Knocke Group Trying to Halt Pride Bingo Event

By Mike Lednovich

Citizens Defending Freedom is attempting to stop a Drag Queen Bingo event scheduled Friday at the Fernandina Beach Golf Course Clubhouse. The bingo event is being put on by Fernandina Beach Pride.

CDF Executive Director Jack Knocke in an email to City Clerk Caroline Best stated the following:

“You are correct that the City Golf Course Club is city owned property. The full statement in Section 14-30(e)(5) states that a specific ordinance is required to authorize any city property to conduct the game of bingo. I have found no such ordinance. You have also not produced any such ordinance,” Knocke wrote on May 12. “If this is the case, it appears that allowing this Pride Bingo event on May 19th to proceed would be breaking the laws of our city that regulate authorization of city property for this specific purpose. I am alerting the City Attorney along with City Manager, and Mayor Bean to your findings so that she can take appropriate actions to cancel this event.”

The City Clerk’s office had directed Knocke to Chapter 65 of the city code of ordinances which covers permits for special events.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Knocke: Section 14-30(e)(5) states in part “property owned by the City,” the Golf Course is a City owned facility,” City Clerk Best responded to Knocke.

Fernandina Beach Pride previously obtained a permit for the bingo event.

City Attorney Tammi Bach said she is researching whether the rule applies to only bingo halls or if special events like a one-time bingo game are also required by ordinance.

Fernandina Beach Pride President Genece Minshew declined to comment. The city has not contacted Fernandina Beach Pride regarding any problems with holding the bingo event.

Previously, CDF attempted to block Fernandina Beach Pride’s June 10 parade and festival planned at Central Park. CDF claimed the event would be harmful to children playing at the nearby Central Park playground. The Pride parade and festival is also an event permitted by the city. More than 50 speakers addressed the City Commission on May 2 regarding the event.

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anonymous
anonymous (@guest_69630)
9 months ago

Pathetic hate gesture. Time for love and peace–everyone is beautiful in their own way.

Dana
Dana (@guest_69638)
9 months ago

So all other venues in the city will not be allowed to have bingo events? Legion? Churches? ….
Has Knocked protested about the legitimacy of those? What a tool!

Last edited 9 months ago by Dana
Richard Cain
Richard Cain(@richardcain)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dana

The Legion and churches are not City-owned. Learn to read and comprehend.

Dana
Dana (@guest_69654)
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Cain

I read it, and understand it, thank you. It wouldn’t matter where it is, he’d conjure up a way to fight it.

wba
Noble Member
wba(@wba)
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Cain

“[The] Fernandina Beach [Golf Club] welcomes all types of special events — weddings, banquets, parties, meetings & more!”
That includes Drag Queen Bingo.
https://www.fernandinabeachgolfclub.com/special-events-at-fernandina-beach/

Richard Cain
Richard Cain(@richardcain)
9 months ago
Reply to  wba

Again, could we please read and comprehend. Your post is totally irrelevant. Yes, the City-owned Club welcomes a variety of events. But I don’t see Bingo or even more specifically “Drag Queen Bingo” listed as one of their events that they welcome. Mr. Knocke … whether you agree with him and his intentions or not … has pointed out that you need a specific ordinance to hold a Bingo event. So the City is breaking its own rules/laws here. Probably many of those screaming here are the same ones that scream about the City not following rules/laws when approving construction projects, etc. That’s it … very simple. So stop exclaiming that the Club welcomes special events and that non-City owned establishments have bingo games … stick to the issue at hand.

wba
Noble Member
wba(@wba)
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Cain

There is a good chance you are wrong. I could be wrong too, but I believe Fernandina Pride is a charitable organization, and I also think the event is a simulated bingo used for fundraising. If that’s confirmed, it falls under Sec. 14-34. – Exemptions.

https://fernandinaobserver.com/city-news/knocke-group-trying-to-halt-pride-bingo-event/#comment-69688

https://library.municode.com/fl/fernandina_beach/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH14AMEN_ARTIIBIOTFOGA_S14-34EX

Joe Blanchard
Joe Blanchard(@jlblan2)
9 months ago
Reply to  Dana

Simple solution, If you want to play bingo, hold it at a private home or rent a church hall for it. Why do people have to do things to aggravate other people. All this is totally unnecessary.

