This week in the gay: Everyone's a homo! First the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the state's anti-gay marriage law, and wingnuts' heads exploded amid cries of "judicial tyranny" while corn-husking butch lesbians made out on national television. Exciting! Then the Vermont Legislature approved its own same-sex marriage law over the objections of the state's Republican governor, and wingnut mouthpiece Mat Staver of Orlando's Liberty Counsel called this a "form of tyranny." (This is also known as the "legislative process," unless you happen to disagree with the outcome.)
But the gays weren't done yet. Last week Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced HR 1913, a federal hate-crimes law meant to discourage bigots from beating up fags, which all good Christians must oppose because beating up fags is the Lord's will.
And closer to home, the city of Lake Worth — near West Palm Beach — just hired Susan Stanton, who back in early 2007 was known as Steven Stanton, the city manager of Largo `see "Our dumb(er) state," Aug. 2, 2007`. Then Stanton, who had theretofore received rave reviews from the city council, had a sex-change operation. The city council fired him because "he deceived people" by getting his thingie replaced with a hoo-ha, but they said that wasn't the reason at all because that would be intolerant. But hey, Stanton has a new job. In Florida. Progress!
Speaking of the gays, conservatives all over the state are finally doing something interesting: On April 15 — tax day! — they'll be hosting tea-bagging parties, which in case you didn't know is the practice of slapping one's scrotum on another's forehead. True. We are not making that up.
Oh … hold on. Looks like that's not exactly what they're doing at their "tea-bagging" parties. Just more oldsters massing to complain about "socialism," Obama and taxes.
Says in the presser that anti-taxers are going to get together at Orlando City Hall in Orlando to protest President Obama's bailout plans — funny that they forgot to get angry when W. was spending $2.5 billion a week for an optional war in Iraq — and they'll wave tea bags to illustrate how very, very mad they are. We like our version better.
Speaking of tea-bagging — or any other acts involving the bumping of dirty bits against flesh — guess what April is! No, it isn't all washing feet, rolling away stones and hearkening to bearded men with good intentions. It's also Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month! So, in this time of things that grow bumps in the night, the Orange County Health Department is doing its sanitary bit to spread its knowledge on methods of prevention, symptoms, treatments and services available to you, dear reader, the morning after that jackhammer and ball-gag scenario that seemed like such a good idea at 3 a.m.
To do so without looking like sluts, the health department produced its own PSA, starring denim-shirted former TV news hottie and current health department spokesman Dain Weister and Dr. Jim Hinson. The video, in all its glory, is available at the county's website, orchd.com. In it, we learn that — OMG — teens are having oral sex, that one in four sexually active teens will get an STD, that 80 percent of women will have the human papillomavirus by the age of 50 and that of the 19 million new STDs reported in the country every year, Orange County contributes a piddly 8,000. Boo!
Regardless, the health department will offer two public testing events probably not involving free cocktails for Orange County residents who want to know whether they have HIV, HPV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis (hello "frothy, yellow-green vaginal discharge with a strong odor") and/or syphilis. Sound like fun? Well, head over to Orla Vista Park Saturday, April 18 (noon-3 p.m.), or the James R. Smith Center on April 25 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), but don't tell them we sent you. We're not that kind of girl. And never have sex again.
Speaking of things that will make you miserable no matter how appetizing they seemed when you were drunk, you know that decision you made at some point in your life to move to Florida where it's all sunshine, orange juice, roller coasters and crabs (the kind that you eat)? Well, according to a study put out by the fine folks at MainStreet.com, you might as well go jump off the top of Cinderella's castle.
The study, which ranked 51 states (because the District of Columbia is now a state, apparently) placed Florida at a shocking 50th place on the Miseryometer 4000 (or "Happiness Index"). Citing our love of non-mortgage debt (37.3 percent on their index), our 9.4 percent unemployment rate and foreclosures on one in every 214 households, MainStreet determined that we were second only to Oregon — where it rains all the time and people busk on and on about it while buying straight razors — in quantifiable frowns. You know where they're happy? The Midwest. Nebraska, specifically, because, you know, Warren Buffett lives there. Iowa came in second, probably because that's where all the gay people are going to go get married and put on dusty community pantomimes about how stupid Florida is.
So you know how the University of Central Florida is a Very Serious Institution of Higher Learning? It's one of the biggest schools in the country, don't ya know. And it's getting a new medical school. It also has something called the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government, named for this area's long-ago Republican congressman.
On April 15 — this Wednesday, which means it may have happened already by the time you read this, but oh well — the LFIPG is hosting its Spring Symposium, a very earnest discussion of President Obama's first 100 days. There will be events on Obama and the deficit, Obama and the bureaucracy and even a very important keynote speaker … a recurring character on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
Now we, like all right-thinking Americans under age 60, watch The Daily Show, uh, daily. And we think Larry Wilmore, the show's "senior black correspondent," is pretty funny. Still, we can't decide whether his invitation to keynote this symposium is the awesomest thing ever, or a pathetic attempt at grabbing whatever C-list celebrity said yes.
The symposium runs all day in the student union's Pegasus Ballroom, if you'd like to decide for yourself.[email protected]