarship opportunities to LGBT youth as they continue their higher education. The Zebra Coalition LGBTQ Scholarship Foundation will establish a $25,000 fund that would be dispersed to LGBT youth that may have difficulty securing funding for college. “Awareness is key when you’re talking about any issue, so being able to establish the scholarship alone—and having it specific to LGBT youth—shows that there is a specialized need for this population,” said Dexter Foxworth, director of Zebra Coalition.


Gay Marriage Case Could Head To Florida Supreme Court

Written by Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) - Attorneys for two Key West men challenging the state's ban on same sex marriage want the Florida Supreme Court to take up the case. The lawyers representing the Monroe County couple filed a motion Monday asking that the 3rd District Court of Appeal certify the case to the state's highest court.   
The motion, if granted, would allow the case to bypass the appeals court and resolve the issue faster than usual.     

 Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled earlier this month that the ban on same-sex marriage added to the state constitution by Florida voters in 2008 is discriminatory and violates gay people's right to equal treatment under the law.      A Miami-Dade County circuit judge last Friday also ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. Follow this case: Huntsman v. Heavilin.

Follow this case: Huntsman v. Heavilin.  

Virginia U.S. appeals court rules Va. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Decision could overturn similar prohibitions in the Carolinas, West Virginia


 MICHAEL FELBERBAUM | Associated Press Monday, July 28, 2014
PHOTO - Bill Tiernan, The Virginian-Pilot (AP)
Virginia plaintiffs (from left back row), Carol Schall, Emily Schall-Townley, daughter of Schall and Townley and Mary Townley, Tim Bostic and Tony London on February 14, 2014, celebrate he ruling by federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

 On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld that ruling.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a decision that could overturn similar prohibitions in the Carolinas and West Virginia. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond is the second federal appellate court to overturn gay marriage bans, after the Denver circuit, and is the first to affect the South, where states’ rights have held particular sway for generations. In Monday’s 2-1 opinion, the judges ruled that Virginia’s constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The defendants are likely to ask for the ruling to be stayed pending more appeals to the full 4th circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court; otherwise, marriage licenses to same-sex couples could begin to be issued in 21 days.


North Carolina N.C. attorney general to drop state’s defense of same-sex marriage ban

MICHAEL BIESECKER | Associated Press


RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s attorney general said Monday his office will no longer defend the state’s voter-approved ban on same sex marriage in court after a federal appeals court ruled a similar prohibition in neighboring Virginia unconstitutional. N.C. attorney general to drop state’s defense of same-sex marriage ban

MICHAEL BIESECKER | Associated Press Monday, July 28, 2014 Attorney General Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) At a news conference little more than two hours after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was announced in Richmond, Virginia, Attorney General Roy Cooper said the ruling made it highly likely North Carolina’s ban will be overturned. North Carolina is part of the 4th Circuit. Cooper, a Democrat, said further opposition to the four federal lawsuits challenging his state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage would be “futile.”




Posted on July 25, 2014 - 5:56pm by brittany.

July 25, 2014 - Moments ago, Miami-Dade County Judge Zabel ruled that Florida's marriage ban is unconstitutional! There is an immediate stay on the ruling, which means no wedding bells in Florida just yet.  To read Judge Zabel's ruling on the case, click here.  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed an appeal to the Miami-Dade County marriage decision. Miami Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality in Florida (Miami, FL, July 25, 2014)—Today, a state trial court in Miami issued a decision striking down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples and ordering Miami-Dade County to allow same-sex couples to marry. The court stayed the order pending appeal.


Jacobs weighs in on marriage equality


JULY 25, 2014 A Monroe County circuit court judge recently declared Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Four more cases are pending, including one in Miami-Dade. With the issue front-and-center in the state, activists on both side of the issue have sought the opinion of Central Florida’s most powerful elected official, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Watermark requested an interview with Mayor Jacobs, which has been promised in the near future. This afternoon, Mayor Jacobs released this exclusive statement to Watermark publisher Tom Dyer.


Towing company owner arrested for targeting cars at Orlando's Gay Days

ASAP Towing allegedly moved over 100 cars from 5 June to 9 June 27

July 2014 | By James Withers A towing company is accused of illegally towing vehicles during Orlando's Gay Days. Law officials charge ASAP Towing, owned by Jason Combs, towed up to 100 vehicles, between 5 June and 9 June, from a parking lot across from the host of the event, Doubletree by Hilton. According to the Orlando Sentinel, law officials claim the company did not have an up-to-date contract to tow cars. Additionally, there were no signs indicating the lot could not be used.


Jason Combs mugshot




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 "" 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