As the Obama administration continues to pursue a wide range of measures to ensure Americans feel the full effects of the government shutdown, it looks as if all systems are go with NASA sponsoring a gay pride parade this weekend in Orlando, Fla.
When Obama appointed him NASA administrator in 2010, Charles Bolden said of the president’s expectations:”Foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”
Now that NASA is no longer burdened with the inconvenience of exploring outer space, the outreach initiative appears to have expanded to include the gay community.
Come Out With Pride, with an assist from the Walt Disney Co., is putting on a gay pride parade in downtown Orlando on Saturday, part of an all-day event to celebrate, well, being gay, according to ComeOutWithPride.com. Disney is also sponsoring a “Kid Zone” at the event, the website says.
A banner advertisement for the event lists NASA and Microsoft as sponsors for a viewing tent.
NASA is also listed on the event website as a bronze-level sponsor, as is the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center. While the $750 fee is nominal, it was very likely paid with taxpayer money.
According to the web site, NASA will also have a float in the parade, which begins at 4 p.m. Saturday.
It’s not clear who will be manning the float.
Because of the government shutdown, thousands of Kennedy Space Center workers have been furloughed. With the exception of security, among those considered essential, most of NASA’s workforce has been told to stay home, according to the local ABC affiliate WFTV.
Anyone trying to find additional information on NASA’s website was greeted with this message:
Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. — We sincerely regret this inconvenience.
On the same weekend, the National Park Service informed Florida charter boat captains that Florida Bay was “closed” due to the shutdown, Breitbart News reported.
For perspective, that move effectively closes 1,100 square miles of open ocean.