CommunityPam's House Blend

Tampa screwed itself by banning Pride

The rainbow backlash has begun in Tampa, and it is well-deserved. Hillsborough County commissioners passed an ordinance barring the county government from any acknowledgement of Gay Pride, and later it approved a second ordinance making almost impossible to repeal the first measure. Commissioner Ronda Storms lost her cookies over a Pride display at a local library, and rammed through an ordinance.

Now, the effect of intolerance can be measured in dollars, cents and actions by businesses:

* The Florida Library Association has passed a resolution that the association will not hold conferences, meetings of its Executive Board, committees, or other association groups in Hillsborough County until the anti-gay law is rescinded.

* Sardis Mini Systems, a Mississippi-based company has cancelled plans for a convention in the county that would have attracted 2,000 people estimated to spend about $1 million.

* Hotels in the tourism-based region say they are worried the county decision will hurt business this winter.

* The Dunedin Blue Jays sponsored a diversity night last year at Knology Field in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign.

Hope Ms. Storms is happy now.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding