5.23.13 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshotBack when I first arrived in Florida as a new graduate still looking to earn my chops as a reporter, my editor assigned me a story that seemed, quite literally, made for me. He asked me to drive from my daily assignment desk in Port Charlotte to the Magic Kingdom in Kissimmee to cover Gay Day.

I leapt at the opportunity to not only leave the confines of my office on a beautiful June Saturday, but to experience the Magic Kingdom with LGBT people from around the world. Just weeks after securing press passes for myself and my husband-who was my “official” photographer-I was soon walking through a sea of red T-shirts as we were escorted by a cheerful Disney Cast Member.

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1.31.13 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshotResidents of Hillsborough County are incensed by the decision from their commissioners to reject a domestic partnership registry that would have protected unmarried couples in the county. Their mean-spirited 4-3 vote was doused in prejudice and soaked in re-election campaigning simply because it would have afforded a handful of rights to same-sex couples.

While those commissioners voting against the ordinance didn’t admit to that, their sentiments were clear. Hillsborough County is still an unwelcome place for LGBTs, especially in areas outside of the welcoming embrace of the Tampa city limits. If the registry was strictly for straight, unmarried elderly residents, it would have passed with little discussion.

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