Podcast: Shot & Paralyzed Outside Gay Nightclub, Discrimination Costs Jamaica Billions, Sebastian LaCause

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• A young man standing outside a gay nightclub in North Carolina was shot leaving him paralyzed, and people all over the world come together to help with his recovery. Crowdfunding link: www.gofundme.com/f/hope-for-pedro

• A new report shows LGBTQ discrimination costs Jamaica over $11 billion a year

• A lawmaker won her bid to become the first female and first LGBTQ mayor of Bogota in Colombia, considered the second most important office in the country after the president

• On the 5th anniversary of his public coming out, Apple CEO Tim Cook has no regrets

• Award-winning writer/director Sebastian LaCause has a new indie film project – ‘Holy Water.’ Video pitch link: kck.st/35n6y2s Hustling trailer link: youtu.be/MWhbQ3nBDjU

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Gay CEO Announces Bid For Governor Of Indiana

Indiana business man Josh Owens has announced his bid to become the first openly gay governor of Indiana

Indiana business man Josh Owens has announced his bid to become the first openly gay governor of Indiana

It looks like Pete Buttigieg’s success as a two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has inspired some other accomplished LGBTQ folks to run for office in the Hoosier state.

Josh Owens, the CEO of Indianapolis-based online retailer SupplyKick, has announced his bid for governor of Indiana. Owens is the state’s first openly gay major party candidate for that office.

Owens promises to focus on improving education and bringing an end to housing and workplace discrimination in Indiana.

“I’m running for Governor now because I believe in an Indiana where teachers are paid what they deserve and where all are welcomed, respected and protected,” says Owens in his announcement video. “We need a leader who will ensure our state budget, policies and laws reflect a bold and inclusive vision for collective Hoosier success.

“Today, many Indiana teachers have to work second jobs and even then, they spend their own money on classroom supplies,” he adds. “As a businessman, I know every Hoosier in the workplace matters, and leadership is required to solve this problem and finally pay them fairly.”

Find out more at JoshOwens.com.

Pete Buttigieg Ramps Up Spending, Releases 1st TV Ad

Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg has released his first campaign ad with a substantial $210,000 media buy in Iowa where the first votes of the 2020 election cycle will be cast.

The ad, titled ‘The Only Way,’ focuses on Buttigieg’s experience as a mayor and military veteran.

“As a veteran and as a mayor, I’ve seen what we can achieve when we have each other’s backs,” begins the 30-second spot. “But in today’s divided America, we’re at each others throats.”

“Our rivers and oceans are rising. Health care costs are soaring, and our kids are learning active shooter drills before they learn to read,” Buttigieg says speaking to the camera. “To meet these challenges and to defeat this president, we need real solutions, not more polarization.”

The Buttigieg campaign has also recently opened 20 field offices in Iowa and hired an additional 30 staffers in the Hawkeye state, according to Politico.

The spending comes after Buttigieg raised more than any other Democratic White House candidate last quarter raking in over $24 million.

The aggressive moves will enthuse Mayor Pete’s supporters and will hopefully move him up in the polls.

Despite positive debate reviews and much interest in the mainstream media, the 37-year-old is consistently ranked 5th in most national polling.

RealClearPolitics currently shows Buttigieg averaging about 4.4%.

In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, the South Bend Mayor explained how he plans to make inroads among the Democratic candidates as the field narrows:

“Now that it’s starting to winnow down, people are starting to look for the contrasts. And it will be important for me to convey how I’m different from the others. I like the others, I appreciate the others, I admire the others but I’m not like the others. It’s not just a matter of style, it’s also a matter of approach.”

“It’s why I’m not making the same promises that some of the candidates to my left are. I share the goals and believe that we can do it in a way that will bring Americans together.”

Out NYC City Councilman Hopes To Be First Gay Latinx Elected To Congress

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, the first LGBTQ official elected in the Bronx, has announced he will run to represent New York’s 15th Congressional District in 2020.

The seat is being vacated by Democrat Rep. José E. Serrano, the longest serving Hispanic congressman in the country, who is retiring because he has Parkinson’s disease.

Torres, currently the youngest member of the City Council, would be the first openly gay member of Congress who is either Latinx or Black.

In a May interview with GayCityNews leading up to his campaign announcement, Torres said that he would prioritize housing and healthcare should he be elected to Congress.

