Watermark Year in Review: August 2015

watermark year in review august 2015

Twelve-year-old boy shoots at transgender woman Cheyenne West, allegedly, in Orlando near the Citrus Bowl and is charged with attempted murder and theft of a firearm. West was not harmed, thankfully, but this is 2015’s most disturbing trend. The shooter shouted homophobic slurs before unloading his bullets.

In a complex bit of back-and-forth, a long-fought lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in order to establish a Gay Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School in Lake County – it had one for a minute thanks to the tenacity of then-14-year-old Bayli Silberstein – was dismissed. In October, the ACLU appealed.

Osceola County becomes the 11th Florida county to pass a human rights ordinance forbidding discrimination in the workplace, housing and public venues. A statewide HRO is (once again) in the works, and in November, President Obama expressed support for altering the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people. Someday we’ll all be people!

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signs a conversion-therapy ban, known as the Youth Mental Protection Act, into law, making Illinois the 11th state to take such action. In March, mental health professionals pushed the issue, calling the practice unethical. Shaming is unethical. Shock therapy is unethical. “Conversion” is unethical. Well done, Illinois!

Metro Health, Wellness and Community branches out into LGBT primary care services for the Tampa and St. Petersburg region. Dr. David W. Lyter was hired on in July, and the centers are now monitoring 28 people taking Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) while also catering to the unique screening needs of the LGBT world on the west side.

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