Forget San Francisco. Watch out, South Beach. Welcome to Gainesville.

In the February issue of Advocate, a monthly gay news and culture magazine, Gainesville was named the 11th gayest city in the nation.

The 15 cities that made the list were ranked according to a variety of factors, from same-sex couple households per capita to gay dating profiles per single male population.

Gainesville scored an 11 out of 15 for gay bars per capita, a shout-out to University Club on East University Avenue.

Jim Spangler has been running University Club with his son, Mark, for the past 20 years, providing locals with drag shows every Thursday through Saturday.

Spangler said he’s seen other gay bars open and close and credits University Club’s success to its friendly atmosphere.

“[I think it’s] the way we treat people, and our prices are right,” he said. “It’s not just a gay bar — anybody’s welcome.”

Advocate also ranked cities based on number of gay elected officials, for which Gainesville incorrectly received a zero.

Craig Lowe, city commissioner since 2003 and mayoral candidate, is open about his sexual orientation.

Though he understands the light nature of the article, he said the ranking by a national publication is positive attention for the city.

“What’s important is that Gainesville is a fair community,” he said. “In these times we can't afford to discard any talent or intellect ... We do want to be able to maximize the human resources that we have here … to give them the opportunity to contribute to Gainesville's future.”

But not everyone was excited about the town’s new fame.

“The fact that Gainesville was rated the 11th gayest city in the nation shows the depravity of our nation and the weakness of the church,” said Terry Jones, senior pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center. “We must, as a nation and a church, repent for such acts of sin against our community ... and return to the true gospel of truth, love and repentance."

But Pride Community Center of North Central Florida Co-President Terry Fleming is proud of the ranking.

“Gainesville is a remarkable community that recognizes the importance of diversity,” Fleming said.

“And it’s gratifying to see that others are recognizing what a great place [it] is to live [in].”

UF senior and Pride Student Union Vice President of Outreach Whitney Blake said she was “incredibly surprised but happily so” to hear of the ranking.

Originally from South Florida, Blake said part of the reason she chose to attend UF was for it’s progressiveness and strong LGBT representation.

“It’s like a progressive little pocket in North Central Florida,” she said. “I think Gainesville is very friendly.”

The top ten cities in order were Atlanta; Burlington, Vt.; Iowa City; Bloomington, Ind.; Madison, Wis.; New Orleans; Fort Lauderdale; Portland, Maine; Austin, Texas; and Seattle.

(27) comments


Is is really necessary for the Alligator to constantly solicit the opinions of the Dove Church whackos? They're incoherent religious babble in no way contributes to the article or represents a sizeable opinion in town. Is it because their quotes are funny like in a satirical way?

Please think critically before giving these delusion hate-mongers a platform.


Congratulations Gainesville!
Where Gay Men Search For Love And Find Equality


I have to say, I wasn't sure if it was comedy on purpose or if it was just providential, but the layout on the front page of the picture of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile directly above this article was hilarious.

I'd think it would make Rev. Jones think twice about blowing on his wienie whistle. ;-)


This is a trashy town. That's why all the normal people live here only to go to school and they are gone the second they graduate.


Jenn_cali, are you saying Gainesville is gay-friendly because it's a trashy place, or is it trashy because it's gay-friendly? Either way, what a rude thing to say.

I'm proud of Gainesville's ranking. It's sad that its not the norm for a town to treat all its residents with respect, but at least Gainesville does. I'm proud to live here.


I love this standing but don't think Tebow does


102010, I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. It makes ZERO sense to try to fight fire with fire. Look, if everyone is all up in arms about the Dove Church or people like Brother Micah coming onto UF's campus and spreading hate, then ignore them. Giving them an audience is the worst thing you can do. If you ignore them, they will go away. If Brother Micah tried to speak at Turlington and no one stopped to watch/argue, he would leave UF and never come back. The reason these people exist in Gainesville is because they know they have an audience. They are real life trolls. Feed them and they only grow bigger, ignore them and they go away. It's not that hard.


