Paul Werner (6.27.05) - comment
I have just thought of something. Acording to the County Commission,
Hillsborough County must abstain from anything that would recognize
gay pride. (Remember, little "g" and little "p", according to Ronda.)
Well, why don't we have a Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Day?
After all, would the County Commission be so foolish to have another
discriminatory and mean-spirited vote? Perhaps we already know the answer
to this question...
Charles Moore (6.27.05) - NFL Contact
Someone suggested an email to the NFL
re: Tampa's shot at the superbowl. Here's the link for that. http://www.nfl.com/help/emailtech
BoxerMikeFL (6.26.05) -
I'm surprise you protest against gays in your community. We your neighbors,
relatives, friends and taxes payers of the county.
You say your afraid or offend people at the libraries, what about Bay
City Builders in there drag commercial explain that to your child.
Lets move forward and get with the rest of the country.
DVal7 (6.26.05) - For the People?
A public county commission seat, filled by an elected official, should
represent the people. Why is it that 1 person (with the help of a vote
by 5 others) has control over thousands and thousands of others who
disagree with her? Ronda Storms is not representing the people, she
is representing herself - giving no support to something she believes
should not be supported.
You cannot push a group of people away just because they are different
than you. Yes, it is easy to discriminate towards a strange group -
because you do not know any better. But - it does not make it right
and certainly (and obviously) does not make you respected.
The gay community of Tampa wants to be respected. I hope she has the
decency, courage, and respect to admit to alienating and outraging a
strong community in Tampa. You can now see that this strong community
is not going to go away until something is changed. Changed - for the
Michael DeHaven (6.26.05) - What about the constitution
you know with this money trying to demin and critize us for being who
we are there are other more important thigns to try adn put a stop to
what about all the drug infested neighborhoods adn violence in district
4 apparently lil miss rhonda is more concerned about ripping the right
of gay people then beign concerned for the safety of her daughter we
are not trying to hurt anyone or force our opinions onto anyone we just
feel we deserve a right to be able to show ppride without being ridiculed
by some homophobic bimbo on a ower trip who most likely while she was
in college had a lesbian experience that she doesnt want anyone to know
if your gonna strip away our rights you might as wel un raval the entire
constitution and put slavery back on the market and start segregation
of balcks and jews adn anyone else who was mistreated before all their
rights were given to them OH YEA YOU MIGHT AS WELL TAKE A WAY THE WOMANS
RIGHT TO VOTE OR AND MIGHT AS WELL MAKE SO WOMAN CANT HOLD IMPORTANT
POSTIONS IN AMERICA WHILE YOU AT IT TOO
NOW EVERY AMERICAN IN THE WORLD KNOWS THAT THAT WOUDL BE CONSIDERED
DISCRIMINATION ADN DISCRIMINATION OF AN KIND IS WRONG SO WHAT MAKE YOU
THINK THAT TAKIN AWAY WHAT LIL RIGHTS WE IN GAY SOCIETY IS DOING RHODA
STORM IS A RACIST HOMOPHOBIC PERSON WHO NEED TO HAVE A REALITY CHECK.
Plant City Florida -hillbourgh county
Mary Pomponio (6.26.05) -
I would like to see us expand our protest to include putting pressure
on the NFL Commissioner to move the superbowl, unless the Hillsborough
county commission reverses its ban on gay pride displays in our public
libraries. I would also like to submit our invitation to the Librarians
in the United States to join us in fighting this discrimination that
also involves them. The Librarians of America are a very strong group
and have often stepped up to fight book banning and other forms of discrimination.
Who is the Hillsborough County Commission to tell our Librarians what
to display and what books to stock in their library. Can someone find
the email address for NFL Commissioner Paul John Tagliabue, for you
to post on your site? You should also post the email address for Librarian
Associations, so that we can begin a petition to send to both the NFL
Commissioner and the Librarians of America. I found this site for the
Library Association, but I am not sure if that is the correct site to
address our protest, http://www.ala.org/. I was unsuccessful in finding
the email address for the NFL commissioner.
Darleen M. Farley and Cyndi Marvin (6.26.05) - Why???
Dear Ms. Storms:
Elected officials are elected precisely to promote the common good of
all citizens. How does it make our world a better, safer place for all
of us for you or any other elected official to pit one group against
another. Anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and observers of
the human condition tell us that for as long as human beings have existed,
there seems to have been a consistent portion of them who possess a
sexual orientation which places them in the minority rather than in
the dominant, majority group. All that that means is that a certain
number of human beings are different from the others; the same is true
for blondes, red-heads, blue-eyed people, and left-handed persons as
well. Differeneces mean nothing more than different. They do not mean
less than. They do not mean threatening. They do not mean dangerous.
They do not mean psycopathic or pathological. Differences mean nothing
more than different.
I am a teacher and a mother. I am a voter and a volunteer. I am a church-goer
and a taxpayer. I am blue-eyed and left-handed. You might like me if
you didn't know I also am a lesbian woman. It seems that as soon as
I add this last piece of information you think you know something about
me that allows you to tell me I ought to be ashamed of who I am. You
do not have that right. No one has that right.
