You Live In “Trump Country” Now

Kevin Seymour and Kevin Paul Taylor were biking home from dinner in Key West when they were followed and harassed by a Donald Trump supporter.

Seymour and Taylor reported that a drunken moped driver started “calling us faggots and a slew of other anti-gay remarks.” Taylor posted on his Facebook page that “he kept stopping in front of us and swerving into us. Finally Kevin (Seymour) got ahead of him and the guy charges him with his scooter and runs into him and knocks him off his bike. Kevin is okay.”

The driver of the moped also taunted the couple by saying, “You live in Trump country now.”

The moped driver is described as a white man in his mid-to-late thirties with a southern accent.  The model of his moped was a black Eclipse.

A witness gave a statement to police backing the couple’s story and officers said there may be security video available from nearby businesses.

“I think the cops will be able to track him down,” Taylor said.

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Jacksonville Expands Human Rights Ordinance

The Jacksonville City Council voted to expand the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) on February 14. The bill, sponsored by Council Members Aaron Bowman, Tommy Hazouri and Jim Love, added the words sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing HRO which prohibits discrimination for public accommodations, employment and housing.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry returned the bill without a signature, making the HRO expansion law.  Amendments to the bill exempted religious organizations from complying with the order, expanded the exemption for small businesses from fifteen or fewer employees to fifty or fewer and eliminated jail time as a penalty for violating the HRO in any way.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD, tweeted about the City Council’s vote, calling it “refreshing.”  The measure passed 12-6. While the bill is not perfect, a crowd still gathered outside City Hall after the bill was passed to celebrate.

Here is how each City Council member voted on HRO expansion:
Matt Schellenberg – No
Reggie Gaffney – Yes
Aaron Bowman – Yes
Reginald Brown – Yes
Greg Anderson – Yes
Al Ferraro – No
Samuel Newby – No
Anna Lopez Brosche – Yes
John Crescimbeni – Yes
Lori Boyer, council president – Yes
Garret Dennis -Yes
Jim Love – Yes
Joyce Morgan – Yes
Scott Wilson- Yes
Katrina Brown – Absent
Danny Becton – No
Doyle Carter – No
Bill Gulliford – No
Tommy Hazouri – Yes

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Show Me Love

Show Me Love

The Ad Council and the NFL teamed up to create the newest Love Has No Labels campaign.  The “Kiss Cam” at the Pro Bowl in Orlando Florida turned into something much bigger than the typical couples kissing.  It turned into an opportunity to highlight love’s different forms.

According to the Ad Council, the video features “real families, couples and friends across different races, religions, genders, sexualities, abilities and ages.”

Please take a moment and enjoy the video here.

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Dignity over Revenue

Dignity over Revenue

New York Grilled Cheese Company in Wilton Manors, Florida has received a few bad reviews online.  But not over their grilled cheese.   Their bad reviews are in reference to their employee, Mia, and the gender-neutral / trans-friendly bathrooms.

Mary Bolda’s review complained about the terrible service from her “waiter,” a trans employee named Mia.  Mary continued to refer to Mia as “he” and “him” loudly and was a distraction to other customers.  Another reviewer complained that she wouldn’t go back to New York Grilled Cheese Company because “they only have transgender restrooms.”

New York Grilled Cheese Company shared the following on social media in support of their employee Mia: “We at New York Grilled Cheese Co. want to send a clear message that the company culture is and always will be one of acceptance, equality, and support of our transgender community and any other walk of life.  This week one of employees, Mia, was the victim of discrimination and we’d like to respond with one simple message: LOVE. Share this graphic if you got Love for Mia and our local transgender community. ‪#‎LOVEMIA‬”

Owner Leor Barak said he was sorry to hear the customer wouldn’t make a return visit to New York Grilled Cheese Company but announced “we would never choose the revenue of an intolerant patron over the dignity of our employees.”

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A Survivor Dances

Angel Colon is a Pulse victim survivor and a lover of Zumba.

The Zumba Instructor Network, who held their convention in Orlando recently, honored Angel for his bravery and determination. Angel was shot six times during the massacre at Pulse.

Just over a month later, he was able to use a walker to go on stage and speak to the convention. “This past month has been the worst month of my life, but going through this there’s been nothing but love and support from everyone,” he told the crowd.

The Zumba Instructor Network announced the start of the “Zumba Fitness Angel Institution”, which is a scholarship to be used to send one instructor who demonstrates love and diversity to the annual convention. The Zumba Instructor Network also announced that they would be paying for all of Angel’s physical therapy and his rent for a year.

Angel danced to the song “Love Make the World Go Round,” a song released by Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway sensation “Hamilton.”  The song was created for the Orlando victims families and to address the needs of the mentally ill.  Lopez stated “The world really needs the message of love being the answer.  That’s what really matters; that’s what really makes the world go ’round, nothing else.  Hate, anger, it’s not gonna get us anywhere.”

Before Angel went on stage he received a message from JLo herself: “Stand tall, Angel and dance, dance as the world is watching.”

Check out Angel’s triumphant return here.

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New on “The List:” Unity Church of Jacksonville, Florida

A local Jacksonville, Florida reviewer gave a great review for his local church community:

“I continue to be loved and supported by my Church! I’ve found this Church to be open and welcoming of all individuals regardless of race, color, gender,age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation. Unity teaches that all people are created with sacred worth and that no one exists outside the heart of God.”

Check out their full review and details on the Faith section of our Jacksonville page.

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