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Image: Rainbow Flag LGBTQ , pbs.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

LGBTQ advocates in Florida seek statewide anti-discrimination protection


Gov. Rick Scott remained mum this week about signing an anti-discrimination order protecting LGBTQ state employees in the wake of the Trump administration’s latest attempt to roll back federal protections for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Since the Pulse massacre, LGBTQ advocates in Florida have pleaded with Scott to sign an executive order protecting state employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. State civil rights laws don’t explicitly protect queer and trans communities from being denied housing, service and employment. Equality Florida advocates say Scott broke his promise by refusing to sign the order and insisting that protections for sexual orientation already existed for Floridians on the federal level. That logic has been put to the test …
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Photo: Mayor Teresa Jacobs, flickr
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Florida’s opioid crisis is about to get deadlier. Orange County officials plan to fight back


In 2012, Stephanie Muzzy was driving around Orlando looking for the worst neighborhood she could find in search of prescription pills. She didn’t find pills, but the batch of heroin she tried from Lake Downey trailer park plummeted her into the depths of addiction and landed her in the Orange County jail. As the months turned into years, Muzzy was in and out of rehabs in Florida and Nevada, gaining and losing jobs, apartments, cars, cats and boyfriends along the way. Overdose after overdose, Muzzy was able to recover and is currently now on her way to getting better – but the same can’t be said for more than 2,664 Floridians who overdosed on opioids and never woke up during …
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Photo: via Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Florida is ‘reviewing’ Trump election commission’s request for voter data


State officials are “reviewing” a request for personal Florida voter information from President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, which is investigating the unsubstantiated claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election and cost Trump the popular vote. The request to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was a letter sent to all states from Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Kobach asked Detzner to provide Florida voters’ names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, last four digits of Social Security numbers and history of voting from 2006 onward. In Florida, most voter registration information is already public except for social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and the source of the voter application. …
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Credit: Wikipedia Commons
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Reconciling Americans’ Opposing Desires on Gun Control


In a Gallup poll five days after the Pulse shootings, 63 percent of Americans said they thought that making it harder to buy assault weapons would prevent similar incidents. But in the same poll, 64 percent of respondents said they thought allowing more people to carry concealed weapons would prevent mass shootings. On the face of it, these seem like contradictory opinions, though statistically, some people must have agreed with both. In this year’s legislative session, Florida politicians had similarly paradoxical results on both sides of the aisle. Democratic legislators were unable to pass bills making possession of assault weapons by everyday citizens a felony, while Republican-sponsored bills to allow concealed campus carry, concealed airport carry and open carry also …
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Image: Orlando Weekly Cover, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

State Attorney Aramis Ayala Igniting Criticism


Herman Lindsey can tell you what it’s like to wait for a turn with death. He was put on Florida’s death row in 2007, after being convicted of the murder of a store clerk who was fatally shot during a Fort Lauderdale robbery in 1994. As he fought to prove his innocence, other men were taken into the white execution room and injected with a fatal cocktail of drugs. And then one day, Lindsey was free. After fighting his case all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, all seven justices agreed the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction, much less a death sentence. Lindsey says he felt ignored by lawmakers in his fight to abolish the death penalty …
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