Before my son was born I prayed that my child would become a person
of integrity, a person committed to justice, a person capable of loving
greatly and being loved greatly, a person of compassion, a person who
would not harbor prejudices, stereotypes, or hatreds based on ignorance,
intolerance, or indifference. That child, my only child, is now 30 years
old and a resident of Tampa. His response to your legislation assures
me that the answers to my prayers have far exceeded my expectations.
My partner and I both have had long careers in the helping professions.
Our children (my son and her son and daughter) continue that type of
work and service in our world. You might like our children if your dislike
of who you think we are did not interfere. They have surrounded themselves
with friends who are as kind and generous and service-oriented and compassionate
as they are.
You have spread the cancer of intolerance and ignorance very wide indeed.
I regret that you have done that for whether you wish to admit it or
not, you bear responsibility for any harm that may come to any gay man
or lesbian woman in our society. May you one day realize that you do
not have the right to inflict harm on others in the name of public service.
That shall be our prayer for you.
Darleen M. Farley and my parnter, Cynthia Marvin
Bob Schwartz (6.26.05) - Chicago
Let's not forget the other bigots who have joined Rhonda's hate campaign.
I think African-Americans are sensitive to charges that they are bigots
for opposing equal rights.
Clinton Brooks (6.26.05) - Comments about Ronda Storms
When Ronda Storm was elected to the county commission she took an oath
like so many do to uphold the Constitution of not only Florida but also
the United States; and with her attacks not only against Gays and Lesbians
in Hillsborough County but also against any materials regarding information
about Gay's and Lesbian's or materials from people who is or who is
a Lesbians is a violation of the oath she took.
The First Amendment of the very Constitution she swore to protect and
to preserve, in part reads, "Congress shall make no law….bridging the
freedom of speech"; which means any Citizen regardless of race, color,
creed or sexual orientation has a right to have there views respected
and also has the right to have this speech not blocked by any Government
entity even at the county level. In the First Amendment, you will find,
“abridging the press”; so when Commissioner Storm, choose to take down
any materials or flyers regarding Gay or Lesbian Pride in our county,
she violated a person’s right to publish materials in regards to who
they are and what they represent. Lastly, , the First Amendment, reads,
"the right of the people peaceably to assemble", when Gays or Lesbians
are told that can't assemble any kind of group in the county, when they
are told that there books, pamphlet's and other things used to assemble
there "identify" in this county are not allowed, then we are taking
away there right constitutional right to assemble. Ronda Storm can not
take away any voice from the citizens of Hillsborough County; doing
so, would mean she violated the Constitution.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, reads in
part, "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection
of the laws”. This ban on any materials along with any activities (i.e.
parades, meetings, etc) is only pertaining to people who are Gays or
who are Lesbians and not the rest of the county in the sense that we
are not banning any materials that support heterosexuality. If Ronda
Storm chooses to single out one group because of who they are or what
they believe and not single out another group because who they are,
then Ronda Storm is in violation of not only basic human rights but
also the Fourteenth Amendment which granted all people were created
equal under the scope of the law.
If she can't continue to follow the Constitution of this state and this
nation, then it is time that Ronda Storm find another job; because as
a County Commissioner, she was elected to represent every citizen of
Hillsborough County and not just her daughter and also as a County Commission
she can not to single out certain citizen's because she does not want
to have to explain to her daughter what homosexuality is.
Pam Rodriguez (6.26.05) - Get over it Ronda
This one goes out to you "Bro". A loving brother who is just as proud
of who he is and what he has accomplished as I am. I love you.
This whole business of wanting to ban Gay Materials infuriates me. As
a sister of a Gay Male Professional that lives and works within our
community would like to know how many children, teens or even adults
feel that they can go to their parents and talk about their sexuality,
especially if they are growing up in the "Old School" environment like
my brother did. Education and Support is the tool Ronda Storms and once
you take that away you are only setting yourself up for more suicides
and sexually transmitted diseases, not to mention mental issues. I'm
not saying add an extra class to our children's daily schedules at school
or even discuss the topic openly in "Sex Ed", but just quit trying to
alienate the vast majority of our community. What's next Black History
Dulcie Citek (6.25.05) -
I do not understand how Hillsborough can, as a County, approve a course
of action to not recognize, acknowledge, support, etc. any people who
are gay! Being a teacher, wife, and mother of 2, I'm thinking what about
the children who reside in homes with gay parents, what about the gay
parents of those students, what about the teen or young adult who is
gay?!! Is Hillsborough County not responsible to acknowledge, recognize,
and appreciate these students and families? Do they not deserve the
same acceptance and support as all children and families? Are they to
be ignored or thought to be not in existence? These students and families
need acknowledgement and acceptance just as any other students and families
do. It is not proper for members of a community to ignore or exclude
any vital and productive members of its' society. The fact is that there
are members of the Hillsborough community who ARE gay, but not gay first.