Kent Piatt
Kent Piatt (@guest_69658)
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe Blanchard

Ask Knocke “why do people have to do things to aggravate other people.” He’s the village expert.

wba
Noble Member
wba(@wba)
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe Blanchard

Or a venue that hosts all types of special events, including Drag Queen Bingo, like this venue:
“[The] Fernandina Beach [Golf Club] welcomes all types of special events — weddings, banquets, parties, meetings & more!”
https://www.fernandinabeachgolfclub.com/special-events-at-fernandina-beach/

Paula Mutzel
Paula Mutzel(@paula-m)
9 months ago

Mr. Knocke really needs to get a life…does he sit up all day and night just thinking about what he can try and ban next..?

Phylda
Phylda (@guest_69644)
9 months ago

So it is now blatantly obvious that Mr. Knocke is not just worried about children being indoctrinated as he previously stated. He obviously feels that he should be able to squash the freedoms of a portion of our community who lead a lifestyle that he does not agree with.

John Findlay
John Findlay(@jfindlay)
9 months ago

Mr. Knocke claims he is not a bigot, but his actions suggest otherwise.

Bonnie
Bonnie (@guest_69651)
9 months ago

Wait – so it’s not really about the children, after all?

Robin Wells
Robin Wells(@rocknrobin12gmail-com)
9 months ago

What an a$$hole. People are gathering inside a building. Stay in your own lane Mr Knock Knock who’s there?

Christine Harmon
Christine Harmon (@guest_69656)
9 months ago

“The moral crisis of our age has nothing to do with gay marriage or abortion.
It’s insider trading, obscene (E0 pay, wage theft from ordinary workers, Wall Street’s
gambling addiction, corporate payoffs to friendly politicians, and the billionaire takeover of our democracy.”
– Robert Reich

Sarah
Sarah (@guest_69661)
9 months ago

Jack’s showing his true colors! All that BS he spouted at Commissioners meeting the other night about trying to protect the children, it’s clear that it was LIES. Knocke brings religion to his argument, but Christians follow Christ accepting all, loving all, and not judging. He’s sullied Christianity. Supporters of his agenda should be ashamed.

Cameron M Moss
Cameron M Moss(@cmoss56)
9 months ago

As others have stated, this move by Knocke and CDF is clearly targeting the LGBTQ+ community – the FB Golf Club is well off the beaten path, and the event is in the evening, so not likely that any unsuspecting citizen will be confronted by Drag Performers.

The small town nature of Fernandina Beach – go along to get along, and let others be – is under assault by those that would tell others how they should live.

Technicalities abound that could be weaponized to constrain citizens of “different stripes” if one was of a mind to do so – which it appears Mr. Knocke is.

This is only the latest in what we should expect to be an ongoing attack

Brace yourselves and be prepared to resist

Dennis Jay
Dennis Jay(@dennisjay)
9 months ago

I was unaware of the bingo event. It’s now on my calendar. For that matter, I wasn’t aware of the parade either, but now I am. Thank you, Mr. Knocke, for serving unofficially as publicity director for the Fernandina pride group.

bob
bob (@guest_69674)
9 months ago

wow you folks are getting all wound up!
Let’s arm wrestle!

Anonymous
Anonymous (@guest_69681)
9 months ago

Whatever Knocke’s sick fascination with the LGBTQ community, it’s evident that he has time on his hands. Wish he could focus his efforts on a more pertinent issue and do something good for our island. What a waste of space and resources.

