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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where everything imaginable regarding Jesus and contraception and women got spun on a Catherine wheel, Tampa took our gay bait and the Orlando Magic proved that sports and politics are best mixed with big money. We're all stars now.

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Believe it or not, another wedge also peeked its way into the news blotter last week, and this time with some fairly positive results. We spent a lot of time – and not so much ink – last week watching to see how Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs would land on the domestic-partnership registry issue. To our own delight (and some minor suspicion), Jacobs seems to have adjusted her worldview just wide enough to allow that county residents will in fact be permitted to register as domestic partners in the near future, likely using Orlando’s already proven system. But – and this is a big “but” – her concession came with the caveat that she wants religious institutions to be allowed to opt out of recognizing it, because, you know, this is our big Republican movie! Considering that just about every funeral home, private school or hospital can call itself “religious” these days, that presents a mighty large loophole through which to recite meaningless scripture.

Regardless, the city of Tampa appears to have noticed our private gay uprising. On Feb. 23, Tampa City Councilwoman Yvonne Capin proposed a domestic-partnership registry based directly on Orlando’s new gay baby. Progress!

And just in case you thought wewere too busy bleeding our hearts dry for our own cinematic enjoyment to cover sports in any meaningful way – shoe riot! – we got your sports here. Notwithstanding whatever happened on the court over the weekend, it’s worth noting that President Obama’s $30,000-a-plate NBA All-Star tapas dinner in Isleworth reportedly raised $2.1 millionfor the Democrat’s reelection campaign. Watchdog website OpenSecrets.org points out that, though much of that money didn’t come directly from NBA officials or players, the tall guys and those who pay them do wield significant political influence. Players, owners and executives have contributed $2.6 million to federal candidates and the adjacent political “committees” since 2009, with 61 percent of that going to Democrats! Basketball is our new favorite sport!

It should, however, be noted that among the big boys of NBA, the Orlando Magic is the most politically involved franchise; not surprisingly, the money hasn’t really been going to the liberals at all. The Magic folks have contributed $308,000 to campaigns since 2009, with 77 percent of that going to Republicans. Why? Because $230,000 of that came from Amway founder/Magic owner Rich DeVos (and his wife) and that gay-hating pro-lifer isn’t about to budge from his comfortable skybox of hate. Nope, not when our own Democrat, Mayor Buddy Dyer, bent over backwards – like $480 million worth of backwards – to buy the Amway Center for him. In this brave new conservative world, biting the hand that feeds you is like kicking the womenwho made you. It just makes sense.

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