LGBT

In the final installment of our “Beyond Park East” series, the focus is on dollars and cents in the LGBT community.

Lee Kafeety, the owner of the Cactus Flower Café on 12th Avenue in Pensacola, has been overseeing construction of a bar area in the restaurant. The San Francisco native says as an openly-gay business owner, locating in East Hill, called by some “The Gayborhood,” was something of a no-brainer.

In the fourth installment of “Beyond Park East,” we look at the spiritual side of Pensacola’s LGBT community.

On its website, Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church in Pensacola is described as a Christ-centered church of inclusion, community, transformation, and justice, where the message is: everyone is loved, worthy, and welcome.

That runs contrary to the messages on homosexuality from some, including televangelist Pat Robertson on his program “The 700 Club.”

In part two of “Beyond Park East,” the spotlight is on the military, and how it has dealt , and is now dealing, with its LGBT members.

Gays and lesbians have served in the American military and in supporting roles dating back to the Revolutionary War. Prior to World War II, there was no written policy.

During World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the military defined homosexuality as a mental defect based on "medical criteria". Many gays and lesbians served honorably during those conflicts, but when the need for combat troops declined, they would be involuntarily discharged.

senate.gov

Supporters of LGBT rights are applauding the first federal hate crime conviction involving the murder of a transgender woman in the final days of the Obama administration. But they’re also concerned about the future of such prosecutions under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As a U.S. Senator, Jeff Sessions called a federal hate crime law passed in 2009 “overly broad,” and said there was no need to add protections for gay and transgender people.

Lindsay Myers

On the heels of Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington. The event was organized as a grassroots movement to stand against Trump and for women’s rights and a variety of other causes.

In solidarity, “sister marches” were held in cities across the country, including Pensacola.

Picking up on Hillary Clinton’s campaign mantras, chants of “More love, less hate” and “Love trumps hate” filled the air as the marchers proceeded through downtown Pensacola.

U.S. State Department / https://flic.kr/p/v53KLY

When Donald Trump takes the oath as the 45th president of the United States, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be waiting to see what happens next.

At the Republican National Convention, Trump used the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to set up a promise to protect the LGBT community.

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful, foreign ideology,” said Trump at a rally after the attack.

Courtesy of WMFE

Boxes and stacks of wedding RSVPs crowd Kelly Bardier and Jaci Pfeiffer’s dining room in Oviedo, just outside Orlando. The couple is getting ready to tie the knot in Cocoa Beach.

“We have a wedding shower on Sunday and a wedding on October 28, so it’s crazy!” said Pfeiffer.

After they say “I do” they’ll hop on a Disney cruise with their three young boys to celebrate. They’re calling it a “familymoon.”

Lindsay Myers

A candlelight vigil is being held tonight in Pensacola’s Seville Square to honor the victims of Sunday’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The tribute is being presented by several local LGBT organizations, whose members are still reeling in the aftermath of the attack. 

The timing of the shooting is significant, in the middle of National LGBT Pride month. And, locally, Pensacola PRIDE week had just gotten underway says organizer Doug Landreth.

Gay Grassroots of NWFL

Pensacola’s LGBT community will kick off the fifth annual Pensacola PRIDE event on Saturday at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola.

Pensacola PRIDE founder Doug Landreth says the theme for this year’s celebration is “Know the Past, Celebrate the Present, Create the Future" – focusing on the “history, courage, diversity and value” of the area’s LGBT community.

Courtesy of PSouth

A beach cleanup project during the annual LGBT Beach Reunion during Memorial Day Weekend – at Pensacola Beach and Park East is aimed at keeping the sand and water beautiful during and just after the holiday.

More than 75,000 people – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – are expected to gather on the beach, mainly in the Park East section of Santa Rosa Island. And when a crowd that size forms – gay or straight – there’s a vast amount of debris that’s left behind. That’s where PSouth Operation Beach Cleanup comes in.

This week venues around Pensacola are hosting Stamped: The Pensacola LGBT Film Festival. This is the fourth year for the film festiva which highlights artistic achievement in film from and about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and queer community.

David Newton, one of the organizers of the film festival shared this about the fest,

wcmu.org

The parties are already underway for this weekend’s annual gathering of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender at Pensacola Beach’s Park East.

About 150,000 people have attended the LBGT-related events the past couple of Memorial Day weekends. Ted McCrary, the general manager of Emerald City – the downtown Pensacola bar that serves as party central -- is expecting about the same, if not a slightly higher number this year.

Sandra Averhart

  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is not giving clear answers on whether she will keep up a legal battle over the state's ban on gay marriage. Once the ceremonies are over, couples will have some newly-opened doors.

Tallahassee Federal Judge Robert Hinkle ruled last year that Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, approved by voters in 2008, is unconstitutional. When his stay expired on Monday, same-sex couples began tying the knot throughout the state.

Courtesy of Lindsay Myers & Sarah Humlie

 

The historic legalization of same sex marriage in Florida is hitting home for Pensacola couple Sarah Humlie and Lindsay Myers. Although they married out of state in 2012, they were plaintiffs in the ACLU case to end Florida’s long-held ban. Sandra Averhart spoke with Humlie and Myers, who happens to be a colleague at WUWF.

Sandra Averhart (SA): Well, it's been a few days since the news that the stay would end, allowing marriage licenses in Florida to be issued for the first time Tuesday. What are your thoughts now, several days later, on this ruling?

Pensacola LGBT Film Festival

The third annual Pensacola LGBT Film Festival kicks off Wednesday in downtown Pensacola. All film screenings are free and open to the public. Organizer Sara Latshaw sat down recently with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody.

Pensacola LGBT Film Fest 

Unitarian Universalism Examiner

An LGBT rights activist from Uganda recently visited the area to bring awareness about the oppressive anti-gay laws in his country. Same sex relationships were already illegal in Uganda before the new bill was signed into law earlier this year. The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law of 2014 has been in the works for over  5 years and originally called for gays to be executed but that was reduced to life in prison in the final version of the law.

Photo via Instagram// @wynnayscue

People are crowding onto Santa Rosa Island for the Memorial Day weekend. Many are looking forward to the beach parties that mark the annual mostly LGBT gathering at Park East.

About 150,000 people attended the LGBT-related events last Memorial Day. And organizer Johnny Chism is expecting higher numbers this time around. A number of events are on tap at Emerald City on Wright Street – the downtown Pensacola bar owned by Chism and considered the headquarters for the LGBT weekend.

Gulf Coast Council of Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America began allowing gay members under the age of 18 as of January 1st. While some groups have withdrawn their support, the impact on local scouting doesn’t appear to be that large for now.

Spencer Page at the Gulf Coast Council says nine charter partners, all of them religious groups and most of them independent churches, notified the Council just after the vote last May that they would be departing.

City of Pensacola

Legal decisions and hospital visitation are among the rights currently not afforded to the nearly three thousand unmarried Pensacolians who cohabitate.