Left: Mark Nash, Host of The Buzz.
Right: Bart Birdsall, Media Specialist
The 2nd Annual Brandon Pride Unbanned Book Reading/Gay Pride Display was held July 5th, 2007 6:30pm-8:30pm at the
Bloomingdale Regional Public Library, in Valrico, Florida. The Read-In marked the 2 year anniversary of the Ronda Storms-driven banning.
After a gay-themed exhibit at a Tampa-area public library prompted complaints in June 2005, Hillsborough County, Florida, commissioners adopted a policy “abstain from acknowledging, promoting, or participating” in any gay pride recognition or events. The board passed the proposal 5–1 after minimal discussion, despite many pleas from gay-rights advocates during an earlier public comment period.
Commissioner Kathy Castor cast the lone dissenting vote, saying, “
I think it’s inappropriate for government to promote discrimination.”Castor again voted no when the commission passed a second proposal, that commissioners can only repeal the policy on a 5–2 super-majority vote following a public hearing. [Castor is now in Congress].
Two gay pride exhibits at the Tampa–Hillsborough County Public Library’s John F. Germany branch in downtown Tampa were removed the day after the decision, according to the June 16 Tampa Tribune.
Mark Ferguson,President, Brandon Pride
Zeke Fread, Public Relations for Brandon Pride
Ronda Storms, former Hillsborough commissioner is an embarrassment to her community.
In April, 2007 Author and family therapist Chris Crutcher called politicians like state Sen. Ronda Storms, the former Hillsborough commissioner who successfully spearheaded a ban on county government's recognition of gay pride. Author and family therapist Chris Crutcher called politicians like state Sen. Ronda Storms, the former Hillsborough commissioner who successfully spearheaded a ban on county government's recognition of gay pride, "an embarrassment to their community."
Books Banned by Hillsborough County Commission