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A gay friendly mayor?



Since Orlando mayor Glenda Hood is on record saying homosexuals don't need to be protected from discrimination in The City Beautiful, Orlando Weekly decided to ask the four people who want her job in 2004 what they have to say about the issue.

The question: Would you support the so-called gay-rights amendment?

The four candidates -- all male, married and fairly wealthy -- split the vote three ways: Ad executive Pete Barr Sr. agrees with Mayor Hood that the amendment isn't necessary. "We're one of the top gay-friendly cities in America," Barr says. "The amendment will split the community when we don't need to be split."

Barr advocates reaching out to gay citizens, involving them in civic projects and allowing access to the mayor's office. "We can all get along."

Attorney-turned-developer Wayne Rich says he "opposes discrimination in any form. If it's a form of discrimination, I don't feel we need it in this city." Read into that what you want, Rich says.

Attorneys Tico Perez and Bill Sublette fall in the middle. Perez didn't return a phone call and Sublette, a former state legislator, said he hasn't taken a position because the amendment probably won't be relevant by election time. He added that, unlike Hood, he would have scheduled the vote sooner and skipped the rancor she caused by ducking the issue.

Voters may not have to wait till 2004 to elect a mayor -- Hood is rumored to be on her way to Tallahassee as a member of Jeb Bush's second administration.

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