Monday, May 25, 2009

Openly gay candidate in Florida gets a standing ovation after answering the "gay" question

Some of you may know that I live in the Tampa Bay, FL area and have been keeping a close eye on this race. Steve Kornell, an openly gay candidate, is running for St. Petersburg City Council. If Kornell is elected he will become the first ever openly gay member of the St. Petersburg City Council. The neighboring county, Hillsborough, just elected their first openly gay county commissioner, Kevin Beckner, in 2008. Kornell left the gates early and has been running a fabulous campaign for months. With all of our help he can help turn the page in St. Pete.

A friend who attended the debate gave me a detailed report of what happened. The question Steve received was loaded and had three parts: 1) are you gay?, 2) how will that affect your ability to do your job?, and 3) will you be persuing a gay agenda? I do not think I have ever seen a candidate answer a question like this so well and according to my friend, this was the loudest applause of the day, nearly everyone clapped and it was the only question where any candidate had people on their feet.

This sort of questioning has happened in candidate forums in St. Petersburg before. In 2005, a woman known as "Momma Tee" asked an openly gay candidate, Darden Rice, if she was gay. When Ms. Rice said yes, "Momma Tee" said "God's not down with that" and stormed out of the building. (Read more here.) Saturday was a different scene in St. Pete.

We need to support Steve. He has some serious skills and he will help make strides in a state which sorely needs some progress after Amendment Two last year. Join me in going to and contribute to his campaign online or by mail.

We also need to support Anthony Woods who is running for US Congress in California. Don't forget to send him a check too. He has a great story and would be a great advocate for our community in DC.


Ragnarok Finis said...

I actually had plans to be there until I fell ill. Thank you for posting this, I was concerned there could be such questioning but I am glad he handled it accordingly and with such eloquence.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Momma T asked Darden that question and it was bad. I am very happy to see that things may be changing.

Michael said...

Wish I had been there to hear Momma T, since when does she speak for God...she should watch her mouth, Steve will be great.