They are people first, with a diverse array of personalities, abilities,
jobs, etc. I don't get how close minded and fearful some people can
be. Change is necessary for growth. All citizens should enjoy the same
rights regardless of irrelevant factors such as race, gender, religion,
family structure, nationality, sexual orientation, etc. These factors
have nothing to do with a person's character, good or bad. There are
good and bad people in any sub-culture of American society that can
be thought of. Is this the 21st century? It seems as though laws here
in Florida, and around the country are moving backward instead of forward.
I also have the thought that many heterosexual members of the community
may feel the same as I, but are not involved in expressing those thoughts.
I do believe that in order for acceptance and appreciation to begin
to happen, all members of society have to actually speak up and participate
to say that what is happening is wrong. It takes not only just people
who are gay to fight and voice their opinions, but also people in the
community who are not gay saying things are not right. This would have
farther reaching effects, I believe.
W. Collins (6.25.05) - Perfect idiot
Whatever Rockin' Rhonda is against, I 'm for it! She is such a self
righteous douche bag. I don't care what the issue is, be it gay people
or the strip clubs, I'll oppose her because she is such an obnoxious
"perfect' woman. I'm convinced that she doesn't burp, fart or sweat.
She makes me sick. She would have had a perfect role in "Animal House".
Blutarsky would have eviscerated her. Go back to your gated community
Rhonda and let people live as long as they don't hurt anyone or impose
their views on you if you don't happen to believe in them. I'm totally
convinced that she starches her underwear. The sad part is that she
gets elected because there are a significant number of people just like
her. Bradenton, Fl.
Joan Hepsworth (6.25.05) - What people won't do for big entertainment
White Chocolate was right! As if we need the "vast majority" of district
4 to back us in our quest to promote our pride. We have ourselves. We
have the constitution. We have our families, sisters, brothers, lovers,
partners, lifepartners, companions, and oh yes our husbands and wives.
Who needs Ronda Storms? Karma is best served on a cold plate. I'd love
to be the fly on the wall in the room when one of Ronda's family members
reminds her that she may not be proud of her gay family members or will
not "promote" their "gay pride", 'cause you know there's at least one.
The cute little lesbian in Ronda's past that approached her in high
school know's why Ronda is so phobic, doesn't she??? ;p
Dear Ronda, thanks for the big step!
Joan Hepsworth Tampa, Fl Thank Goodness not District 4
Rnrtnccpl - (6.25.05) - Hurricane Storm
Don't understand how an elected official can be so stupid, she was elected
by the people and for the people, and since elected it seems she is
always attacking some of the voters, it's time that the recall starts
and get her out before she attacks another group of voters, the other
Council Members that voted with her, should look back and check to see
who supported the council of stupidly. But when it comes to re-election
they will be kissing everyone asses to get back into office, and yes
even Ronda will appear at gay gatherings as she did before to get out
the vote, but I hope all voters will get out to vote or recall her before
she does more harm.
Tapjjc (6.25.05) -
Shame on you... ignorance is far from bliss... karma is a funny thing
though, so don't be surprised if your daughter starts to excel at softball
and begins wearing birkenstock sandals...
enjoy your last term in office
Stephanie Goodman (6.25.05) - Comments & Questions
Although I am not gay, I have friends who are. Friends that I have known
for years, these are good people. Everyone deserves the opportunity
to peace and happiness regardless of their lifestyle.
I do not see how it is right and moral to tell a specific group of people
that they cannot celebrate their pride and heritage and not bestow the
same restrictions apon other groups as well.
To stop gays and lesbians from celebrating who they are will not stop
children and teens from knowing about their existance. All they have
to do is turn on the tv or listen to the radio, its every where!
If they are going to stop gays and lesbians from celebrating who they
are, then they need to "abstain from acknowledging, promoting or participating"
in black history month or cinco de mayo and other similar events that
let a certain group take part in celebrating who they are and where
they came from. We are all God's children, regardless of race, religion,
height, weight, eye color or sexual orientation. He loves us all....
obviously Ronda Storms is not a godly person or she would see that all
people should be treated equally.
Sandra Novak (6.25.05) - Ronda
Did she just call us all "ignorant"???
Rob Thompson (6.25.05) - stop ronda
in her tracks. This is outrageous.
Force her to resign.
Chris Salas (6.25.05) - Stop Ronda Storms
In today's Tampa Tribune, Ronda states " In my opinion it engages Hillsborough
County in very high-risk behavior... encouraging children to engage
in very high risk behavior." Now I am not gay, but I grew up with family
members who were gay, also making close friends who are gay. To say
that a pamphlet will encourage children to "engage" in a high risk behavior
is very sad. A piece of paper which helps people comes to terms with
their life and giving them guidence, does not encourage high risk behavior
from others. I never engaged in any sort of gay high risk behavior,
and I've been around gays all my life. Ronda Storms needs to understand
that being gay is not a lifestyle, it's a life!!.
inestomlinson (6.25.05) -Sad Day In Tampa
Another piece of freedom has been chipped away.
xony (6.25.05) - stop ronda stickers?