Making the race even more interesting, Torres will be running against longtime homophobe (and Democrat in name only) New York City Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr.

Díaz, a former state senator, has been an opponent of same-sex marriage for years, and once attended a protest of an AIDS walk in drag as part of a “March for Morality.” He has been quoted as saying New York City is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

The controversial 76-year-old politician has defended his positions saying his family is “full of gays.” He has a lesbian granddaughter.

But Torres says Díaz’s virulently anti-LGBTQ record is something to spotlight.

“To have an elected official attack the quality and dignity of LGBT people sends a message to young people who are thinking of taking their own life as they struggle with their identity,” Torres told the New York Times.

“The council member has a right to hold whatever beliefs he wants, but he is running in the wrong primary,” Torres said. “He should be running in the Republican primary.”

The 31-year-old has already received several high profile endorsements including The Victory Fund, which works to elect LGBTQ candidates, and as well as the Equality PAC — the political branch of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus — which is made up of more than 150 members of Congress.

You can check out the campaign announcement from Torres below. The Democratic primary will take place in June 2020.

Tampa Elects First Openly LGBTQ Mayor

Tampa, Florida has elected its first openly gay female mayor, ex-police chief Jane Castor, who won a runoff election in a landslide.
Jane Castor becomes mayor of Tampa, FL

Tampa, Florida has elected its first openly gay female mayor, ex-police chief Jane Castor, who won a runoff election in a landslide.

Within thirty minutes of the polls closing, the outcome was clear. Castor defeated wealthy businessman David Straz garnering a huge 73% of the vote.

“It shows a change in the times, but really all along, the majority of people just want someone who can do the job,” Castor said of her historic win. “They want a leader who’s gonna improve their lives and focus on the issues that matter to them. And that’s what I intend to do.”

“We don’t tear people down with negativity, so thank you all for believing in that message,” added the 59-year-old former police chief.

The reference to negativity was a clear nod to her opponent who reportedly spent $5 million, much of that his own money, in the race.

In the week’s leading up to the runoff vote, Straz declined any debates or forums saying voters had grown tired of them.

“That means Straz spent nearly $345 for every vote he received,” The Tampa Bay Times reports. “Castor, who won all but 7 of the city’s 103 precincts, spent about $44 per vote.”

Castor nearly won the general election outright, but fell 2 points short with 48% of the vote. That number was triple Straz’s 15.5% he earned to come in second.

Acknowledging her long-time partner, Ana Cruz, Castor gushed, “She was everything. I’ve never been involved in campaign before, that’s her wheelhouse. She knows how to run a positive campaign.”

In conceding the race, Straz called for the city to rally around the new mayor.

“This is all about the future of Tampa,” Straz told the media. “The voters have spoken. They elected Jane Castor. And we need to get behind our mayor and help move the city forward.”

According to her campaign website, Castor served 31 years at the Tampa Police Department, first as a beat cop and then six years as police chief.

LGBTQ advocacy groups celebrated the news.

“Jane Castor’s victory is a clear sign that LGBTQ Americans are being welcomed as leaders in every part of society,” said Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal. “Tampa is the second major American city to elect an openly lesbian mayor so far this month, coming just weeks after Lori Lightfoot won in Chicago.”

“For decades we have fought to make sure that LGBTQ Americans like Castor can have a seat at the table,” she added. “Elections like this show us that all of us belong at the table.”

(Source: Tampa Bay Times)

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Rejects ‘Socialist’ Labels For Popular Solutions

Today, the 37-year-old (he would be the youngest person running for the White House) shared a video via social media teasing an upcoming announcement on April 14, which will probably be his official entry into the 2020 presidential race.

On January 23, openly gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, announced he had formed an exploratory committee to consider running for president of the United States.

Today, the 37-year-old (he would be the youngest person running for the White House) shared a video via social media teasing an upcoming announcement on April 14, which will probably be his official entry into the 2020 presidential race.

Since his January announcement, Mayor Pete has been out making appearances, sharing who he is, and sharing his vision for America.

His team announced taking in an impressive $7 million in the first quarter of 2019 – no bad for a small town mayor most Americans hadn’t heard of.

In January, a poll of Democratic Iowa caucus goers showed he had 0% support. Zero.

