Former Socialite and Current Lawmaker to Sue Miami Beach for Barring Him From Pride Parade

Former Socialite and Current Lawmaker to Sue Miami Beach for Barring Him From Pride Parade

After Republican Rep. Fabian Basabe was booed at last year's pride parade, he has been banned from participating in this year's event

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
April 1, 2024

MIAMI BEACH, FL—A former socialite and current Florida Republican wrought with unusual scandals is threatening to sue the city of Miami Beach after he was barred from riding in the city's annual Pride Parade.

Last year, Miami Rep. Fabian Basabe rode down Ocean Avenue in the Miami Beach Pride Parade. The Republican, who ran on a pro-LGBTQ platform, was subsequently booed, as attendees were angry that he voted for legislation like the Parental Rights in Education Act—or the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill—and a bill that banned minors from attending drag shows.

This year, the Miami Beach Pride Parade told Basabe that while he can enjoy the parade as a spectator, he may not participate in the parade itself.

"We can’t risk having you in the parade this year,” Bruce Horwich, the chair of the nonprofit that oversees the parade, told Basabe in a March 16 text message, The Miami Herald reported. “Our bylaws clearly state that we can’t have participants that put themselves or other participants at risk or antagonize our guests.”

Basabe, who was accused last year of slapping and sexually harassing his legislative aide and a former intern, told The Miami Herald "that federal suits are underway", as he plans to sue both the parade's organizations and local government.

His attorney argued that barring Basabe from Pride participation is a violation of the Lawmaker's First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

“You have no right to exclude me, not as an individual nor as an elected official, nor may you attempt to set me up again with a bogus ‘public safety claim,’” Basabe wrote. “I have always attended this parade peacefully.”

While campaigning in 2022, Basabe garnered support from local Democrats for his gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights platform. At a Florida LGBTQ Democratic Caucus conference the year prior, Basabe introduced himself as a "gay candidate", though he hasn't spoken on his sexuality since. He has been married to a lingerie heiress for 19 years.

A former Manhattan socialite, Basabe was involved in a series of reality shows, one of which starred Kourtney Kardashian. Plagued from the beginning with scandals, he was caught dancing with First Daughter Barbara Bush, dubbed the "male Paris Hilton" for his late-night exploits, accused of racially insensitive language, and charged with disorderly conduct and a DUI.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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