Tuesday, July 18, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST July 18, 2006


Delray manager opposes domestic-partner benefits, strengthened gay-rights

By Erika Slife
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 18, 2006

Delray Beach· City Manager David Harden has taken a strong stance against a
gay rights group's push to change the city's anti-discrimination policy or
add domestic partner benefits, arguing that it would be "bad social policy"
to do so.

In a two-page memo to the City Commission, Harden wrote: "Extending family
benefits to domestic partners and their children on the same basis as we
currently provide for spouses and their children devalues marriage by saying
that families constructed on some other legal basis, other than marriage,
are of equal social value."

"I think it's bad social policy," Harden said. "I think it's good social
policy to encourage marriage."

He also cited studies that assert the benefits of traditional marriage and
outline the health risks of gays and lesbians.

"I've tried to present it as objectively and non-politically as possible,"
Harden said. "I don't really have anything to add to it."

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council will present its position at
tonight's City Commission workshop. The group's founder, Rand Hoch, said the
group would continue to pressure the commission to institute changes.

"The city manager is staff. He doesn't make policy. The elected officials
are the ones who make policy," Hoch said.




Crist and Gallagher
Where they stand

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted July 17, 2006



Right makes might for GOP candidates

By Mark Hollis
Tallahassee Bureau

July 17, 2006

Barbara Collier, of Fort Lauderdale, remembers when Tom Gallagher cinched
her support in his campaign for Florida governor. It was last summer after
Collier met Gallagher's wife, Laura, and they talked about Tom's views on
abortion and marriage.

"I just thought he had the family values I believe in," said Collier,
chairwoman of the Christian Coalition of Broward County. "He's pro-life and
willing to speak out. His wife is a fine Christian lady and they have a
little boy. ... I'm not against anybody else. I'm just for Tom."

Early support from people like Collier is what political analysts say could
help Gallagher catch up in the final stretch to Charlie Crist -- the
front-runner, according to polls -- in the Sept. 5 Republican primary.

Gallagher, the state's chief financial officer, and Crist, Florida's
attorney general, are courting social conservatives to bolster their
right-wing credentials.

They are honoring a key principle of Florida politics: Moderation is risky
in a Republican primary where Christian conservative activists account for
an estimated one-third or more of the party vote.

Gallagher puts emphasis on the religious right, but both candidates portray
themselves as disciples of Gov. Jeb Bush, and each calls himself the "true
conservative" in the race. Both are anti-abortion, anti-gambling, pro-gun
and pro-marriage. And both campaign in places where social conservatives
flock, such as North Florida talk radio shows, churches, Christian Coalition
meetings, and rallies with Cuban-American conservative leaders.

Gallagher often talks about abortion and marriage, while Crist tends to
focus on crime, taxes and consumers.



Gay rights group applauds new FAU nondiscrimination policy

By Scott Travis
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 13, 2006

A gay rights group is touting a new nondiscrimination policy at Florida
Atlantic University as a victory for gay and lesbian students and employees.

The policy, which updates previous anti-harassment guidelines, says the
university is committed to maintaining an environment free of "unlawful
discrimination and harassment" that is based "on a legally protected class."

The policy, which the Board of Trustees approved June 28, mentions race,
color, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin, marital status,
veteran status and "any other basis protected by law."

It's that last catch-all category, the "any other basis," that technically
protects gay students and employees, said Rand Hoch, the founder of the Palm
Beach County Human Rights Council, a gay-rights group.

The reason, he said, is that six of the seven FAU campuses are in Palm Beach
and Broward counties, which have ordinances that ban discrimination in
employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual
orientation. So FAU is essentially agreeing to offer its employees and
students on its campuses these same protections, he said.

FAU also has a campus in St. Lucie County, which does not specifically ban
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But Hoch said he assumes
FAU would consistently enforce its policies on all campuses.

The policy outlines grievance procedures for anyone who feels they have been
harassed or discriminated against.



Democrats, gay caucus united

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - Gay and lesbian Democrats sometimes face a difficult position
when trying to promote political issues of personal interest: They know some
in their party aren't on their side, and they believe Republicans use the
issues to divide voters.

So the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Democratic Caucus
met Saturday to address their dual goals - seeking equal rights for their
members and electing Democrats regardless of how they stand on gay issues.

Democrats have become more willing to accept homosexuals as people who
deserve the same rights as others, while Republicans have moved even further
to the extreme against gays, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts said.

Gay marriage would be the most obvious example of an issue important to the
group, yet one that not all Democratic leaders support and one that
Republicans have latched onto in opposition.

