Search Result for Strange Bedfellows — 6 articles

The Other Side of Life: Strange Bedfellows

By : Jason Leclerc
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The excessive spectacle surrounding our recently-passed statesman and war martyr, Senator John McCain, came as little surprise. To the disinterested observer, that the vast and broad anti-McCain rhetoric questioned his status as a hero and his credentials as a statesman was nothing if not predictable. To an observer who’d lived on a planet outside of our galaxy since 2016, the epithets and animus coming from McCain’s own party might have been shocking.

For the rest of us who’ve observed the takeover of that party by an unprincipled impostor—a POW belittler and recent Democrat himself—nothing remains that can shock us. The most visceral post-mortem disdain was shoveled out from a hole deeper than the Everglades-are-wide by folks who’ve overtaken a Grand Old Party that once nominated McCain for the presidency. Liberal institutionalists came to his defense alongside institutional Reagan-Bush conservatives. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

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Issue 25.19: Local Love

By : Jake Stevens
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Lakeland filmmaker brings ‘At the End of the Day’ to Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Fest 29, The Reformation Project hosts sixth national LGBTQ Inclusion Conference in downtown Orlando, Pasco Pride holds inaugural festival, first in Pasco County, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Issue 21.09: Standing With Our Friend Edie

By : Jake Stevens
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Standing with our friend, Edie: Marge Sherwin and Rose Walton of St. Pete knew Edith Windsor way before she was a symbol of equality, More LGBT projects look to Kickstarter for support, Meet St. Pete Pride’s 2014 grand marshals, Central Florida HIV-positive ball player shares his story, Mad Cow’s Cabaret Fest gets its first Tony-winner, local news, celebrity interviews, events, photos, and much more!

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Anti-gay group joins fight against Lake County Schools District club policies

By : Jamie Hyman
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Mt. Dora – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is acquiring some strange bedfellows in their fight to allow a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at Carver Middle School.

In December 2013, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Lake County School District on behalf of Hannah Faughnan, 12, a seventh-grader who is attempting to form a GSA at her school. The suit is fighting a policy written into the District’s club policy that forbids “non-curricular” clubs at middle schools. The District is relying on the policy to prevent Carver Middle School’s GSA from meeting.

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Tampa prepares for influx of conservative, gay Republicans

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UPDATE: The start of the RNC has been postponed to the afternoon of Aug. 28, due to Tropical Storm Isaac. Watch this space for updates as they become available.

Soon, the City of Tampa and its neighbors will be swarming with delegates and supporters of the Republican National Convention. During the weekend of Aug. 24-26, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will accept the party’s nomination for president. This comes two weeks after his major announcement that Rep. Paul Ryan will be his Vice Presidential candidate.

For many LGBTs, the views of the Romney-Ryan team translates to a threat to equality. Both men oppose marriage equality and are criticized by gay rights groups like the Human Rights Campaign regarding their stances on LGBT issues.

PinkElephantsBut the pair, and the party, have their supporters within the LGBT community, and those supporters plan to be front and center in Tampa at the RNC. Representatives of the gay conservative groups GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans will support the Republican nominee.

“The issues affecting our country and that are facing voters are bigger than one single issue,” said Jim LaSalvia, GOProud executive director, referring to same-sex marriage. “I disagree with [Romney] on same-sex marriage, but every issue is a gay issue. Gay people are living in the Obama economy too. We’re at a critical point in our country’s history and we have a failed presidents on our hands.

“That’s why we endorse Mitt Romney. He has the best shot of beating Obama.”

GOProud, the only national gay organization that has endorsed Romney, will not only attend the RNC within the Tampa Bay Times Forum, but it will also hold its annual Homocon celebration at The Honey Pot in Ybor City on Tuesday, Aug. 29, beginning at 10:30 p.m. A list of conservative speakers (see sidebar) are slated to attend the party held at one of Ybor City’s most popular LGBT night spots.

Also coming to Tampa are the Log Cabin Republicans, the older gay conservative group which has yet to officially endorse Romney for president. But that’s not out of the ordinary, according to executive director R. Clarke Cooper.

“We don’t endorse [before the RNC],” Cooper explained. “It’s out of protocol. Normally organizations are ancillary pieces of the party and we don’t endorse until the convention. One of two things will happen in Tampa: Organizations will endorse a candidate or they won’t. It’s either A or B, and it’s not until the convention is underway.”

In May, Romney secured enough delegates to secure the nomination, so the convention is essentially a party celebrating that, rather than choosing a Republican contender to face President Obama in November.

