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Parliament House Motor Inns

As part of the research I did for the 40 Years of the Parliament House documentary, I uncovered a great deal of information about the Parliament House Motor Inn chain.  Many only the know the Parliament House as a gay resort in Orlando, but prior to 1976, it was the first in a fledgling chain of motor inns that one day hoped to become a nationwide competitor to the Holiday Inn franchise.

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The Parliament House Motor Inn chain was started by Kansas City, MO investors Ned Eddy and his sons Ned, Jr. and James.  They started in the food and beverages business running the successful Eddy’s Restaurant in Kansas City, MO. They gave the Parliament House properties an English royalty theme with the slogan, "Built for the House of Lords...priced for the House of Commons." Their goal was a 9 city chain by 1964.  They never made their goal and filed for bankruptcy on June 8, 1965 when they claimed to operate 8 properties.   They listed liabilities of $5 million in the court filings.  We have been able to identify 7 of the 8 Parliament House locations.  Here is what we know about them.

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GCS, GLCS, and The Center

From its humble beginnings in 1978, the board of directors of of GCS, GLCS, and The GLBT Center has seen many faces and names throughout the decades.  With each succession, the organization saw changes in the community, and changes within the its mission.  

This listing has been compiled from memory and from public corporate records which didn't always correlate to the actual membership of the time.  Corrections are always welcome.

 

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NCOD History

In October 1988, the first National Coming Out Day (NCOD) celebration in Central Florida was held at Winter Park's Central Park. Spearheaded by local activist Joel Strack and We the People, the local rally coincided with other first NCODs around the country.

A second annual NCOD celebration is reported to have taken place at the same Winter Park location in October 1989. Between 1990 and 1994, the History Museum has no record of NCOD celebrations being held in Central Florida.

From 1994 through 2004 (eleven years) the University of Central Florida's Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Union (GLBSU) celebrated NCOD every year, first on campus and then on the steps of City Hall. During this period, the event was called "A Light in the Closet" and featured coming-out stories and a candle vigil for those unable to come out of the closet.

 

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Donate Materials

Help future generations know their history!

The GLBT History Museum of Central Florida actively collects material related to our community. We exist to preserve and share the past.

If you’re still holding onto your organization’s records, have a bunch of old photographs piling up in the corner, or have some boxes in your attic or garage filled with old TWN's, LCN Express, or past issues of David Magazine, please consider donating them. You may have valuable pieces of our local GLBT history (photographs, documents, programs, souvenirs, mementos, and so forth) that can be displayed in exhibits and on our virtual museum website to educate others and to aid in research.

To make arrangements to make your donation, click the Contact Us button and send a note to any History Board member.  You may also mail your donation to GLBT History Museum, P.O. Box 533376, Orlando, FL 32853-3376. 

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Sponsors

The GLBT History Museum of Central Florida would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support of our goals:

GOLD SPONSOR ($10,000+)

Darden Restaurants

SILVER SPONSOR ($5,000+)

Metropolitan Business Association (Come Out With Pride)

BRONZE SPONSOR ($1,000+)

Parliament House

IN-KIND SPONSOR

The Center
IDEAS

 

 

 

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Canadian Couple Purchase Parliament House

From Canada to the Parliament House

by Debbie Simmons

 Parliament House owners Don Granatstein and Susan Unger hosted the Metropolitan Business Association meeting on May 1st. Don Williams, MBA Programs Director gave a well deserved introduction, citing that in 2005 Don & Susan sponsored the first Come Out With Pride.  It was at the organizational meeting in the Footlight Theater, after watching John Bearse's very powerful short documentary on the progress of our community locally/nationally that Susan came to her feet and exclaimed, “We’ll sponsor $10,000”. Don & Susan have been very accommodating for any kind of meeting the MBA wanted to have at the Parliament, including general/social meetings, Come Out With Pride volunteer drives & organizational meetings for the committee.

 

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Pride Courage and Memories

By Charlie Hogan

Two weeks ago, Frank asked me to speak to you about the history of the gay and lesbian community in Orlando. Three times this year, I have been asked to do this and frankly, I think you got the wrong man. Yes, I was there during a lot of great things during the last twenty-seven years. But, I did not, do not, and will not call myself a leader. I did what I could with the help of some fantastic men and women that shared a common dream. From the seeds of small successes and failures, great trees have grown.

What I will tell you is about the dreams and courage of some wonderful men and women.

