WILTON MANORS – On August 26, eight local bars will take part in the “Wilton Manors GET OUT THE VOTE Bar Crawl,” in an effort to register as many LGBT voters as possible, and to draw awareness to issues of political importance to the gay community. Starting at 2 p.m., volunteers, entertainers, Democratic Party officials, and the interested public will gather at Sidelines Sports Bar on Wilton Drive, the event’s starting point.
According to the organizers, the crowd—with South Florida entertainers serving as guides—will move along the Drive, in 45-minutes intervals, to each bar, where voter registrars and Democratic Party officials will speak to potential voters. As well as Sidelines, Bill’s Filling Station, The Manor, Rosie’s Bar & Grill, New Moon, Matty’s On the Drive, The Alibi, and Boom will participate.
“This idea has taken off, and you will see such an energized coalition of LGBT movers and shakers getting out the vote,” said Michael Albetta, Vice Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Campaign Committee.
Although the event is organized by many who support President Obama’s re-election, the organizers want all eligible voters and concerned citizens to attend, irrespective of political philosophy. “Regardless of your party affiliation, it is your country’s given right as a citizen to make your voice heard,” said Jennifer Morales, Sidelines’ Marketing, Advertising, and Promotions Director.
Morales says there are a number of important issues facing LGBT Americans this year, but the most important one is retaining the gains we have made in civil rights. “The single biggest issue for LGBT voters in 2012 is that we retain these rights and not go back to a closeted and discrimination-filled way of life,” she says, adding, “This cannot happen!”
Although she has concerns that Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, “will push to remove most of these rights and achievements,” Morales thinks there is something more important than party, and says that the bar crawl is a way to “remind LGBT voters of their duty as citizens to make sure that their voices are heard—whatever, or whomever their choice may be.”