You all need to sell some "STOP RONDA STORMS" bumper stickers. I'd proudly
put one on my car. I get angry every time I even hear her name.
Sandra R. - (6.25.05) - Ronda Storms Does Not Represent My Views
as a Heterosexual or as a Human being.
We all should thank Ms Storms for allowing us to see for ourselves her
backwoods 50's Look is not only the Image she wants us to see in her
appearance but also is what feeds the ignorance in her Politics.
It amazes me that in the year 2005 we still have these types of people
in public office, that choose to live by dictating to all of us or should
I say force feeding us their bigotry. We are left to wonder why does
she fear homosexuality? Is it a little to close for comfort in her own
home or what exactly is it that feeds her ignorance and fear.
She has been insistent that she represents the majority of the community.
But she does not represent myself, my family or anyone that I am close
to. So, if two people complain to her she considers that a majority.
I guess that is the mind set that Hitler had to and we all see how well
that worked out for him in the long run, he went down in history as
a monster as he well should. Be careful where you tread now Ms. Storms
I believe that you have bitten off more than even you can chew with
those giant red lips (sorry couldn't help myself had to throw one back
I find Ms Storms to be offensive and very self absorbed. At a time when
the community is trying to attract big business, sports events, conventions,
and to all around act as the Big City that we are, we have the added
embarrassment of Ms. Ronda Storms. The best part of this whole scenario
is that Ms. Storms holds a public office of which she was voted into
and just as easily can be voted out of. If nothing else she has brought
the community together to be sure to vote out of office all of the county
commissioners except for Ms. Castor (we will have to see where that
ends for now).
Please everyone that can read this pass it along. Register to Vote and
please, please Vote this crap out of our county commission. Ronda Storms
does not speak for all of us, Thank God!
Berton Corey (6.25.05) - Freedom of speech and the ability to read
If you look in the beginning of the books in question you will find
that they have a Library of Congress number and as such are FREE FOR
ALL TO READ The County Commissioners have no authority under Law to
Remove these publication or restrict them in any way. Only a Federal
Court has this priviledge.
Jon (6.25.05) - Bigotry must be stopped
There is no room in todays society for someone that promotes intollerance
and discrimination. Rhonda Storms and anyone else who promotes this
type of thinking must be stopped. They are keeping Tampa from being
the great city it should be. How does she think people from other cities
will view this bigotry? They will choose not to live here...
Sam Holmes (6.25.05) -You are a disgrace
I am a gay male in a commited 17 year relationship. How can you tell
me and others what I do is wrong. I am proud of who I am. Their is a
very strong gay (and straight) community who totally disagree with you.
With all that is going on in the world, this is no time to be preaching
hate. We should all get along and celebrate our differences. Sam Holmes,
Tampa Florida P.S. remember the gay community also votes (unless you
try to take that away too) Next election, you will not be sitting where
you are now.
Elly (6.25.05) - high risk
``In my opinion, it engages Hillsborough County in very high-risk behavior,
not to mention encouraging children to engage in very high-risk behavior,''
The "high risk" involved in education, learning and enlightenment escapes
me. Libraries supply information. It is sad (and even more - FRIGHTENING)
to watch Florida libraries (or any library) lose the right to perform
this duty to its users.
Sperry (6.25.05) - I want my tax dollars back!
Rhonda says she doesn't want tax payers money used to promote homosexuality.
I think that she should refund all the Gay tax dollars that have been
collected. We don't want the straight and gay dollars to mix....EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!
Dianna S. (6.25.05) - Don't Be Stupid
Wake up it is 2005, I myself have lived in East Hillsbourgh County since
I was 9yrs old (1966). I am proud of who I am and who I have become.
One thing I can honestly say it really doesn't matter what others say
about who you are as long as your family and freinds LOVE you for you.
I am now 48yrs old still live in the same place that I call home. I
can also proudly say I raised my daughter who is now 30yrs old and was
born in1975 with her knowing I was a lesbian or should I say that I
liked girls and I left her sexuality up to her when she was old enough
to decide what sexual preferance was for her. Now she has given me a
wonderful granddaughter that is 7yrs old. I raised my daughter knowing
that I was a lesbian and was open with my family since I was 17yrs old.
I had made my choice of being a lesbian, have you ever thought back
of how hard it was to be a lesbian or gay back in the 70's it was like
having to go under ground. Now where OUT and we aren't going back in
the closest so get use to it and love your children for who they are
and not what you want them to be. I Thank God that my parents were never
closed minded and excepted me for what I want in my life and how I want
it. Even if they didn't understand. So guess what to all you commissioners
that are against Lesbians,Gays,Bi and any other sexual preference all
I can say is we all pay our taxes and your pay checks no matter what
we do in our bedrooms. We all are human beings and have to pay our bills
and keep a roof over our heads. So it seems to me that Ronda and her
freinds must be bored in the bedroom and have nothing else to do but
waist our tax money. To me everyone needs to get a life and quit worrying
about what others do in their bedrooms. Just love your children for
who they are.
