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A new LGBT welcome center opens in St. Petersburg listen

12/12/14 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: LGBT, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Rick Kriseman, Grand Central District, welcome center, Saint Petersburg

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A new welcome center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents is opening Friday evening in St. Petersburg. It will be a gathering place for people who might not have many options of a safe place to go.

The new LGBT welcome center is housed in an early 20th century bungalow along the historic Grand Central District of Saint Petersburg. It’s only the 3rd of its kind in the US; Miami and Seatt...

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St. Petersburg earns top score on an index of LGBT equality listen

11/12/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: St. Pete, St. Petersburg, LGBT, equality florida, Rick Kriseman, Human Rights Campaign, equality, human rights, WMNF News

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St. Petersburg has earned the highest score in a rating of human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

St. Pete scored a 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Mayor Rick Kriseman acknowledged the city’s LGBTQ liaison, Robert Danielson, as he announced the rating Wednesday morning ...

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Hillsborough County moves ahead with domestic partner registry listen

09/17/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Kevin Beckner, LGBT, domestic partnership registry, Domestic Partner Registry, Hillsborough County, Tampa

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Hillsborough County is one step closer to instituting a Domestic Partner Registry, where couples can sign up for legal protections, regardless of their marital status -- the commission voted unanimously Wednesday morning to move forward, after some discussion and public comment.

The proposal was introduced by Commissioner Kevin Beckner.

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Marriage Equality victory in Monroe County could be the door LGBTQ advocates have been looking for listen

07/18/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Nadine Smith, equality florida, marriage equality, LGBTQ, LGBT, Gay Marriage, Same-sex marriage

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Same sex couples in Florida could soon be able to marry in the state. But there’s a catch – it only applies to Monroe County. Yesterday, a judge there ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. It’s not yet clear when same-sex couples will be able to marry in Monroe County which includes the Florida Keys. That’s on hold until after the state’s appeal is complete.

Nadine Smith is the executive director for Equality Florida.

"Yesterday was a huge day in a real quantum ...

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Hillsborough will add LGBT protections to human rights ordinance listen

07/16/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Ronda Storms, Kevin Beckner, equality florida, LGBT, Hillsborough County, Pride

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Hillsborough County is now on track to add protections for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

In a 7-0 vote Wednesday morning, commissioners asked county legal staff to update Hillsborough’s human rights ordinance with legal protections to prevent LGBT discrimination for things like employment and housing.

It was introduced by the county’s first openly gay commissioner, Kevin Beckner.

Fewer than ten members of the public spoke out against the additional protectio...

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Tampa scores high in new report on LGBT equality; St. Pete and other Florida cities above average listen

11/19/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: LGBT, equality, Human Rights Campaign, equality florida, Tampa, St. Pete, Florida, marriage equality, domestic partnership

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Tampa ranks high for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in American cities in a report released today by the Human Rights Campaign.

The LGBT rights group gives Tampa 89 points and St. Petersburg 66 points out of 100.

The Municipal Equality Index report was written by Cathryn Oakley, legislative council for state and municipal advocacy at the Human Rights Campaign. ...

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Conservative Terry Kemple appointed to Hillsborough County diversity council listen

10/02/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: LGBT, Muslims, Hillsborough County Commission, Terry Kemple, Kevin Beckner, Les Miller, islam, Victor Crist, diversity

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Hillsborough County Commissioners created a Diversity Advisory Council Wednesday morning and unanimously appointed conservative Christian Terry Kemple as one of its members. That’s despite the push from some commissioners in the past to exclude him because they say he has anti-diversity views including against Muslims and gays. Openly gay Commissioner Kevin Beckner said his change of heart came from something Pope Francis said this summer.

"Actually was a response to, when he was asked of...

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Transgender woman in Pinellas denied access to restrooms at PTEC listen

09/19/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: LGBT, discrimination, Pinellas County Schools, transgender, PTEC, U.S. Department of Education, education, ACLU, wmnf

The ACLU of Florida is asking the U.S. Department of Education to compel the Pinellas School district to broaden transgender rights in schools. The civil rights group filed a complaint this week on behalf of Alex Wilson, a transgender nursing student who was denied access to restroom facilities at her school for either men or women.

“Because I did not have the sexual reassignment surgery which costs about $20,000 to do and that if I used those restrooms I would have charges pressed agains...

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Equality Florida asks St. Pete to suspend its relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia because anti-gay legislation listen

08/14/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The LGBT rights group Equality Florida sent a letter this week to the Mayor of St. Petersburg and city council asking that the city suspend its relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia because of recent anti-gay violence and legislation.

We interviewed Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida.

Note: St. Pete's relationship with its Russian namesake is not an official Sister City designation; St. Pete's Sister City is Takamatsu, Japan.

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Pinellas County might expand transgender rights listen

08/09/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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An anti-discrimination ordinance in Pinellas County means that men and women can’t be denied certain rights based on their sex. On August 20, County Commissioners will hear from the public about whether to expand that ordinance to include transgender individuals.

The change to the county’s ordinance would simply replace the word ‘sex’ with ‘gender.’ During a meeting Tuesday, Commissioner John Morroni expressed some conc...

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