Cleveland Pride cancels parade, just 2 weeks before event was to take place

Cleveland

Citing safety concerns, officials with Cleveland Pride announced Thursday, July 28, that the city’s 28th annual Pride parade and rally — which had been pushed back to Aug. 13 to accommodate the just-finished Republican National Convention held in that city — have been cancelled.

In a press release posted yesterday on organization’s website, Cleveland Pride Inc. President and CEO Todd J. Saporito said: “We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies. Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”

The press release went on to thank “all partners, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and service providers for their dedication and energy,” and noted that the Pride planning team’s next steps will be to “refund monies to vendors, sponsors and service providers. A team of board members and lead volunteers will initiate discussion for town hall meetings to further map out a program where we and other LGBT community partners, will be able to start crafting awareness and training programs, that will be beneficial on a day-to-day basis as well as prepared for our celebration in 2017.”

Saporito also noted, “Cleveland Pride, Inc. seeks to remind everyone that Pride is not a one-day celebration, but a daily act of visibility throughout our community. While we may not be marching as a large, unified body, we can come together throughout Cleveland and continue our support of local LGBTQ establishments and LGBTQ community members.”

But some community members aren’t buying it, including activist, radio host and Baldwin Wallace University associate professor Ken Schneck.

In a blog post on Huffington Post yesterday, Schneck called the cancellation “inconceivable,” given that Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention, complete with “protesters with many, many guns,” just last week; that there is a city-wide celebration happening this weekend to thank Cleveland for hosting the RNC; that Cleveland hosted the Gay Games just two years ago; that the city took less than 48 hours to plan a parade to celebrate the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA championship (a parade that drew more than a million spectators); and that “cities all over the country have been celebrating Pride post-Orlando for months now.”

—  Tammye Nash

Craig McCartney goes to Philly … and invites Ted Cruz for pound cake

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Craig McCartney: Well, Let Me Say This About That

Dallas’ own Craig McCartney has already built up a following with his YouTube channel, “Well, Let Me Say This About That.” Now He’s getting ready to take his show on the road, heading to Philadelphia where he will be vlogging (that’s video blogging, in case you didn’t know) from the Democratic National Convention.

But before he heads to Philly, Craig had a couple of things to say about the just-finished Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

—  Tammye Nash

Not in my America!

 

The Republicans just spent a week trying to build a winning hand, but proved that the only card they have left to play is Trump-ed up fear

 

Haberman-Hardy-I admit it. I watched the Republican National Convention.

It left me very confused, because speech after speech by second-tier GOP luminaries played the only card left in the Republican hand: fear.

We should be afraid of the crime wave sweeping America! We should be afraid of all the criminal illegal Mexicans pouring across our borders! We should be afraid of the terrorists that are slaughtering more people now in America than ever! We should be afraid of the economic disaster the Obama presidency has wrought on America! We should be afraid of the weakened state of defense! We should be afraid of Obamacare! We should be afraid of transgender people invading our son’s and daughter’s bathrooms! We should be afraid of the massive unemployment that this administration has caused and even more fearful of Hillary Clinton continuing on the same trajectory! We should be afraid of the elitism! We are a country in a crisis!

I think I ran out of exclamation points.

What amazes me is that every speaker — with the possible exception of Mrs. Trump — gave the same speech.

More amazing is the country these people are describing. It is an America largely based on fiction, an America that exists only on Fox News and in the minds of the huddled “preppers” who sit in their shelters awaiting the end times.

It is a completely different America than the one in which I live.

In my America, crime statistics show a steady decline in violent crime. In fact, a report from the Brookings Institute shows violent crime has fallen 51 percent since 1991, and is at one of the lowest rates since 1970.

In my America, the rate of illegal immigration has stabilized not increased, and in the case of Mexican immigrants it is actually declining.

And by the way, those illegal immigrants pay taxes. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, in 2013 they paid $7 billion in sales taxes, $1.1 billion in income taxes and $3.6 billion in property taxes.

And as far as their “criminal” behavior — well, of the 14,196 murders committed in 2013, a frightening total of eight were committed by illegal immigrants.

In my America, the economic disaster is the one we are still recovering from — and it started during the Bush administration. Stocks are at all-time highs, and the last report shows unemployment has fallen from close to 10 percent when Obama took office in 2008 to the current rate of 4.9 percent.

Sounds like an economic recovery to me.

In my America, our military spending is higher than the next six countries’ spending combined, including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and India. If anything, we need to cut back on that spending.

In my America, the Affordable Care Act has resulted in fewer people being uninsured. The number dropped from 41.8 million uninsured in 2013 to 33.0 million 2014 (last year available so far). Not everyone, but a pretty good success in a short time, and this in spite of the fact that many states declined to expand Medicaid to help their citizens afford insurance.

In my America, transgender people just want to use the toilet when they go to a public restroom, just like everyone else. In fact, the number of transgender people lurking in bathrooms to prey on unsuspecting people is exactly ZERO. The alleged “cases” that have been reported have all proven to be hoaxes generated by right-wing blogs.

In my America, the elitism I see is a presidential candidate giving interviews sitting in a golden chair in a penthouse apartment of a building with his name emblazoned in gold on the side. That qualifies as elite in my book, as does his private jet and helicopter.

In my America, I am not as afraid of terrorists sneaking into the country as I am of home-grown terrorists staging standoffs with government agents and bombing abortion clinics and shooting up gay nightclubs. And statistically, I am more likely to be killed by my own furniture falling on me than a terrorist.

So all this fear-mongering about our country in crisis? Well, the crisis I see is the very real possibility that the fearmongers will gain the White House. And that would be a big problem in my book.

