Sarasota secures domestic partnership registry
Very little controversy surrounded the City of Sarasota’s Domestic Partnership Registry, which went into effect in early November. Same-sex and opposite-sex couples could register for protections within the city after a months-long push by area activists, namely former commissioner Ken Shelin. Sarasota is the first city in Sarasota county to enact the ordinance, and has a provision for those registered to be grandfathered into a possible future countywide ordinance.
Golden Apple closes doors, reopens for New Year’s
The Sarasota arts community was shocked to learn that it’s beloved, historic Golden Apple Dinner Theater was forced to close this fall. Owners had difficulty making the rent and a new owner of the historic building asked the Sheriff’s Office to post eviction notices. Fortunately, less than two months later, the home of local theater and drag queen bingo will reopen its doors in time for two-month run of Viagara Falls, which opens right before New Year’s Eve.
Sarasota tops list of LGBT youth-friendly cities
America’s Promise Alliance named Sarasota as one of the 11 best communities for LGBT young people in September, citing the activism of area schools and the ALSO Out Youth organization as reasons for the designation. The findings were reported in The Huffington Post, and pleasantly surprised several area leaders.
Stand Up Sarasota focuses on bullying
Outspoken and passionate former NCAA wrestler Hudson Taylor was the headliner at Stand Up Sarasota Week this fall when he spoke at several area high schools. The “Athlete/Ally” founder battles bullying across the country. He was joined by Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell and author Jen Hancock, author of The Bully Vaccine. The event reached more than 1,500 high school students.
Sarasota Pride hits 5,000 mark
It was a record year for Sarasota Pride. The 2012 festival in downtown Sarasota lured more than 5,000 people to J.D. Hamel Park as they celebrated diversity on Oct. 20. This marked the largest outdoor pride festival in the city’s history and every local democratic candidate for office had a vendor booth at the event. This year’s celebration had a new feature – Family Fun Zone run by Trinity MCC, which attracted families of all types to Sarasota Pride 2012.