In the latest iteration of that same poll, Mayor Pete had surged to third place with double-digit support (11%) behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

During an appearance on Good Morning America today, Buttigieg showed he has no problem standing up to and pointing out Donald Trump’s many misleading statements.

In response to the Donald’s claims that Medicare-for-all and the proposed “Green New Deal” are ‘socialist’ ideas,

Buttigieg called the language, “A tactic that takes us back to the darkest days of the ’50s when you could use the word ‘socialist’ to kill somebody’s career, or to kill an idea, but that trick has been tried so many times that I think it’s losing all meaning.”

He also highlighted the conservative origins of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, as an example of a proposal on which the GOP flip-flopped on positions.

“The Affordable Care Act was a conservative idea that Democrats borrowed and they called that ‘socialist,’ so it’s kind of like the boy who cried wolf,” he continued. “It’s lost all power I think, especially for my generation of voters. Folks just want to know whether an idea is a good idea or not; and slapping a label on it, especially in a careless way that doesn’t make any sense, I don’t think it moves the debate.”

The young mayor then listed several issues that large majorities of Americans support – universal background checks for firearms, comprehensive immigration reform, paid family leave – but Congress can’t seem to address.

It was another strong appearance that explains why in a short time he’s surpassed several big name politicians in the polls, even tying with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Mayor Pete also took a moment backstage at GMA to show off his language skills (he speaks 7 languages):

Openly Gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg Definitely Impressed During CNN Town Hall

Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at CNN Town Hall in Austin, TX

Openly gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, appears to be building some momentum in his bid to become the Democratic candidate for president in 2020.

This past weekend, Buttigieg took part in a CNN town hall at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Also taking solo turns on the stage were Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland.

But by many accounts, it was Mayor Pete who found the most traction.

While he isn’t out-polling former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg showed he knew how to make the most of an opportunity.

Veteran political expert and chief strategist for the Obama campaigns, David Axelrod, gave Buttigieg high marks and predicted an uptick in his standing among the other candidates.

During his hour onstage, the 37-year-old displayed impressive poise and composure while throwing some shade on the Trump/Pence administration, including his now infamous “cheerleader for the porn star presidency” description of Vice President Mike Pence.

The former Navy intelligence officer and Afghanistan war veteran also took aim at Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who has defended the invasion of Iraq for years.

Referencing Bolton’s suggestion that the U.S. use military force in the current conflict in Venezuela, Buttigieg replied, “I don’t understand how somebody leading us into the Iraq War is allowed near that situation.”

He also addressed some issues specific to the LGBTQ community.

The two-term mayor reaffirmed his support for the Equality Act, which would bring uniform civil rights protections to LGBTQs across the nation by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to existing civil righs laws.

He also called for an end to the “war on trans Americans.”

“For a transgender teen to get the signal from the White House that the highest officials in the land can’t tell the difference between her and a predator and make it harder for her to go to the bathroom shows you just how out of whack the climate is in our country right now. We’ve got to end the war on trans Americans and we need a federal Equality Act that would say that you cannot be fired just because of who you are or just because you love.”

There was also a fairly innocuous but human moment that occurred when CNN’s Jake Tapper tried to clarify how to pronounce the mayor’s last name.

Noting that Buttigieg’s husband has indicated a slightly different pronunciation (“I don’t want to get in the middle of a marital squabble, but…”), Tapper asked the mayor for the definitive answer.

Buttigieg said his name quickly (which sounded like ‘Booda-judge’) but added that either option worked, and at home, he just goes by “Mayor Pete.”

The day when reporters blithely ask a presidential candidate about daily interactions with his husband has come.

Clearly sensing the appearance had gone well, Buttigieg was the only participant in the town hall to make a direct appeal from the stage for donations to his campaign.

According to CNN, Buttigieg had the single biggest fundraising day of his 2020 campaign after his appearance raising more than $600,000 from over 22,200 donations in the 24 hours after the event.

Out Mayor Pete Buttigieg Shades Mike Pence As ‘Cheerleader For Porn Star Presidency’

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in the hunt for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Sunday night that he and Vice President Mike Pence (former governor of Indiana) have different views on biblical scripture.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in the hunt for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Sunday night that he and Vice President Mike Pence (former governor of Indiana) have different views on biblical scripture.

