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Florida Teenagers Apprehended After Using Hookup App To Rob Gay Man

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According to Miami police authorities, three Allapattah men are suspected of having used a gay hookup app to target a gay man, gain access to his home, and then rob him at gunpoint. Earlier this week Roger Euceda, 18, entered the victim’s home under the pretense of meeting for a date when he pulled a gun on the man and ordered him to lay face down on his bed. Euceda then invited in an unnamed 17-year old accomplice and the two teenagers proceeded to raid the man’s home.

Authorities were alerted when neighbors of the victim overheard commotion next door. Police showed up at the scene just when Euceda and the other robber were rushing with bags to a car where a third accomplice was waiting. A brief chase ensued and both teenagers were apprehended. The driver of the car is still at large.


Mat Staver: Obeying SCOTUS Marriage Equality Ruling Would Be Like Turning A Jew Over To Nazis: VIDEO

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The Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver says obeying a nationwide marriage equality ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court would be the equivalent of turning a Jew over to the Nazis. 

Staver made the comments while speaking to a tea party group in Orlando last week, according to Right Wing Watch

"I know from the natural created order that God made male and female, a mom and dad, husbands and wives as the first foundation of family," he said. "And I don't care if it is a 9-0 decision, they can't change that and they won't change that. And if they come out with a decision that is contrary to God's natural created order, I personally will advocate disobedience to it ... and collectively, we cannot accept that as the rule of law.

"You also have to be ready to pay the consequences," Staver continued, "because the civil government wrath is going to be poured out on you. But as a believer, you cannot obey something that is contrary to God's law. And we would easily say, well, what would happen if the government forced you turn over a Jew in Nazi Germany? All of us would say we wouldn't do that, we wouldn't listen to that. Well, we're about ready to walk into the moment."

Interestingly, during the very same speech, Staver touted a Liberty Counsel event featuring an "ex-terrorist" who allegedly threw Jews off buildings.

Also last week, Staver called for a boycott of professional sports teams that back same-sex marriage, which he said is "the most serious assault on our family, faith and freedom that we've faced in American history.”

And referring to Supreme Court justices, Staver told OneNewsNow

"I'm warning them," he says, "and I think the rest of the country is willing to come together and warn them, that they need to come back in line with their constitutional duty, and that is to interpret the law, not create brand new law and be our social engineers."

By "the rest of the country," Staver must mean the 33 percent of Americans who still oppose same-sex marriage.  

Watch the clip of Staver vowing to defy a SCOTUS marriage equality ruling, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Mat Staver: Obeying SCOTUS Marriage Equality Ruling Would Be Like Turning A Jew Over To Nazis: VIDEO" »


#WeJustNeedToPee Trans Activist Speaks Out, Says Going To Bathroom In High School Was 'Nightmare': VIDEO

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Michael Hughes, the Minnesota transgender activist behind the #WeJustNeedToPee campaign, says he endured intense bullying in high school and just going to the bathroom was a nightmare.

As we reported earlier this week, Hughes is the bearded, tattooed transman from Rochester, Minnesota, who followed the lead of a Canadian activist and began taking selfies in women's restrooms. The campaign is designed to highlight the stupidity of legislation in Minnesota, Florida and Texas that would bar transgender adults and students from using restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. 

In an interview with Rochester's KTTC-TV, Hughes explained how he does it: 

Hughes"So I come in, go right to the mirror with a female friend behind me, and we quick get the selfie, and get back out before anybody comes in and gets startled by my presence in the women's restroom,” Hughes said, pointing his cell phone at the mirror of the women's restroom at the People's Food Co-op. ... 

"I'm hoping that even the most conservative lawmakers and voters will be able to look at them, take a step back," said Hughes.

Although the Minnesota bill, which deals with schools, wouldn't affect Hughes, he said the campaign is ultimately about trans youth: 

"Those youth, those 16, 17-year-old people just coming to terms with who they are. It's going to hurt them. It's going to be tremendous,” said Hughes.

Hughes worries the bill could make things more awkward with an already vulnerable group.

"Just going to the bathroom in high school was a nightmare for me," Hughes said, thinking back to his own experiences. "I would get nauseous just at the thought of having to go."

Hughes told The Rochester Post-Bulletin that like many transgender youth, he once tried to take his own life:  

"That's the most vulnerable part of our community. That's pretty scary for me," he said.

When Hughes was in high school, Hughes said he endured intense bullying because of his gender identity. He became suicidal at age 16 and attempted to end his life at 19. He said he wants to gather a group of transgender individuals and supporters and travel to St. Paul to urge lawmakers to reject these proposals.

Watch KTTC-TV's report and check out some of the latest tweets from the #WeJustNeedToPee campaign, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "#WeJustNeedToPee Trans Activist Speaks Out, Says Going To Bathroom In High School Was 'Nightmare': VIDEO" »


5 Things You Can't Miss In Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gay beach flickr.com-Ed and Eddie https---www.flickr.com-photos-edandeddie-16221387101

This weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital premium gay travel magazine from Billy KolberEd SalvatoKenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

While many gay meccas are becoming more mainstream (j'accuse Castro, South Beach and Chelsea!), Fort Lauderdale is actually becoming gayer. This is thanks in part to a growing base of out gay men in their 40s and older — many of whom migrated from these former gay capitals — who keep local businesses vibrant, including Ft. Lauderdale's huge assortment of gay restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and sexually focused venues. Now is a great time to visit the Venice of America with its beautiful canals crisscrossing the city. Or wait till May for Beach Bear Weekend (May 6-11). Or, plan on staying a night or two before or after an upcoming cruise. We probably all know the city has a great gay beach (St. Sebastian) and the fabulous, untouched Hugh Taylor Birch Park, a protected reserve that harkens back to ye olde Ft. Lauderdale. So, here we present our top five things you may not expect and must not miss.