I am very offended with this whole issue. First let me start by saying
that I am NOT "gay". I am a same gender lover. The dictionary refers
to gay as happy, and I am not happy all the time. Same Gender Loving
is not a life style no more that being attracted to the opposite sex.
Ronda Storms needs to get a grip on life. Her children are going to
grow up as uneducated as she is. She is going to have to explain why
people are in wheel chairs, and have deformities, why is it so hard
to explain loving someone? You don't catch "gay". We are going to be
the people we are no matter what she or anyone else thinks. Same Gender
Loving has been since the beginning of time, and it's not just going
to go away because one ignorant minded individual decides that she doesn't
want to be a parent and explain life to her children. There is only
one God who can judge, and the funny thing is she will go to hell for
doing what she's doing faster then I will because I love a woman. She
needs to get a grip and a clue.
WHEN GOD THUNDERS MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN!!!
Kim Deguise-Davis (6.25.05) - Ronda Storms is completely off her
I have to contribute to this issue because based on the Constitution
of the United States, somewhere the translation has been diluted. No
where can I find in the Constitution does it say, Freedom of Speech
unless it doesn't reflect the teachings Ronda Storms wants to inflict
on her daughter. This daughter not only is being raised as a bigot and
a mushroom, we are having to digest the aftermath of the feedings that
she is being served.
The bikini bar in Valrico faces the same sentence structure. To quote
the Commissioner, "I don't want to have to explain to my 5 year old
daughter what goes on in there". Now, she has beckoned to use the same
sentence in Gay Pride and Gay Rights. This 5 year old is getting one
heck of a time press wise.
I am not Gay, however, I am quite concerned about censorship and the
right to live in a prejudice free world. What is next? Will the businesses
that do not have red doors be allowed to open freely? Or how about the
Catholic Church, will the "Shrimp dance" be banned because her daughter
might get confused that the dance is for "short" people, or that the
"shrimp" gives her hives?
Hillsborough County has the moral police officer that isn't quite sworn
in. You see, if I were to be prejudice or bias I would question; what
about public officials that are not representative of the human race?
Even Barbie faced a blow by Commissioner Storms, is it because Barbie's
mascara hasn't flowed down her cheeks like a racoon? Then came the bikini
bar, and now Gay Pride.
[``In my opinion, it engages Hillsborough County in very high-risk behavior,
not to mention encouraging children to engage in very high-risk behavior,''
Being Gay isn't about behavior, nor is it her decision to decide what
children should engage in. I believe she has a daughter, she should
govern that daughter, not anyone else's. As I was told as a young child,
worry about your backyard, and leave everyone else to tend to there's.
Linda Plunket (6.25.05) - Hatred
What a shame that there is so much hatred in our own small community.
How do we expect the world to stop fighting when we have such small
minded, ignorant people here. I have always found that the one who screams
the loudest, has the most to hide.
With the struggle that all the minorities in our country have had to
endure, you would think that the lesson would have been learned to stop
hating people that are not like you.Unfortuly, we will keep repeating
that lesson until we finally get it. That will take wise and intelligent
people, which this person is not.
ManFrog1 (6.25.05) -
How about making things BETTER for everyone in Tampa Bay!
Barbara Provenzano (6.25.05) - ashamed
Iam outraged to be part of a community with a county commission whos
stupidity, intolerance, discrimination and ignorance is a shame to us
all.......this commission, along with the so-called religious"christians",
have done more to promote hate and intolerance and set this country
back, than any i can think of....although i am not gay, i respect your
rights, am glad you are a part of this community and hope you will continue
to fight the idiots amoung us......
Pudi (6.25.05) -
although i am not gay, i respect those if you who are and i am appalled
and ashamed to see elected officials such as ronda storms and her cohorts
on the county commission. the pure stupidity, ignorance , discrimination
and intolerance of these members as well as the vicious so=called "christians"
, is a shame we all must bear....i hope you will continue your fight
against these people...there are many of us out here, who support you.
Anne Legault (6.25.05) - One in Ten
What Storms and the rest of the bigots that voted against Gay Pride
don't realize is that one person in ten, a full 10% of the population
is either Gay, Lesbian, or transgendered. Another thing they don't get
is the disposeable income of the Gay and Lesbian community. Why else
would major corporations be actively recruiting us and offering partner
benefits at a break neck pace? Any politician who believes he or she
can "do without" 10% of the vote is an idiot indeed. I sincerely hope
this event, which seems to be an effort to set human rights back half
a century, will be the catalyst to force all of us to the polls for
every election to ensure that the bigots are tossed out and replaced
by people of intellegence.
Ron Hamrick (6.25.05) - Storms havoc
Florida has its hurricanes that cause havoc and destruction. Hillsborough
county has Ronda Storms. Yes, "intolerance and ignorance" (quote from
storms) is not a valued trait in anyone (even county commissioners).