CNN’s Jake Tapper, hosting a town hall in Austin, Texas, asked Buttigieg if Pence would be a better or worse president than Donald Trump.

After several moments of bewilderment, the 37-year-old mayor said that, while he disagreed with Pence ‘ferociously’ on things, he always felt Pence “at least believes in our institutions and he’s not personally corrupt.”

However, Buttigieg wondered aloud, “But then, how could he get onboard with this presidency?”

The openly gay mayor shared that his view of the Bible is based on “protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person – that idea of ‘welcome,’” while Pence’s take on scripture seems to have ”a lot more to do with sexuality and a certain view of rectitude.”

“But, even if you but into that, how could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency?” asked Buttigieg, referencing the allegations that Donald Trump made hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

“Is it that he stopped believing in scripture, when he started believing in Donald Trump? I don’t know. I don’t know.”

The Harvard alum also talked on coming out as gay in his traditionally conservative state.

“Frankly, when I first got into politics, elected politics at the beginning of this decade in Indiana — In Mike Pence’s Indiana — I thought you could either be out or you could be in office, but you couldn’t be both,” Buttigieg said.

“I came out in the middle of a re-election campaign because it was just that time in my life when I had to do that,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Pence was governor. We weren’t sure what it would do to my political future in a socially conservative community.”

“I wound up getting re-elected with 80 percent of the vote,” he concluded.

Asked how he could be qualified for the White House having never held statewide office, Buttigieg pointed to his resume: “I actually think that experience is one of the best reasons for somebody like me to be in this — I have more years of government experience than the president.”

“I have more years of executive government experience than the Vice President, and more military experience than anyone to walk into that office since George H. W. Bush,” said the former Navy intelligence officer and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. “Experience is what qualifies me to have a seat at this table.”

Out Mayor Pete Buttigieg Announces Presidential Campaign

In what could be history in the making, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, released a video today announcing he has formed an exploratory committee for president.

It he does run, which seems likely, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate.

He became the youngest person elected to the office of mayor in South Bend at the age of 29 in 2011. He also holds the distinction of being the youngest mayor of an American city with a population of at least 100,000, according to the Washington Post.

He came out in 2015 by penning a personal essay in the South Bend Tribune, just weeks before the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land.

At the time, he wrote, “Being gay has had no bearing on my job performance in business, in the military, or in my current role as mayor.”

“It makes me no better or worse at handling a spreadsheet, a rifle, a committee meeting, or a hiring decision,” he continued. “It doesn’t change how residents can best judge my effectiveness in serving our city: by the progress of our neighborhoods, our economy, and our city services.”

He was re-elected in 2015 with 80% of the vote.

In his announcement video, Buttigieg says, “When I arrived in office at the beginning of this decade, the national press said that our city was dying.”

“People on the outside didn’t believe our city had a future,” he adds. “We propelled our city’s comeback by taking our eyes off the rearview mirror, being honest about change and insisting on a better future.”

“The reality is there’s no going back, and there’s no such thing as ‘again’ in the real world,” says Buttigieg in what seems like a veiled swipe at Donald Trump’s ‘Make American Great Again’ slogan.

The 37-year-old brings more than just youth to the table. The two-term mayor is a former Rhodes scholar who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2004.

In 2009, he was commissioned as a naval intelligence officer, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 while serving as mayor.

He was honored with the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counterterrorism work, and remains a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve.

Two years ago, he ran for Chair of the Democratic National Committee helping to build his national profile.

He married his husband, Chasten Glezman, in a private ceremony on June 16, 2108. Glezman is featured in Buttigieg’s announcement video.

He is the youngest person to formally announce an interest in the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Pete Buttigieg with husband, Chasten

Podcast: Talking With Nevada State Senator Pat Spearman

Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman

Today I’m talking with Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman who is running for the Democratic nomination in Nevada’s District 4 for Congress.

The word “qualified” doesn’t even begin to cover the senator’s resume.

In her multi-faceted career, she’s earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, a Doctor of Business Administration degree, and a Masters degree in Divinity.

A 29 year veteran of the U.S. Army where she achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel, she was elected to the Nevada state Senate in two landslide victories.

Spearman is smart, smart, smart.

She’s the only LGBTQ candidate running in Nevada this election cycle.

Hit the play button as we talk about what’s at stake this campaign season.