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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Social conservatives rally for Hillsborough gay-pride recognition ban

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor were hardly the only two weighing in on whether Hillsborough County should overturn its ban on gay-pride recognition this week.

"We've been flooded, just like with the rain," said Republican Sandy Murman, who says she is on the fence and says the calls and emails have been running fairly evenly split.

At least two socially conservative groups were rallying supporters to oppose Democrat Kevin Beckner's attempt to end the ban.

John Stemberger's Orlando-based anti-gay-marriage group Florida Family Policy Council was urging supporters to contact commissioners Murman, Al Higginbotham, Victor Crist and Ken Hagan, who are each thought to be undecided, or are at least uncommitted publicly

The group's suggested talking points:

- With millions in unfunded "failed roads" and children and families without adequate food "why is spending money or utilizing county reosources to promote any type of behavior even being considered?'

- County government should not be involved in "promoting homosexual behavior;"

- We should be looking for ways to reduce the size of government, not "promoting special interest groups;"

- "I don't want my taxes being used to promote homosexual behavior."

Meanwhile, Terry Kemple and his Community Issues Council warn that "County Commissioner Beckner is on a crusade to push for county government recognition of homesexual behavior," and said Tampa's daily newspapers, including the Times are bullying other commissioners to follow him.

Recipients are urged to call the four uncommitted commissions and are offered a script when speaking to their aides: "Hellow, my name is _______ and I live in Hillsborough County. Please ask Commissioner ______ to vote against changing the policy on county promotion of gay pride events. We should be looking for ways to reduce government outlays. We need to be using any 'surpluses' to fix our failed roads and help children that are living without food and shelter every day, not searching for ways to involve government in the promotion of special interests. Thank you."



[Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 10:09pm]


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