6D6C1DB1-F273-44B8-A7C6-8AFE44F817AB.png
wba
Noble Member
wba(@wba)
9 months ago

Could it be that the event is exempt from the article about bingo because it is a fundraiser for a charitable organization? And is it possible that Knock-Knock Jack and his CDF cronies don’t care about the law but instead simply wish to silence and oppress the vulnerable LGBTQ+ community?

Chapter 14 – AMUSEMENTS AND ENTERTAINMENTS

ARTICLE II. – BINGO AND OTHER FORMS OF GAMING

Sec. 14-34. – Exemptions.

This article does not prohibit a religious or charitable organization from conducting a fund raising activity involving simulated gambling, provided the religious or charitable organization does not conduct the activity more than twice in one calendar year for no more than six hours per fund raising activity, the organization provides advance written notice to the police of the date, time, place, and nature of such activity and who will be conducting it, and the activity is not otherwise unlawful.

https://library.municode.com/fl/fernandina_beach/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH14AMEN_ARTIIBIOTFOGA_S14-34EX

Richard Cain
Richard Cain(@richardcain)
9 months ago
Reply to  wba

And once again we are not staying on point here. Mr. Knocke cited a specific section of the Municipal Code dealing with Bingo venues and specifically on City-owned premises. This section you are citing does not override that at all.

Kelly
Kelly (@guest_69705)
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Cain

What is his motivation? Enforcement of the bingo code? Get real. He just hates our gay citizens.

wba
Noble Member
wba(@wba)
9 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

That’s right. The CDF cronies do not care about enforcing the law; they care about canceling the parade and discriminating against LGBTQ+ individuals. Their tactics involve inventing ways in which these events could be deemed illegal. The CDF claims they are “fighting a battle of Good versus Evil,” and they truly are, but on the side of evil.

William Smith
William Smith (@guest_69803)
9 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

This I believe. The city has shown it doesn’t care for its own laws; witness the recent vote in favor of condos on the tringali property in violation of the ldc. So why enforce bingo codes? This is just a hypocrite saying freedom, but wanting it on his terms, which is no freedom at all.

wba
Noble Member
wba(@wba)
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Cain

Wrong. The CDF cited Sec. 14-30. of Article II. I cited Sec. 14.34 of Article II, which lists the exemptions to Article II. So it does exactly that: it overrides the other sections. There is nothing to argue about here.

Anonymous
Anonymous (@guest_69714)
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Cain

Take your own advise and learn to read. Do you know what an exemption is? Knocke can’t just pick and choose sections for his own agenda and ignore sections that prove he’s wrong. That IS the point.

Mary Maguire
Mary Maguire(@memaguireaol-com)
9 months ago

Asking for code clarification is one way to disguise LGBTQ intolerance.

Taylor
Taylor (@guest_69699)
9 months ago

Identity politics has arrived in Fernandina, Unity,Criticism,Unity. The Culture war will have losses on both sides. Pick your battles wisely.

Kelly
Kelly (@guest_69701)
9 months ago

What is wrong with these people? They’re offended by bingo? Oh wait….they just hate gay people. Exactly whose freedom are they “defending”? Pathetic and hateful people.

Kelly
Kelly (@guest_69702)
9 months ago

Also, why does Mr. Knocke always have gay people top of mind. It really makes you wonder…..

Paula Mutzel
Paula Mutzel(@paula-m)
9 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

” Me thinks he doth protest too much”

Karen
Karen (@guest_69733)
9 months ago

Who’s paying this guy Jack Knocke? MAGA or some other vile group that uses culture wars to divide Americans? Why Fernandina Beach? Wish he’d take his hate show on the road and leave our small town alone.

Kent Piatt
Kent Piatt (@guest_69795)
9 months ago

This kind of hubris, nihilism, hypocrisy & bigotry reminds me of that old bumper sticker from the 1970-80’s. “The moral majority is neither.” History does indeed rhyme.