"Pride" Houston bans condom distribution

  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 1:22 AM GMT
    Houston gays are an incredibly docile bunch. They love to brag about electing an openly lesbian mayor who thinks it's "inappropriate" for her, as an elected official, to do anything about gay rights. Still, even I was surprised to learn that Pride Houston organizers have banned the distribution of condoms by any parade contingent, but they have:

    0a1pridehoustonbanscondoms.jpg

    Jason Gallegos is the "celebration director" who apparently thinks AIDS education would get in the way of a good "celebration." Legacy Community Health Services had to campaign to get him to reverse his decision, which wasn't easy, because "Pride" Houston deleted every post mentioning the subject from their Facebook wall - a classically Houstonian move. Eventually they quietly caved but did not announce the decision - another classically Houstonian move.
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    Jun 18, 2013 1:44 AM GMT
    how can anybody "lead" when they have no spine or balls!icon_rolleyes.gif
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 2:41 AM GMT
    Actually, it's not entirely clear they have reversed their position:

    http://about-online.com/2013/06/17/pride-houston-bans-distribution-of-safe-sex-supplies-and-condoms-at-pride-2013/
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 3:06 AM GMT
    Here's the city letter clarifying that no, condoms etc. are NOT banned by ordinance. But if you're Pride Houston and you genuinely believe the ordinance DID ban them, then grow a pair and VIOLATE THE ORDINANCE. 1011012_10200573831200791_779027727_n.jp
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jun 18, 2013 3:11 AM GMT
    It just says they can't toss them out in the parade ... that doesn't mean they can't be distributed at the festivities after ... it would be good if they would explain the rational behind it though
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    Jun 18, 2013 3:41 AM GMT
    They lost me at no paper fans. Harrumph.
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    Jun 18, 2013 3:50 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidIt just says they can't toss them out in the parade ... that doesn't mean they can't be distributed at the festivities after ... it would be good if they would explain the rational behind it though

    The City letter to Pride Houston quotes Pride's email to the City (the part indented), and then says that Pride is wrong in its interpretation of City ordinances.

    "If it is your intent [Pride Houston's] to limit the distribution of safer sex paraphernalia at the festival and parade, please ascribe the requirement to Pride Houston, Inc, and not the City of Houston."

    In other words, Pride Houston is the one limiting condom distribution, not the City. Sounds like Pride is one messed up operation there.
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 4:40 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidIt just says they can't toss them out in the parade ... that doesn't mean they can't be distributed at the festivities after ... it would be good if they would explain the rational behind it though


    Actually, it says they can only distribute them to "adults over the age of 17" at the festival, which is truly fucked up. And since Houston's parade is at night, the festival is during the day BEFORE the parade, which means people are headed straight to the bars after the parade. The parade is when you want to put condoms in people's hands.

    And it doesn't just say they can't toss them out; it also says "walking individuals" can't distribute them.

    They did try explaining the rationale -- by LYING. First they blamed recent changes to a non-existent city ordinance; then, when the city pushed back, they said the policy had been in place for over a decade (see the "clarification" at the top of the updated article: http://about-online.com/2013/06/17/pride-houston-bans-distribution-of-safe-sex-supplies-and-condoms-at-pride-2013/).
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    Jun 18, 2013 5:48 AM GMT
    slimnmuscly saidtruly fucked

    I can understand them maybe not wanting Pride to be a symbol of sex party event. So not handing out condoms and having them dispersed throughout the street onto the sidewalks can be seen as a way of, "hey, we're not here for sex. Don't offend us by handing out condomns thinking we're some hyper-sexual beasts who can't keep it in our pants"

    Alot of people assume and mistakenly believe Pride parades are big sex parties. That couldn't be further from the truth. I went to Pride weekend twice...haven't gotten laid either time. Friends of mine also didn't particularly get much action either. Not saying nobody does, but it's not exactly an outdoor bathhouse. Those condoms would simply go to use for another time. I even bought a mother fucker home last night after the festivities, but the mother fucker was too fucked up to even fuck! He just passed out.