Pastor Dr. Terry Jones is right. We call was is wrong right and think that is something to be proud of. The bible clearly speaks about homosexuality being wrong and sinful. It is a sin like any other, but its something the bible says leads to h e l l if we do not repent and turn to God.
How is it that we are proud of Gainesville being the 11th gayest city in the US?
Do we have no fear of God?


gay is of the devil !! people read the bible !! Dr. Terry Jones is 100% right !!

anka doris

I hope this is a wake up calling for the churches here in Gainesville!!!
Speak up for the truth and bring change into the city.
Let us all go on our knees and pray:
"Oh Lord have mercy and forgive us that we are tolerant and destroy our own volk."
Wednesday is a churchday, so let us get active!!!
That is the only freedom in the word of God!


Dove world Outreach Center speaks the truth - Homosexuality is a sin- that will lead you straight to h*ell. That is a shame to be proud to be the 11th ranked gay city.
Have we no fear of God that our city is immoral and full of sin? Have we no fear of the Lord that the gay people (unless they repent!) will die and go to h*ell while we live a happy life? Do we as Christians even care or dare to stand up against it?


Its sad that only one church gave a clear statement. But at least somebody is standing up for the truth. And there is a way out of this lifestyle, repent turn to God and live your life for the kingdom.


We first must come back to the truth that God is God and we are poor sinners and need the salvation through Jesus Christ. Then, when we have admitted that we are wrong and God and his holy word is true we will also have to see that homosexuality is not right in the eyes of God. And that should be enough to turn from it and repent and seek God's forgiveness. No homosexual can be truly fulfilled because God has not made him or her to be homosexual. Only in the true fulfilment of our God given purpose we can find true happyness.


How can we take all this so cool? Do we not see how slowly over the last decades everything that once was sin and shameful becomes public, approved and now even almost a "higher good to fight for"?

What has a nation to expect, that celebrates a contest of sin? God calls Homosexuality a abomination. The big question: WHERE IS THE CHURCH?


Dr.Terry Jones is absolutely right! Homosexuality is sin and pure rebellion against God's order. If we as Christians don't call the people to repentance but offer them fake love and false tolerance, we betray them and God. Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.


"Lord, please save me from some of YOUR followers...."

You people are ridiculous. Mind your own business and worry about yourselves. What other people do in THEIR bedrooms and who they choose to love doesn't hurt you in the least.
Every half-smart person knows that the Bible was written by MEN, not God. People have been spewing hate and intolerance in the name of God since the beginning of time - and the includes Biblical times. My God would never condone such intolerance - knowing that Jesus Christ is our savior is enough! SO WHAT if some gay magazine ranked Gainesville the 11th gayest city....if you don't like it, move somewhere else! Even if homosexuality IS a sin - which, a straight person, I truly believe it is NOT - the last sinless person walked this earth a long time ago. Nobody is jumping your case because you've done something they didn't think was right!

And YES, I am a Christian.



They don't call them the GAYtors for nothing!


They don't call them the GAYtors for nothing!


Gooooooo GAYtors!


That's so cool that Dove Outreach is hosting a giant "welcome LGBT and their allies" celebration party this weekend, with gay bingo and a big square dance afterwards! Let's all show up and support this great event!!!! I am getting my outfit together right now.


This is sad that we are boosting about "Gainesville being ranked 11th far as Gays"
WOW! The church has not failed. It's the humans.


WE are Definetly a "CITY WITHOUT WALLS".


@GatorRed1222 How can you claim to be a Christian but dismiss the Bible?


Fran_Ingram, please re-read my first post more carefully. I never said that I dismiss the Bible as a whole - I only point out that it was written by men and not by God. Thus, we have to take what is written in it with a grain of salt. Do you believe the "preacher" on TV who is always asking for money, or Pat Robertson (who said that the people of Haiti made a deal with Satan a long time ago and that's why they are currently suffering)? They say they are men of God!! If not - which I certainly hope is your answer - then why would you believe EVERY word written in the Bible? As I said, people have been doing awful things "in the name of God" forever, even during Biblical times. The Bible was written by men, not God. If you need a good example of what I am saying, read Deuteronomy 22:28-29...."If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and he rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her for as long as he lives." What kind of craziness is that??? I am a Christian b/c Jesus Christ is my savior....NOT b/c I believe every single word written in the Bible.


Well, maybe Gainesville will be 11th in line for fire and brimstone (as in Sodom and Gomorrah) from heaven when Jesus appears again.


GatorRed1222 - well said. Homosexuality is a threat to the existence of a society, since it curtails reproduction. So, since religion is essentially a code of ethics that governs and provides order, stability and proliferation of societies, religions in general are against homos.


lol....i almost forgot....NO HOMO!

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