Paris Nicholoff (6.25.05) - sickened and saddened
It is unbelievable to me that someone in such a high position could
be so insanely ignorant. I am trying my hardest not to stoop to her
level and fill this email with all horrible and ridiculous statements
that I could so easily make just by reading a few of her sickening comments.
I'll am going to do my best to be civil.
Having gotten that out of the way... this whole situation, like her
hairdo, seems so dated. Okay, that was uncalled for. To say that "homophobia,"
so to speak, is any less ignorant than racism is ludacris. The root
of both problems is hate. If she would rather teach her daughter to
hate human beings due to their sexuality, so be it. It is a sad world
we live in after all. If she wants to spread this hate to libraries,
she is sick. Libraries, of all the places in the world, are places that
should remain free of censorship at all costs. Reading, like speaking,
is a human right that should not, under ANY circumstance be limited
or taken away. Seeing a display of books accompanied by a few pamphlets
isn't going to turn anyone gay. If that is her fear, than this woman
really needs some psychological help. By discouraging the acknowledgment
of gay pride, she is encouraging hate crimes, unhappiness, and in some
cases suicide among those living uncomfortably in their sexuality.
Its hard to tell what this woman thinks she is accomplishing. As far
trying to avoid explaining to her child what it means to question her
sexuality goes... everyone, whether they're gay or not, questions their
sexuality at one point or another. I don't mean that everyone wonders
if they are gay at some point, I mean that with knowledge of sexuality,
comes curiousity. Curiousity leads to experimentation. Experimentation,
whether gay, straight, bi...whatever, is a part of life. If she doesn't
want her daughter to be gay, than for her daughters sake, I pray she
isn't. If she doesn't want her daughter to read about equality, than
she shouldn't allow her daughter to go to the library. If she doesn't
want support available for those who need and want it enough to actually
call one of the hotlines or visit one of the websites listed on the
pamphlet... she is just a mean spirited, cold hearted person. Is finding
out about homosexuality from books and pamphlets set out at the local
library worse than coming home and asking mommy what "faggot" means?
Is learning to accept people for who they are wrong? Is treating someone
differently because they prefer same sex realationships right? Lets
compare and contrast for a moment. What if it was Suicide Awareness
Month and the library had pamphlets directing suicidal people to help.
Would she force them to take it down because she doesn't want to explain
to her child what it means to question the value of her life? Does she
not understand that her daughter is going to learn about these things
no matter what she does, everyone at one point or another finds out
about homosexuality. I can pretty much guarantee that learning about
it in a library by celebrating equality is much MUCH less vulgar than
any other way. By doing what she is doing she is making much larger
a spectacle of the issue than any di-cut, glue, and poster board display
ever could. I guess I have gone on long enough, although I could go
for hours more. Her seemingly unconscious bigotry is mind boggling.
Its funny how can people of such ignorance can draw such fine lines
and still feel good about themselves. The situation has a certain element
of irony that makes it purely nauseating. Gay Pride Month is about acceptance,
peace, and humanity... go figure that she would view now as the perfect
time to make a flamboyant statement of discrimination. One step forward
to steps back. I will close by saying that I learned about homosexuality
at a very young age. It is due in part to this exposure that I am so
comfortable with my HETROsexuality. It is far less dangerous for one
to become aware of sexuality before they, themselves are sexually active,
regardless if they're straight or not. I can only hope that Ronda will
be shut down. I can only pray that she will, if unable to accept, at
least learn to tolerate. My love to those who stand for peace, P.N.
Edward (6.25.05) -
This contraversy is very sad and frightening. Ronda Storms needs to
resign and seek help for her disorder. Ronda Storms has caused alot
of hurt and pain to the Tampa Bay community and the entire United States.
Is Ronda Storms high or what? Jeb Bush, please be the leader you are
and fire Ronda Storms so the tax payers of Florida can concentrate on
our jobs and pay our taxes and continue to feel safe and free. Now we
are engaged in a war of equality. We will not rest. It is the year 2005.
stpetersburged (6.24.05) - Wronga Storms
It's a shame that Ronda Storms and Hillsborough County's leaders are
such bigots. There are many wonderful gay authors, and anyone should
be able to access their work, even young adults. I invite ALL Hillsborough
County residents to come on over to St. Petersburg this weekend and
spend your money where you're appreciated. Our vibrant Gay-Friendly
community awaits you with a friendly City Counsel and one of the largest
Gay Pride Events in the entire Southeast. However we'll trade you even
up, our Mayor for yours! We love Pam! Ed. St Petersburg
Tawnee Stith (6.24.05) - WOW!
Is this really 2005? How can this happen in this day and age? Don’t
we have more important things focus our attention on? How about all
of the children that have died recently because we let predators run
the streets? How about crazy people with guns shooting people for no
reason at all? Why don’t we focus on real issues that affect our safety
as a community?
Gays and Lesbians? Are you joking? Are they really doing something wrong?