    But..what can you say? It's Houston. It's Texas. They're always coming up with some fucked up rules. You find that out the moment you get in says the sign, "don't mess with Texas".
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 11:05 AM GMT
    FuzzyPecs25 said
    slimnmuscly saidtruly fucked

    I can understand them maybe not wanting Pride to be a symbol of sex party event. So not handing out condoms and having them dispersed throughout the street onto the sidewalks can be seen as a way of, "hey, we're not here for sex. Don't offend us by handing out condomns thinking we're some hyper-sexual beasts who can't keep it in our pants"

    Alot of people assume and mistakenly believe Pride parades are big sex parties. That couldn't be further from the truth. I went to Pride weekend twice...haven't gotten laid either time. Friends of mine also didn't particularly get much action either. Not saying nobody does, but it's not exactly an outdoor bathhouse. Those condoms would simply go to use for another time. I even bought a mother fucker home last night after the festivities, but the mother fucker was too fucked up to even fuck! He just passed out.

    But..what can you say? It's Houston. It's Texas. They're always coming up with some fucked up rules. You find that out the moment you get in says the sign, "don't mess with Texas".


    Actually, the city Health and Human Services Department has been participating in Pride parades and handing out condoms for more than 20 years without accusations of Pride being a sex party event, and regardless of whether or not you get laid at Pride (what does THAT have to do with anything?), it's one of the biggest events HHS has to promote a safe sex message.

    There is no city or state law prohibiting condom distribution at parades - this was unilaterally imposed by the corporate organizers of Pride.

    And "Don't Mess With Texas" is the slogan for the state's anti-highway littering campaign, not a fucked up rule.
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Jun 18, 2013 11:44 AM GMT
    GUYS!!! The real issue at hand here: NO FUCKING GLITTER!?!?
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    Jun 18, 2013 12:11 PM GMT
    slimnmuscly saidHouston gays are an incredibly docile bunch. They love to brag about electing an openly lesbian mayor who thinks it's "inappropriate" for her, as an elected official, to do anything about gay rights.

    Parker never promised the gay community she'd be a gay-rights activist. She always presented herself as a technocratic manager - type who just happened to be Lesbian. Had she been a gay-rights firebrand she'd never have been elected.
    But in this case it wasn't city hall to blame, it was the pride committee.
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM GMT
    TexDef07 said
    slimnmuscly saidHouston gays are an incredibly docile bunch. They love to brag about electing an openly lesbian mayor who thinks it's "inappropriate" for her, as an elected official, to do anything about gay rights.

    Parker never promised the gay community she'd be a gay-rights activist. She always presented herself as a technocratic manager - type who just happened to be Lesbian. Had she been a gay-rights firebrand she'd never have been elected.
    But in this case it wasn't city hall to blame, it was the pride committee.


    Correct on all counts, and I've noted in multiple posts that the ordinance "Pride" Houston tried to blame this on doesn't exist. Annise Parker is certainly no Harvey Milk and cares much about how big business feels about her than the gays, whose votes she can take for granted. She is both a symptom of and a contributing factor to the gay community's lethargy in this city. Nowadays she brags to the Wall Street Journal about her inaction on gay rights while claiming that the gay marriage battle is already won. To make those kinds of statements in Texas, where couples with children are still being forcibly separated by court order, takes some nerve.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM GMT
    Just returned from a great long weekend in Houston.. "Docile" wouldn't be my description as a visitor.
    I was there with a friend and I would call them "welcoming, friendly and um, encouraging" haha
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    Jun 18, 2013 12:45 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidJust returned from a great long weekend in Houston.. "Docile" wouldn't be my description as a visitor.
    I was there with a friend and I would call them "welcoming, friendly and um, encouraging" haha