But GLBT members believe they need to support Democrats opposed to gay
marriage for the sake of seeking change on issues that affect a broader
range of Americans.

"This is not the time to take our marbles and go home, there are too many
issues at stake," said Brian Bond, executive director of the Democratic
National Committee's Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council.

And there's a growing recognition in the party that the GLBT could be
effective in politics.



Article published Jul 18, 2006
Jul 18, 2006

Democrats ready for primary showdown

Sun Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE - Signaling that they are headed toward a feisty primary, Jim
Davis and Rod Smith qualified to run for governor Monday, with the two
Democrats clashing over the issues of insurance, the environment and

''There's no turning back now,'' Davis told a small group of supporters
after filing his qualifying papers with the state Division of Elections and
paying his $7,743.60 fee to run.

''This starts the bell lap,'' Smith said after filing his paperwork a little
more than an hour later.

The men enter the Sept. 5 Democratic primary as largely undefined candidates
in the minds of most voters. Neither has run for statewide office before and
neither has run any television advertising. A poll late last month by
Quinnipiac University found that nearly half of the Democratic voters were
undecided about the race.

Both candidates said they would use the next 50 days to connect with the

''This race is entirely wide open,'' said Smith, a state senator from
Alachua County, who is beginning a three-day bus trip this week that will
take him from Pensacola to Miami. ''I knew when I got into this race I had a
daunting task but a tremendous opportunity,'' he said.

Davis, a congressman from Tampa, used the event to echo his campaign theme
that he is running against ''special interests'' that he says control

''This is our government. This does not belong to a party. It does not
belong to special interests,'' he said. ''This is the year we take back our



Race for attorney general is already down to two

Negron's withdrawal leaves fellow Republican McCollum and Democrat Campbell
as the likely ones to face off in the fall.
Published July 18, 2006

State Rep. Joe Negron dropped out of the race for attorney general on
Monday, effectively handing the Republican nomination for the post to former
U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum.

Negron, of Stuart, is the third Republican to abandon the attorney general's
race in a month, including Treasure Island state Rep. Everett Rice. All said
they were overwhelmed by McCollum's high statewide name recognition.

McCollum, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and 2004, will
probably face Democrat Walter "Skip" Campbell, a Broward County state
senator, in November. Campbell is running unopposed for his party's

Negron's announcement, on the first day candidates could qualify for the
ballot, surprised McCollum, Campbell and political observers.

Negron said his campaign was well financed and well organized, even
comparing it Monday to the national championship University of Florida men's
basketball team.

The problem is, Negron said, McCollum is the Miami Heat.

"He's at a different tier," he said.



Democrats snipe as governor's race shifts into high gear

By Mark Hollis
Tallahassee Bureau

July 18, 2006

TALLAHASSEE · Overshadowed by their Republican rivals, Florida's Democratic
Party candidates for governor are itching to break from obscurity.

Despite 18 months of door-to-door campaigning by U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of
Tampa and state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua, recent polls show that
approximately half of Florida's Democratic Party voters are undecided about
who they want their party to nominate for the governor's race.

Smith and Davis filed paperwork Monday to qualify to run, beginning what's
expected to be a heated sprint to the Sept. 5 primary. They quickly made it
clear there will be much bickering between now and then. Immediately after
officially entering the governor's race, they attacked each other's stances
on environmental issues and punched holes in each other's plans to make
homeowners insurance more affordable.

Republicans Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist, who are scheduled to file
paperwork to run for governor this week, have raised more money and enjoy
better name recognition than the Democrats. Both are running television ads,
which Davis and Smith haven't begun. Because of the Democrats' slower start,
upcoming debates -- including a live, televised Democratic gubernatorial
debate Saturday in Fort Lauderdale -- may be decisive.

"This race," said Smith, "is entirely wide-open."

A few candidates arrived at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections
Office around noon Monday to get their papers in just as the qualifying
period opened.



Davis, Smith file, address campaign differences

By Dara Kam, Alan Gomez
Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jim Davis and Rod Smith
filed their qualifying papers on Monday, the opening day of the weeklong
qualifying period for statewide and legislative races that ends at noon

Shortly after the qualifying period opened at noon, Davis, a U.S.
representative from Tampa, strode into the elections office accompanied by
campaign staff, his wife and two sons, and chit-chatted with an elections
clerk as he handed her his paperwork.

"I'm a congressman from Tampa," he introduced himself. "Google me to find
out more about me."

Outside, as an imminent thunderstorm darkened the sky, Davis gave a short
speech to about three dozen supporters, telling them, "There's no turning
back now."