Is it anyone’s business, especially in the government, who we are sleeping
with? Let it go! Get over it! Step in, free your mind and accept that
we are all created equal. What a concept that would be if everyone would
embrace it! Those words flow out of people’s mouths everyday, but do
they really think that way? We all have the same blood running through
our veins! We all have the same feelings! NO ONE wants to feel the disgust
of discrimination that this woman is putting out! When we all decide
to accept each other as we are, our world will be a better place!
I think ronda should take care of more serious things.We didn't ask
to become gay and she should be an adult and deal with it. We're here
and not going away. There are many other important things to worry about.
We don't bother her why bother us. thx
Iknow she won't get my vote when its time,and there are 1000's of us
Darlene (6.24.05) - My Questions For Rhonda Storms
On the issue of Ronda Storms and her bombardment on the rights of the
gay community, frankly, I am disgusted. Her trampling on the rights
of gay, transexual and lesbian Americans has truly shown the flaws of
Florida government. The absolute close- mindedness and ignorance this
woman displays raises several questions of which I demand answers. How
could a woman like this come into such power? Why does she feel the
need to seperate the community in such troubling times when she should
be working to unify the community? And finally, when did gays, transexuals
and lesbians become second-class citizens? What people like Ronda Storms
must realize is that we gays, transexuals and lesbians are people too.
We vote, pay taxes, and salute the same flag. So, why must our books
be banned from the library? The answer is simple, discrimination. Ronda
Storms has been spreading her ignorance and hatred for too long now,
and it is time to stand up. I strongly request that all of you go to
the Gay Rights March this Sunday and tell Mrs. Storms how you feel.
Show the power of the gay community and take back your rights. Darlene
John F. (6.23.05) - Ronda sucks
You know, it was just a matter of time until Rhonda finally bit off
more than she could chew with her stances on things. She's been a massive
regressive NIMBY as a county commissioner and she's gotten ill reviews
from any forward thinking individual in Tampa Bay...
I need to thank the Gay community because finally someone is standing
up to Storms and saying that she's wrong. Not just that, but there are
those in the Tampa city government and elsewhere in the Bay area that
are denouncing Storms and the Hillsborough County Commission as a whole
because of this.
Of course I expect the Neo-Conservatives and the Fundamental Christians
from around the nation to try to ride to Storms rescue but it may just
become another Terri Schiavo debacle for them....
I support equality and tolerance, I support the Constitution of the
United States and I think that Storms is well in the wrong.
Paul (6.22.05) -
First United Church of Tampa, a congregation of the United Church of
Christ, opposes the County Commission's anti-gay policy. Visit http://www.ucctampabay.org
to read our press release.
Ric (6.22.05) - Let's walk around the rosie...
A man named Al Jireau has been walking around the County Office Bldg
daily M-F from 4:30 to 5:30 carrying a rainbow flag. 5 of us joined
him yesterday, and I went alone today from 12:45 to 2:30 pm.
I have a vision of someone there around the clock, from 8'ish to 5'ish,
walking around the block, carrying a rainbow or American flag or a sign.
People will honk, smile, ignore. A few will preach at you. Several will
If you have a few minutes or a few hours to do this, then just go. Park,
feed the meters (quarters only), take your flag and walk. As long as
you can, as often as you can.
Invite someone you know who might be willing and available to do this.
We need to people who work there and especially the Commissioners who
are still there (Mark Sharpe was out front talking today and I know
he saw me...BaysNews9 did!). No organization or permission needed. If
you are comfortable, please do this for us...yourself, me, our friends,
the Gays who work for the County.
It's good exercise, and you might see some cuties who work downtown!
Gayly yours, in the struggle...Ric
Susan D. (6.22.05) - Thank you to our Supporters & Community
I personally want to thank each of you who came out in support of our
Community on Monday night. This past election demonstrated that our
fight for Equality is not over, and the recent actions by the Hillsborough
County Commission prove that we are not even safe in our own back yards.
There are individuals that will argue that what the county did doesn't
really affect them. What they and so many others do not understand is
that this is just another chip, another broken piece of the very foundation
that we call Liberty. Little by little, our Community's opponents will
chip away at our Foundation. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, "They
that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety." Stand up!
I know we still have friends and family who aren't "political", who
remain in the closet and fear the ramifications of their speaking out.
For those people who are unable to "get involved" I encourage you to
gently take them by the hand and lead them to the nearest money order
store where they may anonymously acquire a money order in any denomination
they wish and make it out to "Equality Florida".
Let us not forget that June is Gay Pride Month. On June 27th 1969 a
courageous few took a stand, sparking a three day riot and the beginning
of the Gay Civil Rights Movement. Our numbers have grown and our strength
is in our numbers and in our pockets – let’s use them both to make a
difference. -Polk County Resident
Chuck (6.22.05) - It In Now Time
I thank Ronda for one thing - getting the gay community in Tampa off
its collective butt. Not since the County raised the ugly head of bigotry
in the mid 90's has this community come together to raise their voice.
