The week where all the gays in Gayville got gay hot dogs waved in their faces while Florida led the charge to make sure that, if you're poor and sick, you stay that way. Don't eat too many gay hot dogs!
Published: January 19, 2012
It was the gayest week in all of Gayville, as Orlando officially stuck up its cocktail pinky and threw back a highball of domestic partnership as a nightcap until it passed out. Unless you’ve been living under a stiletto-shaped plush chair, you’re well aware of the Jan. 12 launch of Central Florida’s first official codification of non-married relationships (see our cover story, “Separate, not equal,” Jan. 12) and all the sexiness that implies: hospital visits, prison lunches, funeral decor. Despite the big gay launch that backed Republican Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs into a defensive corner (more on that later), it was an unmitigated victory for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who took to downtown’s Abbey (not Downton Abbey , miss) for a homo fundraising soiree on the eve of the registry’s enactment. We were there!
Well, sort of. We weren’t at the pricey $250-a-head condo party preceding the public event, though sources told us there were at least 100 happy Democrats crammed into that space. Instead, we mingled for a quiet little glass of wine in the near-empty Abbey – stepping out for a quick smoke with the “Not My Buddy” protest crowd assembled with old placards of Sir Dyer in his fat years – before immersing ourselves in the old political mingle-puss.
“You’re really not a cool politician unless you have protesters,” the mayor said to the thinning crowd. He introduced “Orlando’s only openly gay elected official” – Commissioner Patty Sheehan – with a jocular, “That’s not me. That’s Commissioner [Tony] Ortiz” (everyone’s favorite Village Person).Wait, did the mayor just make an off-color gay joke? Did we?
Obviously, the room was atwitter with rage at the revelation earlier in the week that Mayor Jacobs might rain on the gay parade and present a watered-down version of a registry that looks suspiciously like an affidavit.We’d try to pull out more inappropriate mixed metaphors for you, but after we sidled up next to Commissioner Sheehan, she trumped anything that we could have conjured.
“I’m going to give you my first public comment,” she told us. “Mayor Jacobs is offering us a hot dog. We have a porterhouse. She’s trying to convince us that the hot dog is a porterhouse. She’s waving hot dogs in our faces!”
As she has become fond of doing, Jacobs issued a press release just before Dyer’s event, basically calling all members of the media who attended her explosive Jan. 9 press conference “inaccurate and misleading” liars. The MythBusters format of the missive was particularly ineffective, considering that it didn’t really challenge anything that anyone in the media reported. She has not “reneged on her promise” (because, she says, she never promised to support a domestic-partnership registry to begin with); she is not conspiring with the right wing (though she did hear über-conservative John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, complain about it last year, and did vote yes on Amendment 2); an affidavit is not just a piece of paper (even though it kinda is), etc. All sour grapes squeezed over diffusive logic, then.
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