1. Rosie’s: Ok, so you'd totally expect this boozy bar-food joint but it is so gay, no visit to FLL is complete without stopping here. The indoor-outdoor hot spot offers a menu full of quirkily named burgers you shouldn’t be eating and drinks you definitely should be drinking. The food is pretty ordinary despite the high-falutin' menu nomenclature, but this Wilton Manor institution is always packed with gays of all ages and denominations.

2. Day pass at the Grand: If you're not staying at a gay hotel, a day pass at one of Ft. Lauderdale’s gay resorts is a great way to sample the gay guesthouse experience and enjoy a relaxing time in the city (and maybe meet a fellow traveler for fun!) Our first choice is an Editors’ Choice award winner, whose convivial atmosphere is conducive to meeting fellow travelers. The Grand has a day-pass for their small but excellent spa. There’s also a pool area that’s not clothing optional but the large spa is, allowing guests to choose just how naughty they feel like being. There’s a pretty good fitness facility with actual free weights.  

World Aids Museum image3. Bill's Filling Station: Come Friday night, you should be swilling drinks at Bill’s where bears sing karaoke and the Happy Hour specials are kicking. And lets not forget the Friday night GROWL party! This is a down-to-Earth bar where  anyone can have a great time, though, admittedly, it’s mostly leather clad daddy bears letting loose to some great music.

4. Market 17: Fort Lauderdale doesn’t have a distinctive local cuisine or big foodie scene, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well. Market 17 serves the most sophisticated food in town, a farm to table experience, fresh, healthy, and delicious; open dinner only.

5. World AIDS Museum: A quick drive to Wilton Manors and you’ll find this museum that opened this past December
inside a nondescript Wilton Manors strip mall. The first museum of its kind, the space chronicles the fascinating, eye-opening, and often heart-wrenching history of HIV/AIDS through a timeline exhibit starting in 1908 (not 1980 — 1908!), art, interactive multimedia and memorabilia. The docent-led or self-guided tours offer a window into the history, hope and devastation of this highly politicized disease and the 39 million lives it has taken. 

You can find loads more information on gay-ascendant Ft. Lauderdale in ManAboutWorld, whose current issue gathers the top recommendations for a short stay, combining attractions that are unique to Fort Lauderdale with top hotel, nightlife and dining recommendations. ManAboutWorld offers opinionated travel information and inspiration in over 100 destinations around the world: Get ManAboutWorld Magazine on iTunes (iOS) or Google Play (Android). You may also find information at the tourism authority's gay microsite Sunny.org/LGBT. 

Image credits: Top: Ed and Eddie; right: Billy Kolberbottom: Ryan Blanding

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GOP-Dominated Florida House Moves to Remove Language Banning Gay Adoption from Law

The Florida House of Representatives is likely to strike language banning gay adoption from its laws in an acknowledgement of the court ruling five years ago declaring the state's gay adoption ban unconstitutional, the AP reports. The body gave it an early approval on Tuesday:

CrisafulliThe full bill still needs a House vote, but it has wide support. The Senate and Gov. Rick Scott would also have to approve the bill before the gay-adoption language is deleted from law.

Republican House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (pictured) said the vote isn't necessarily an endorsement of current policy that allows gays to adopt.

"Philosophically, I've never really been there on that, but I'm somebody who operates under the letter of the law," he said. "I recognize that this has been taking place for five years, so our bill is going to reflect that."

Basically, most of the Republicans are still against gay couples adopting children, they're just acknowledging they must abide by the law - five years later.


Florida House Subcommittee Passes Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill

State lawmakers in Florida have given their initial stamp of approval to a bill that would force transgender men and women to use public restrooms matching their biological sex rather than gender identity. 

The bill passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee Wednesday along party lines, with nine Republicans in support and four Democrats opposed. The bill was filed by Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) following the December vote by the Miami-Dade County Commission to extend non-discrimination protections to transgender people

The Tampa Bay Times reports:

ArtilesEven some Republicans have raised concerns that the bill may go too far in the name of protecting public safety. Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, the subcommittee's chairwoman, said she doesn't think most lawmakers understand transgender issues. She supported the measure Wednesday, but said she hopes to see changes before voting on it again in the Judiciary Committee.

Artiles (right) filed the bill in February, and lawmakers have already inserted a litany of exceptions to account for janitorial staff and parents helping young children use the restroom. More could be coming, including a change to allow sports reporters to enter team locker rooms after games.

What likely won't change is the core assertion of this bill: Allowing people to use facilities that don't correspond with their biological sex is dangerous.

"I think that's common sense," Artiles said. "Whether or not a transgender person or a transitioning person falls into the description, we have to look at the consequences of this law."

Equality Florida Institute reacts to the bill via statement:

"It's dehumanizing," said Gina Duncan, a transgender woman who works with the advocacy group TransAction Florida. "This bill invents a problem that simply doesn't exist. Transgender people need to use the restroom the same as anyone. If anything, we want and need to be protected from undue attention and harassment -- not be told we're committing a crime if someone thinks we're in the wrong place."

 The bill also makes schools and businesses liable for monetary damages. A person can collect a financial award if they feel they've encountered a person in a public single-sex facility who shouldn't have been there.

 "This poorly written bill is a lawsuit factory," said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, the state's largest organization advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

 "How could it possibly be enforced except as an invitation to harass people in the bathroom -- with a financial incentive attached!"

 


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