Orlando LGBT news 17/6/11

Well the WBC moved on from Orlando so I wanted to do something else with this blog. So I’ll be posting other LGBT information/news instead.

So here goes

This is from ‘PFLAG Orlando

Orange County Will Offer Equal Benefits to Gay Employees
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
By: Nicole Creston

April 19, 2011 | WMFE – Orange County commissioners today voted unanimously to offer benefits to the families of gay county employees. The change extends to the families of gay employees the same benefit choices available to heterosexual employees.

The choices include health and dental coverage, along with life insurance and other benefits. The new policy is a fulfillment of one of County Mayor Teresa Jacob’s campaign promises.

When the change takes effect on January 1st, 2012, Orange County residents will join the 5.5 million Floridians who live in cities and counties where family benefits are offered to gay employees.

The city of Orlando already has a similar policy in effect, as does Tampa, Gainesville, Miami Beach and others, along with the counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe.

Orange County Sheriff’s Dept – Domestic Partner Benefits

 June 7, 2011

Orange County Sheriff’s Office to Provide Domestic Partner Benefits!
Unlike all other Orange County workers, the Sheriff’s Office is a separate entity and maintains separate policies for their employees.  So when Orange County voted in April to provide domestic partner benefits to county employees, LGBT employees of the Sheriff’s Office were excluded from the celebration, even though they were present in the commission chamber on that glorious day. OADO (the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee) immediately reached out to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and encouraged and facilitated policy discussions.  Now OADO can report that the Sheriff’s Office will provide DP benefits that will match that of Orange County, and enrollment will begin in October (to go in effect January 2012).  Congratulations to all OADO members who were involved in this important work!  (And you know who you are.)  We thank Sheriff Demings and the fine people at OCSO for their commitment to fairness and equality.

From Zebra Coalition:

Orlando Youth Alliance Moves Into the Zebra House

The Orlando Youth Alliance is settling into their new home at the Zebra House.  We host our weekly Tuesday night support group from 6:15 to 7:15 pm.  On Friday nights we host a drop in for youth to play games, watch movies, chat and build friendships.   If you know of youth who would be interested in becoming involved with OYA have them email us at info@orlandoyouthalliance.org.

Since moving into the Zebra House this spring the youth members of OYA  hosted an open house, participated in AIDS Walk Orlando, and painted a elderly person house.  The final session of the GLBT History & Cultural Project will be completed in May.  The project was funded by the Human Service Associates and the City of Orlando Mayor’s Matching grant program. The activities on June 3 & 4 are a lock-in with Prideline Youth Services of Miami.  After the lock-in, youth from both organizations will meet up on Saturday with members of the Lakeland Youth Alliance for a fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom.  On June 25, members of OYA will participate in the Olive Garden sponsored OYA Kitchen Learning experience.  Olive Garden will host the event with the Pride Alliance network to introduce OYA youths to potential Marketing Careers at Olive Garden specifically focused on food menu items development.

On April 18, the Parliament House hosted their annual fundraising event Babes in Bonnets.  This extravaganza of Easter bonnets and drag queens was truly a community-wide event with many local bars, restaurants, and businesses donating bonnets and prizes for the auction.  OYA was honored to be the recipient once again this year.  It garnered $8,800.  Big kudos to Don & Susan, Darcel, Baby Blue and Carmella for organizing the event.

For more information about Orlando Youth Alliance and our chapters log onto our websites:

www.orlandoyouthalliance.org

www.lakelandyouthalliance.org

From Equality Florida:

Currently, Florida law does not recognize gay and straight unmarried couples. Our families can love and support each other for decades and still be denied fundamental protections. It’s time for the City of Orlando and Orange County to do what state and federal law currently has not.

It’s time for the City of Orlando and Orange County to create a domestic partnership registry.

A domestic partnership registry is a simple thing. If created, unmarried gay and straight couples could go to City Hall or another public building and register. From that moment forward, as long as you’re in City or County limits, you’re a family. You’ll be notified if your partner or partner’s children are in an emergency. You’ll have hospital visitation rights. You’ll have end of life decision making powers. You can pick your partner’s children up from school. You can make decisions for your partner after death.

Equality Florida and the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee have been hard at work communicating with leaders at the City of Orlando and Orange County Government, and we’re confident we have momentum. We’ve told them about Florida’s biggest counties like Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward and Monroe and how they created registries. We’ve told them about world-class economic centers like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, New York City, New Orleans, Pheonix and Philadelphia which all have domestic partner registries.

Help us bring a domestic partner registry to Orlando and Orange County. Start by signing our petition and committing your voice and the voice of your business or organization to this important process.

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