    Haha.. I bet you were encouraged *all nite* icon_biggrin.gif
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 12:48 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidJust returned from a great long weekend in Houston.. "Docile" wouldn't be my description as a visitor.
    I was there with a friend and I would call them "welcoming, friendly and um, encouraging" haha


    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Houstonians are indeed welcoming and friendly to outsiders - probably more so here than any large American city I've been to. And I'm glad they were "encouraging" to you and your friend. None of those qualities contradicts the fact that politically the gay community here will put up with anything and demands too little from its leaders, which is what I meant by docile.
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    Jun 18, 2013 12:56 PM GMT
    slimnmuscly said
    There is no city or state law prohibiting condom distribution at parades - this was unilaterally imposed by the corporate organizers of Pride.

    And "Don't Mess With Texas" is the slogan for the state's anti-highway littering campaign, not a fucked up rule.

    Are you sure about the corporate involvement? That would certainly make sense, because I can't imagine why Pride Houston would independently oppose condom distribution, after years of condoms being freely available, as they are at all Pride events I've attended around the US.

    And the City of Houston seems quite clear that they had nothing to do with the ban, putting the blame on Pride Houston (see copy of the City letter above, and my comments in later post). If you're correct, then that corporate involvement, or rather interference, should be given more media exposure - I'd like to know who these sponsors are.

    Correct, I was living in Texas when the "Don't Mess With Texas" anti-litter highway campaign began in the 1980s. It's since been unofficially borrowed by other interest groups in the State, but its real meaning has always been to discourage people from making a litter mess on Texas roads.
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    Jun 18, 2013 1:05 PM GMT
    Dumb question (from someone who has never been to a gay pride event but who has been to Hispanic and African American pride type events). Why is it a big deal to not be able to throw condoms from a float? Wouldn't the city health dept be able to have booths where attendees could visit and get pamphlets on STD transmission like they do at colleges and other events?
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 18, 2013 1:06 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    slimnmuscly said
    There is no city or state law prohibiting condom distribution at parades - this was unilaterally imposed by the corporate organizers of Pride.

    And "Don't Mess With Texas" is the slogan for the state's anti-highway littering campaign, not a fucked up rule.

    Are you sure about the corporate involvement? That would certainly make sense, because I can't imagine why Pride Houston would independently oppose condom distribution, after years of condoms being freely available, as they are at all Pride events I've attended around the US.

    And the City of Houston seems quite clear that they had nothing to do with the ban, putting the blame on Pride Houston (see copy of the City letter above, and my comments in later post). If you're correct, then that corporate involvement, or rather interference, should be given more media exposure - I'd like to know who these sponsors are.

    Correct, I was living in Texas when the "Don't Mess With Texas" anti-litter highway campaign began in the 1980s. It's since been unofficially borrowed by other interest groups in the State, but its real meaning has always been to discourage people from making a litter mess on Texas roads.


    ART_DECO, I was talking about Pride Houston Inc., the not-for-profit corporate entity, not any particular sponsors. I'm not aware of any evidence that they did this under any pressure other than their own whims.
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    Jun 18, 2013 2:01 PM GMT
    slimnmuscly said
    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Houstonians are indeed welcoming and friendly to outsiders - probably more so here than any large American city I've been to. And I'm glad they were "encouraging" to you and your friend. None of those qualities contradicts the fact that politically the gay community here will put up with anything and demands too little from its leaders, which is what I meant by docile.

    I met and dated my late partner in Houston, and lived with him there briefly in River Oaks before we relocated, after he had retired as a Harris County Court Clerk. Wonderful memories of going to the "Stables" restaurant (now closed) on Monday "gay" night, when a good part of Houston's court system would be there. He was also the Performance Director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Houston, a very large group, which I joined myself for a very short period.

    I mention all this because if Houstonian gays are "docile" as you say, it may be because I found them very comfortable & complacent, and low profile. Houston was like a friendly island in a hostile sea, gays much better off than in most other parts of Texas, Austin being another welcoming port.