But first I must tell you what it was like in June of 1969 when two momentous events occurred in America. One was when a man, in New York City, wearing a dress, refused to "go downtown." He planted his heels and shouted, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." The other event occurred when a slim, trim and bald Charlie Hogan

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Miss OBTA

Miss OBTA 2006 Raises $13,600.00 For St. Francis House

This was one of the most successful in the 9 year history of the Miss OBTA Pageant.  Hosted by Michael Wanzie and headlined by a cast of celebrity judges Daisy Lynum, Joseph Martens, Jim & Cathreine Philips, and Sexy Savannah the fundraiser played to a packed house at the Parliament House's Footlight Theater.

The event is a mock beauty pageant with female impersonators from within the Orange Blossom Tennis Association.  The Miss OBTA Pageant is the largest annual fundraiser for St. Francis House Homeless Shelter.
 
The night saw the crowning of the new Miss OBTA - MeMe Morgan.  This is MeMe's second time earning the crown and last night's win was especially meaningful as her alter ego, Tom Murray, was celebrating his birthday at the same time.
Within two weeks there will be a limited number of DVDs of the 9th Annual Miss OBTA Pageant on sale for a donation of $15.00 to St. Francis House.  Reserve your copy now.

Support for this event included:
Director Jeff Horn, Associate Director Rai Liauw, Contestants Keith Baber, Michael Pecko, Jimmy Lee, Tom Murray, Phillip Ramsey, & Jeff Horn; Reigning Queen Ophelia Wacker, Opening Number Choreographer Ric Salinas, Guest appearance by C.C. & Tara, Raffle ticket sales: Doug Bowser, C.C. & Tara, Sal Capozzi, Tom Murray, Bill Woods, and Mark Holdiman; Back-stage manager Paul Pecko, Raffle prize donors recruited by Jeff Horn, Runner Frank Mottolo, Flowers compliments of Jonathan's Flowers, Graphics compliments of JamBoy Graphics, Theater and support staff compliments of The Parliament House, Filming, editing, and packaging compliments of Charlie Burket, Color printing compliments of Michael Pecko & Kristi Edwards, Front door Tom & Frank Mottolo, Hair & make-up compliments of Robert Showalter, Wanzie gift bottle compliments of Phillip Ramsey & Ric Salinas, Song clearing agent Lisa Curtis

Raffle Winners:
Phillip Ramsey & Ric Salinas  2 Round-Trip Tickets on AirTran Airways
Mike Burnett  Men's Fragrance Gift Basket from Dillards - FL Mall
Ric Salinas & Phillip Ramsey  Men's Fragrance Gift Basket from Dillards - FL Mall
Marianne Metz  Women's Fragrance Gift Basket from Dillards - FL Mall
Bobby Martin  Women's Fragrance Gift Basket from Dillards - FL Mall
Dooie Kwong  2 Nights Lodging & Dinner for 2 from The Parliament House
Kenny King  2 Nights Cabin Lodging from Sawmill Campground
Steve LaPha  Orange Blossom Tennis Championships Entry from the OBTA
Wes Hoaglund  Ladies Gruen Watch from Jewelry Etc.
Tom Murray  Sunday Brunch for 2 at Friends Restaurant
Phillip Ramsey & Ric Salinas  Sunday Brunch for 2 at Friends Restaurant
Lizette  $25.00 bar tab at Savoy Orlando
Darcy  $25.00 bar tab at Savoy Orlando
Doug Rutledge  $25.00 bar tab at Savoy Orlando
Ric Salinas & Phillip Ramsey  $50.00 gift certificate to E-Tennis
Tom Murray  Wilson Tennis Bag from E-Tennis
Clint Lyons  $50.00 bar tab at College Connections
Doug Rutledge  $00.00 gift certificate for Thai Cuisine Restaurant    
Tom Murray  $50.00 hair services with Jimmy Lee at Blades Salon from Jimmy Lee   
Fred Berliner  2 tickets to Universal Theme Parks from Robert Pepper
Liz  2 tickets to Universal Theme Parks from Robert Pepper    
Phillip Ramsey & Ric Salinas  hanging basket from Apenberry's Nursery
Val Lucerna  2 hours professional computer services from Sal Capozzi
Val Lucerna  2 hours professional computer services from Sal Capozzi
Val Lucerna  2 hours professional computer services from Sal Capozzi
Michael Slaymaker  Miss OBTA '05 commemorative DVD from Charlie Burket
Ben McGeoch  tennis stringing w/ Babolat Attraction 16 from Horn-Liauw Stringing
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