Economic boost
Regardless of political affiliation, it’s obvious that the RNC will bring a much welcome economic boost to the Tampa Bay area. Local businesses like restaurants and hotels are expecting an uptick in their coffers and the national media spotlight is invaluable for the Tampa Bay region, according to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

PinkElephantsSidebarâ┚¬Å”The convention is an international event of the magnitude of nothing we've ever done before,â┚¬Â Buckhorn said. â┚¬Å”Other than the Olympics, this will be the most watched television event in the world this year. We will have 15,000 journalists alone in Tampa for this.â┚¬Â

And it's an opportunity to showcase Tampa and to relay a positive message, Buckhorn said.

â┚¬Å”This is not a political event,â┚¬Â the democratic mayor said. â┚¬Å”This is an economic development opportunity.â┚¬Â

The LCR will set up at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort on Clearwater Beach and its overflow guests have been directed to The Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg. Throughout the weekend, the LCR will hold special receptions throughout Tampa Bay. On Aug. 26, a mix and mingle is slated for 5-7 p.m. at The Rusty Pelican on N. Rocky Point Drive in Tampa and on Aug. 27, the group will celebrate the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund at Oystercatchers within the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay from 3-5 p.m.

The GOProud contingent hasn’t announced specifically where its members will stay, but LaSalvia said he encourages members to get as close to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and Ybor City, as possible.

“I came to Tampa last fall to scout it out,” LaSalvia said. “Mariruth Kennedy of the Tampa Bay Business Guild showed me around and Mark Bias and Carrie West showed me around Ybor City. I loved it there and knew it would be a perfect setting for our main eventâ┚¬â€Homocon.

LaSalvia said Homocon is a tradition now for gay conservatives and bringing the signature event to a premier stage like the RNC is an opportunity the organization did not want to miss.

Strange bedfellows?
For many in the LGBT community, hearing about strong, gay support for a presidential candidate who openly opposes same-sex marriage and supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman is confusing, if not frustrating.

With the recent news that Romney chose conservative Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate may cause more LGBTs to scratch their heads at the enthusiasm of gay conservatives.

But Cooper is excited by the Romney-Ryan pairing.

â┚¬Å”Congressman Ryan is a strong choice for vice president, and his addition to the GOP ticket will help Republican candidates up and down the ballot,â┚¬Â Cooper said. â┚¬Å”As chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of the Republican ‘path to prosperity’ that provided the blueprint for serious spending cuts in this Congress, nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation.”

While both Cooper and LaSalvia praised Ryan’s 2007 vote in favor of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, the Human Rights Campaign sees his selection as counter to LGBT equality.

â┚¬Å”Paul Ryan does not support LGBT families, and has voted against allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt,” the HRC said in a statement. “He voted against hate crime protections. He opposed repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and he does not support marriage equality.”

LaSalvia disagrees with the HRC’s point of view.

“The selection of Ryan is a bold and inspired pick,” LaSalvia said. “He has been the architect of policies that would benefit all Americans, especially gay Americans. Like all Americans, gays and lesbians in this country are concerned with the out-of-control spending and growing mountains of unsustainable federal debt.”

LaSalvia added that GOProud believes Ryan’s Social Security reforms would end the government’s discrimination against gay couples through personal savings accounts.

“He has voted to end the discriminatory death tax and for free market reforms to healthcare that will expand access to domestic partner benefits.”

Making their point
According to both LaSalvia and Cooper, being a gay conservative can be difficult, especially among the left-leaning LGBT community. But conservatism is the way to a prosperous future in America, both say, and sharing that message while in Tampa is the goal of both groups.

But many question why the RNC is necessary, given that the Romney-Ryan ticket is a shoo-in for the nomination.

“The reason the convention is happening, is to nominate Romney to be President of the United States,” LaSalvia said. “Any right-of-center organization going to Tampa darn-well better be going to elect Romney as president. That’s why we’re going.”

LaSalvia is excited about Romney’s presidential run, and he believes the RNC will boost Romney’s popularity.

“Most gay Americans, like their straight counterparts, are not better off than they were four years ago,” LaSalvia said. “The truth is that gay people are living in the disastrous failed Obama economy too. President Obama and his friends on the left want this election to be about divisive social issues because the President’s record on jobs and the economy is indefensible.”

LaSalvia, and GOProud, believes Romney has the experience to “turn the economy around.”

David Lee steps up as Manager in Charge of Show Procurement at the Footlight Theater

By : Chris Muscardin
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Orlando – Hold on to your pumps, because Hedwig and her angry inch may be returning to the Parliament House.

As mentioned in the last issue, local theatre acting and directing icon David Lee (arguably most famous for his 2002 ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ production) has recently accepted the position of Manager in charge of Show Procurement for the Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre. Effective as of the Fringe Festival, Lee will be taking over for Drew Sizemore, who previously held the position.

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