Take a look at the GOP platform and if you are anyone but a straight, white Protestant you will find something to give you shivers.

The week-long fear fest of the Republican National Convention comes down to one thing: They offer our country a single item. They have come to the end of their deck and all they have left is their “Trump” card: It’s called Fear.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and board member for the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.

—  Tammye Nash

Gay GOPers plan convention events

GOProud’s Homocon on Tuesday is the “must-have ticket” at the Republican National Convention that’s taking place in Tampa this weekend. The dance party takes place at the Honey Pot, a club in Tampa’s Ybor City gayborhood.

Among the expected guests at homocon are CNN’s Mary Matalin and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. From the Romney campaign, National Coalitions Director Joshua Baca is expected.

And from Dallas, Rudy Oeftering, vice president of Metroplex Republicans, said he plans to arrived in Tampa at midday Tuesday and attend the invitation-only event. Oeftering is the only openly gay Republican from North Texas we’re aware of who’s going to Tampa.

Rain from tropical storm Isaac was expected to end in Tampa by late tonight, and the storm was expected to become a hurricane before making landfall somewhere between Mississippi and New Orleans on Tuesday.

Log Cabin Republicans held a welcome reception for the convention on Sunday evening. At Log Cabin headquarters in Washington, D.C. they weren’t sure whether today’s 3 p.m. reception with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund featuring former Rep. Jim Kolbe would be cancelled due to weather.

Events scheduled for later in the week are expected to go on as planned.

Log Cabin and Freedom to Marry are planning a 10 a.m. brunch on Wednesday with CNN contributor Margaret Hoover and Institute for Liberty President Andrew Langer.

On Thursday, an event supporting the LCR PAC’s work for pro-equality Republicans takes place at 4 p.m. Congressional Republicans expected to attend include Rep. Bob Dold (Ill.), Rep. Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Rep. Mary Bono Mack (Cal.)

After the jump is a video featuring Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, speaking about his support for marriage equality and encouraging others in his party to do the same. Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry are running the ad in Tampa during the convention.

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Navy sex video update; RNC candidates oppose gay marriage; Palin re-tweet

Your weekday morning news update from Instant Tea:

1. All five major candidates for chair of the Republican National Committee said during a debate Monday that they oppose same-sex marriage. Watch video of their comments above.

2. Owen Honors, the Navy captain who produced those raunchy sex videos laced with gay slurs for the crew of his aircraft carrier, is likely to be temporarily relieved of his command pending an investigation, NBC reports. Meanwhile, the American Family Association blames the scandal on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” suggesting that this is an example of what will happen anytime anyone in the military says something negative about homosexuality.

3. Speaking of DADT repeal and people being relieved of their duties, whoever manages Sarah Palin’s Twitter account could be next.

—  John Wright

What does Ken Mehlman have to say about his former boss, anti-gay Texas Rep. Lamar Smith?

Congressman Lamar Smith, R-Texas

If we could ask Ken Mehlman only one question, it might just be something about his one-time boss Lamar Smith.

Mehlman, the formerly anti-gay former RNC chair who recently came out as gay, served as Smith’s legislative director in the 1990s. Smith, meanwhile, seems to be vying for the title of No. 1 homophobe in Congress.

• In August, Smith sponsored a resolution to condemn U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

• Also in August, Smith announced plans to introduce federal legislation that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

• And now, Smith is asking a federal court to allow him to intervene in a case to help defend the Defense of Marriage Act, according to Keen News Service. The Alliance Defense Fund announced Tuesday it had filed motions on behalf of Smith asking to intervene in two cases in which a U.S. district judge in Massachusetts declared DOMA unconstitutional. The ADF argues on behalf of Smith that the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to defend the 1996 law, which some gay-rights activists don’t think the administration should be defending at all.

Interestingly, Smith’s Democratic opponent in November, Lainey Melnick, touts her opposition to DOMA prominently in the issues section of her website:

“It will be up to the [Supreme Court] to decide if the Defense of Marriage Act violates the Constitution by forcing the states to discriminate against same-sex couples,” Melnick writes. “This decision could uphold that federal encroachment over the areas where states have sovereign jurisdiction, such as with marriage, is unconstitutional and leaves marriage in the hands of the states. This question is to be answered by the courts, not the Congress. But I do believe that the US Constitution provides equal rights for all people, including same sex couples who want to get married, who want to own property, who want to make medical decisions, who want to share insurance expenses, who want to immigrate, who want to work, who want to serve in our military, and who deserve to live their lives free of discrimination.”

Unfortunately, Smith represents a pretty safe Republican district in Central Texas, and Melnick is facing some long odds. But who knows, maybe Smith’s one-time legislative director, Ken Mehlman, has something to tell us about him.

—  John Wright

HRC calls on RNC’s Steele to repudiate anti-gay language in Texas GOP platform

Well the original story may not have been news, but the fact that it’s making such big news is arguably news, and the fact that people are trying to do something about it is definitely news. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese sent out an e-mail earlier today asking people to sign a petition calling on Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to repudiate anti-gay language in the Texas GOP platform. Here’s what the petition says:

Chairman Steele, I urge you to publicly reject the anti-LGBT language in the Texas Republican Party Platform. This kind of hateful rhetoric has no place in our political discourse. Unless the RNC endorses the Texas GOP’s positions, it is up to you to repudiate them.

The other news here, of course, is that HRC sent out a mass e-mail that appears to be accurate.

Read DV columnist Hardy Haberman’s piece on the GOP platform from tomorrow’s paper by going here.

—  Dallasvoice