    And within Houston itself is the Montrose, more of a true gay ghetto than any place I had ever seen (10 years ago), a neighborhood of cats & catamites, really too young a scene for my partner & me, leaving us to go to "Keys West" lounge (now closed) and hang around the piano with the other seniors.

    And in this safe haven of Houston I got the impression, even then, that nobody wanted to rock the boat, and spoil the good thing they had going. You could be out, but not too loud or obvious about it, keeping to our own safe enclaves.

    In that regard this Houston Pride controversy makes more sense to me. And I can imagine the Organizing Committee caving to more prudish corporate sponsor interests, if that was your meaning above.

    Still, other big Pride sponsors have been Bud Light and other beer companies, lube makers like Wet and ID, Wells Fargo bank, Target, Macy's, etc, and none of them have ever had a problem with condoms. And I'm on the committee of another gay-related event with corporate sponsors, and none of them has a problem with condoms, either. So I wonder who these corporate prudes in Houston would have been.

    EDIT: And now I see your latest post, while I was typing the above, crossing in the mail. Well, if it was Pride Houston, Inc alone, they truly are jerks. For causing all this unwelcome controversy and negative media coverage.
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    Jun 18, 2013 2:22 PM GMT
    Myol saidDumb question (from someone who has never been to a gay pride event but who has been to Hispanic and African American pride type events). Why is it a big deal to not be able to throw condoms from a float? Wouldn't the city health dept be able to have booths where attendees could visit and get pamphlets on STD transmission like they do at colleges and other events?

    Most Prides I've attended do not throw condoms from floats (but some do, or have "walkers" alongside the float who pass them out), I presume mainly because minor children can be spectators along the parade route. More typical throw items from floats are beads, coins, and candies, just like NOL Mardi Gras.

    But condoms in open bowls are everywhere, at many vendor & exhibitor booths. Along with safe-sex brochures, and other medically-related material. But the medical stuff is mostly at booths dealing more directly with STI detection, prevention & treatment, like by a community health service provider.

    But that's another reason I love Pride festivals - the STI information & prevention aspects. Critics of Pride point to the tawdry sexual side, but really that's mostly San Francisco and very few other places. At the Middle America Prides I've attended, the majority of Prides, the parades and street fairs are mostly quite tame, more beneficial than bawdy.

    A chance to educate better than our government and school system are currently doing. If you can walk past hundreds of vendor booths and not get the safe sex message, and grab some condoms to use, then you have no one but yourself to blame if you become a victim of these things.
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    Jun 18, 2013 2:31 PM GMT
    Guess I'm not in the scene enough to even know a single person who helps with Pride.

    I'll be going this year (more so celebrating me leaving this toaster oven of a city).
  • thatirishbast...

    Posts: 3523

    Jun 18, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
    Someone contact a medium because the Houston Pride Parade is channeling the spirit of Ex-Pope Benedict.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    Jun 18, 2013 4:56 PM GMT
    What do you expect, it is Texas. Pride Houston would much rather pander to all the narrow minded, bible thumping screwballs that own and control the state government along with most county and local governments. By not distributing condoms at the pride parade, they are most likely encouraging what most right wingers want which is abstenance. The City of Houston along with surrounding Harris County both have their fair share of right wingers in elected office. This was just a way to keep them quiet.
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    Jun 18, 2013 5:01 PM GMT
    I'm not really offended or concerned by this.

    Providence Pride was this past weekend and the same rules applied. Only the provided beads and beachballs were to be thrown and no mooning or exposing the crowd. Condoms and all other manner of sex toys were still available at the festival along the river.

    Many people bring young children to parades.

    If the excuse of being able to toss condoms is to get people using them before a bar or club then it would be more efficient to just hand them out right at the entrance. A club could even make a game of it by offering a slight admission discount if you take a condom when walking in.