LARGO - Because beheadings, ax murders and controversy sell newspapers, Pinellas County's only daily newspaper has lighted the fuse to a hot topic in Largo that bids fair to have the town buzzing in the coming months.
Everything now is in place to pass an ordinance in Largo that would benefit homosexuals, the Big Paper asserted in one of its patented argument by non-sequitur logic articles last week.
The "welcome to homosexuals" item, long on the BP's agenda, may find some favor - except among Largo residents who rose up in righteous wrath a few years ago the last time this was attempted.
If ever there was a perversion of purpose it occurred regarding the idea of Charlie Harper, then a member of the Largo City Commission, to put the city on record as respecting the civil rights of all people.
This was in the wake of a survey that showed some bias was being exercised in Largo by businesses in terms of rentals and other aspects.
Harper, a lifelong resident of Largo, wanted his city to be on record as having no truck with bias, unwarranted discrimination and all that other ugliness.
What happened is that Harper's idea was highjacked and turned into a proposed ordinance that would have emphasized recognition for homosexuals, cross dressers, transgendered (before and after surgery) people, same sex unions, and all of that.
Largo's normal people rose in disgust and, led by many of the clergy, showed up at the City Hall and let the commission know where the people stood.
The inherent danger as many citizens saw it was that by recognizing same sex unions the city itself could have been put in financial jeopardy by paying health insurance for people who have developed a high rate of AIDS, a devastating and costly disease.
AIDS is not one of those diseases that can just come along and affect anyone, like the flu or measles or whooping cough. It is generally confined to male homosexuals and is a disease of choice. That is, one can avoid it, based on one's behavior.
On top of that, Largo citizens knew that the county, state and federal governments all have strict laws barring discrimination of anyone based on religion, ethnicity, gender, race and disability.
All those battles have already been fought. It seemed some in Largo wanted icing on the cake, a gilding of the lily, and this came about mostly because one member of the commission at the time who had a private interest in the subject.
The Big Paper's logic would send even a logics professor at the Pointy-Headed Institute into a tizzy.
Here it is -
The county in a survey some years ago found housing discrimination against African-Americans.
Largo elected its first African American member of the commission in March.
Ergo, the racial discrimination problem has been solved.
One could counter with this -
There is no evidence of any discrimination in Largo against homosexuals.
But just in case there is, some of these folks have opened businesses on West Bay in the downtown area.
Ergo, no need for any homosexual rights ordinance.
No less than one of the great advocates of promoting homosexuality, the mayor of Largo, Pat Gerard, has pooh-poohed the idea of such an ordinance when the subject was broached recently.
But as the BP's screed of June 9 points out, the votes are there now to pass such a measure.
The voice not heard from yet is that of the people.
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