The turn out at the rally this past week was amazing - but we cannot
let the momentum die. Although I am not sure of the reasoning behind
a march this Sunday from the Library to a closed County Building - I
will be there - but let us keep pushing for the day when we all march,
along with out str8 friends, our other minority friends - through a
busy downtown - during the day - when we stop traffic and show the masses
our resolve - to a building filled with County workers to whom we are
showing our support. Let us all take out Library Cards and ask the Librarian
where the gay themed books are; continue to call and write your commissioner,
from your district and insist on a direct answer from them about how
they feel about your anger and fear; continue to write to the newspapers
and the TV stations and keep this issue in front of the community. But
be ready for the day when Equality Florida or some organization realizes
it is time to protest in the midst of the weekday - and not hide away
on a Sunday - be ready then to show how important your life is. Learn
the words to We Shall Overcome, and We are a Gentle Angry People and
sing them as we march - because as the song says - We are Fighting,
Fighting for our Lives.
PoloFlex (6.21.05) - Opening Minds and Hearts "Okay. I've taken the time to read the postings on Bay news
9 and considered all opinions with an open mind. The result? - I'm stunned
and saddened. I find it curious and ironic that those who would speak
so vehemently against supporting the promotion and education about Gay
and Lesbian rights, do so by advocating the heterosexual point of view
and pushing it at gays and lesbians as a model that those "sinners"
should follow. This is accompanied by the rant that no one has the right
to promote or impose their own point of view on others. It's utterly
laughable. And for those that suggest that better energy is spent on
preventing war....don't they realize that, at the root, war is the oppression
of free beings. Added to this, I have read no solid argument by those
who oppose the support of gay and lesbian rights for that opposition....just
name-calling and misspelled, misquoted biblical references. Oh, and
by the way, who has the limitation to expend energy on only one injustice
at a time? I have no fear that this too, shall pass. It's a burp. It's
nothing in the greater scheme of things than a stupid woman who has
been content in her ignorance. She needs to be addressed, certainly,
and she along with people like her will ultimately fade out."
pewterpirate (6.21.05) - Love thy Neighbor?
"With the recent bigotry displayed by the Hillsborough County Commissioners
I'm reminded of a billboard a local church has erected; That "Love thy
Neighbor" thing...I meant it! - God. Another thing, when did Katherine
Harris get demoted to the represent Valrico as a Hillsborough County
David (6.21.05) -The BOCC in Hillsbourough Forgets Quickly
"Students read in our history books about the movement of black and
woman’s rights in America. It is fact that there are blacks and women
sitting on the BOCC in Hillsborough County. Decades ago this would not
have been allowed. I would like to know how they would feel if these
rights and freedoms that they have now were to be taken away. Many Gay’s
and Lesbians face these obstacles everyday, at work, at home, in school.
Fear of being themselves and living their lives free from what a small
portion of society says is not OK. How soon these blacks and women forgot
that they were fighting a similar battle just a few decades ago. The
Gay and Lesbian Pride movement is more then just a street festival or
some books on the shelf of a library. It is the self acceptance of who
we are as individuals and the power to say “it is OK to be me” when
some in our communities say it is not. Suicide amongst teens and closeted
younger people is still at an alarming high.
When I came out eight years ago I learned that happiness is not black
or white it is colorful, you take the good with the bad the red and
the blue. Gays and Lesbians move forward and learn that the undereducated
people that feel this hatred are merely in fear of what they don’t understand.
There are some bad apples in every bunch; the news and society tend
to recognize these people and more so for the sensationalism of it all.
What about the Gays and Lesbians in the community that are making a
difference for the underprivileged, the poor, the needy? I can only
hope Ronda Storms and the rest of the BOCC that voted for this unconstitutional
action take time out to educate themselves with diversity in the community
so Hillsborough County will be known as a community that welcomes all
with open arms and a warm heart. "
Johnny (6.21.05) -For: Commissioner Ronda Storms
"I would like to thank you personally for showing how ignorant some
people in a governmental position can be. Our country IS based on Freedom,
and I believe that you THINK that only certain types of people Deserve,
THAT freedom...I guess to "you", GAY people, do not deserve that. You
are the type of person who makes it hard for people like us. People
in your shoes wonder, why there are so many suicidal teens. With your
"intelligence", you should do some research on gay teens and look At
the number of attempted suicides based on being SCARED of who they Are.
THEN, look at the numbers for the ones who actually, commit it. THEN,
do the research on the ones who tried, failed, and now have to live
in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. THEN, maybe you will Realize
why WE, have PRIDE. Pride is more than a gay social event; pride is
more than a fun weekend. PRIDE gives out help, freedom, and wisdom,
that way other homosexual people will realize, that they are no DIFFERENT,
because of there sexuality, and for other people that can gain a better
perception of what we are. If people like YOU didn't make it so HARD
for us, we wouldn't have to have a pride. So next time your at home
with your loving family, kids, career, etc. Just pretend your homosexual
for 1 minute, then maybe you can see how we feel 24/7, knowing that,
by a stupid vote from a few people, that all, THAT can be taken from
us, at any moment. Thank you for your time. Johnny Faro"