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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA --- A drama about an acting troupe performing a controversial play and a world premiere musical about life in Cuba past and present garnered the most nominations for the 43rd annual Carbonell Awards, which honor excellence in theater in South Florida. Indecent, produced by Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach, earned nine nominations, and Havana Music Hall, produced by Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, earned seven.
Palm Beach Dramaworks shows earned 18 nominations overall, the most of any theater in the tri-county region, for its productions of the plays Indecent, Equus and Edgar and Emily, and the musical Woody Guthrie’s American Song. Slow Burn Theatre Company in Fort Lauderdale earned 16 nominations, the most of any theater in Broward County. Zoetic Stage received 14 nominations, the most for any theater in Miami-Dade County. Both Slow Burn and Zoetic Stage hold the distinction of earning at least one nomination for every show the companies produced in 2018. Miami-Dade theaters earned 43 nominations, Palm Beach County 37, and Broward County 21. Nominations recognized 37 shows at theaters stretching from Coral Gables in the south to Jupiter in the north.
JOEY POLLARI (pictured), the "Love Simon" and "American Crime" star came out in public, even though he had been out to family and friends since he was 18. "The only part that was difficult to me was coming out to myself."
LEE PACE, an actor who appeared in "Lincoln", "Twilight", and on Broadway in "Angels in America, says that it's important for gay actors to play gay roles.
RONAN FARROW, son of 60's movie star, Mia Farrow, is an investigative reporter who made a name for himself breaking news on transgender and sexual assault issues.
Pop star BETTY WHO is an Australian dance music artist and feels comfortable dating men and women.
A federal judge ruled a St. Louis retirement community has the right to say a married lesbian couple could not move in there together.
U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton said the Fair Housing Act offers no anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, reports the St. Louis Dispatch.
Mary Walsh and Bev Nance, who married in 2009, put down a $2,000 deposit in 2016 with their application to live at Sunset Hills, part of the Friendship Village in St. Louis. But Friendship Village then denied an application, stating the couple would violate a cohabitation policy that defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible.”
The women filed a lawsuit in federal court in July shortly after having their application rejected. They told the Dispatch that while touring retirement communities, they stopped asking whether they allowed same-sex couples because it seemed a settled question.
The Russian LGBT Network believes about 40 people have been imprisoned since December - two of whom they say have died under torture. The group has been monitoring alleged abuses in the mainly Muslim Russian republic since 2017 when dozens of gay people were reportedly detained. A government spokesman has dismissed their latest report as "complete lies". Chechnya, and its authoritarian leader Ramzan Kadyrov, has consistently denied allegations of illegal detentions and human rights abuses. In an interview with the BBC last year, Mr Kadyrov said the allegations were "an invention by foreign agents" or created by activists looking for money. Homophobia is widespread in the highly conservative and predominantly Muslim Russian republic. Mr Kadyrov and other government figures have repeatedly claimed Chechnya has no gay population at all. Despite official denials, dozens have come forward and alleged they were detained and tortured by authorities because of their sexual orientation. The reports have drawn condemnation from around the world.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard apologized Thursday for "wrong" and "hurtful" statements she made years ago touting her work for an anti-gay group, saying in a series of posts to Twitter that "my views have changed significantly since then. I grew up knowing that every person is a child of God, and equally loved by God. I have always believed in the fundamental rights and equality of all people," Gabbard wrote in a flurry of posts that was also accompanied by a video apology. "But I also grew up in a socially conservative household, where I was raised to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. For a period of my life I didn’t see the contradiction in those beliefs." Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who announced a 2020 presidential bid last Friday, has come under fresh scrutiny in recent weeks after CNN published a story outlining her past remarks. During a 2002 run for the Hawaii state legislature, the Democratic congresswoman touted her work with The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, an organization run by her father that advocated against pro-gay rights lawmakers and in favor of an amendment to the state's constitution banning same-sex marriage. Gabbard's father, Mike Gabbard, advocated against gay rights in Hawaii in the 1990s, telling Honolulu Magazine that homosexuality "not normal, not healthy, morally and scripturally wrong." Tulsi Gabbard said she supported her father's views at the time, and The New Yorker reported that she advocated against legislation in Hawaii to combat anti-gay bullying, saying it would be "inviting homosexual-advocacy organizations into our schools to promote their agenda to our vulnerable youth.”
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