He then took questions from reporters and accused Smith, a state senator
from Alachua, of kowtowing to "special interests."

Davis criticized Smith for voting for an insurance "loophole" in 2005 that
prevents insurance companies from having to pay for both wind and water
damage. Under the new law, insurers have to cover only wind damage; water
damage is covered by the national flood insurance fund.

"We are one storm away from an economic disaster in terms of the price and
availability of property and casualty insurance. This is bad for people and
it's bad for business, and it's time to fight back," Davis said.

And he lambasted Smith's environmental voting record and support of a bill
that Davis said threatened the federal-state partnership on Everglades


Contact: Michael Emanuel Rajner

Telephone: (954) 272-8131
Date: Sunday, July 16, 2006
Cellular: (954) 288-1999

AIDS Activists Confront Florida Gubernatorial Candidates in Tallahassee to
Sign "The END AIDS Pledge"

Tallahassee - Yesterday at the Florida GLBT Democratic
Caucus, Reverend Charles King; Co-Founder & President of Housing Works in
New York City and Campaign to End AIDS National Co-Chair, who is
independently spearheading the "End AIDS Pledge Campaign", spoke
passionately to the members of the caucus stating "Our failure to End AIDS
has nothing to do with a lack of resources or know how. It is a lack of
political will!" His words inspired many attendees of the statewide caucus
and at times brought several close to tears. Mark LaFontaine of Fort
Lauderdale and member of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus said, "When you
hear someone speak from their heart and soul with passion and raw honesty,
it awakens your emotions. That is what motivates people to take action."
Mark continued and stated that he, "found Reverend King's speech to be
empowering, inspirational and a message that all of America needs to
embrace. Reverend King urged the audience to take responsibility and hold
elected officials to commit to "The End AIDS Pledge" and spoke of the
national grassroots organizing.

Florida State Senator Rod Smith signed "The END AIDS Pledge" moments before
speaking before the Florida GLBT Democrats at their statewide caucus this
evening. In his speech to the caucus, he vowed that when elected Governor
in November he will be certain that the State of Florida invests in
embryonic stem cell research for a cure for AIDS and other diseases.

Senator Smith has given hope to the HIV/AIDS community in not just being the
only Gubernatorial Candidate to sign The End AIDS Pledge but also speak of
the words of HIV/AIDS, loudly in his speech before the Florida GLBT
Democratic Caucus. As an attorney passionate for civil rights issues, he
clearly stated that we need to approach HIV/AIDS from a scientific
perspective, not through ideology. While in conversation with Michael
Rajner; who volunteers his time as National Secretary for Campaign to End
AIDS, Senator Smith acknowledged that the State of Florida lacks universal
care and signed the pledge in the spirit that ideology should not prevent
the State of Florida from providing universal access in HIV prevention

State Senator Walter G. "Skip" Campbell, Jr. signed the same pledge that
states "I pledge to work to develop, fund & implement a plan to end AIDS
including universal access to prevention, treatment, care & support by
2010." Senator Campbell represents parts of Broward County; a county which
ranks number 1 with the highest HIV infection rate in the nation per capita.
Florida ranks third in the nation with the highest number of people living
with HIV/AIDS. Each year, approximately 5,000 Floridians become infected
with HIV.

Congressman Jim Davis; Florida Gubernatorial Candidate, was also approached
asked to sign the same pledge. The Congressman spent 45 minutes speaking
exclusively with Michael Rajner who lives with an AIDS Diagnosis, and was
intent on learning what action the state and federal governments can take to
drastically reduce the spread of the virus and improve access to care.
Michael Rajner stressed that lawmakers must take a leadership role and
demand that we fund HIV/AIDS care, prevention and treatment from a
scientific approach and humanistic theoretical perspective and not base it
on ideology.

As a recipient of Medicare and Ryan White CARE Act services at the age of
35, Michael Rajner is completing his bachelors in social work and stressed
to Congressman Davis that HIV/AIDS is not just the "gay cancer" it was once
thought of. It is a disease that has devastating repercussions on minority
and marginalized populations. However, due to restrictions in funding and
policy, outreach efforts that funding with state funds and culturally
appropriate for the gay community are often scrutinized and censored by
Governor Jeb Bush's administration.


Michael Emanuel Rajner

National Secretary
Campaign to End AIDS
Tel: (954) 272-8131
Cell: (954) 288-1999


Fort Lauderdale, FL - With the failure for our federally elected officials
to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act in a responsible and timely manner an
estimated 250,000 individuals remain without primary medical care in the
United States. Nationally, it is estimated that 1,000,000 people live with
HIV/AIDS, 100,000 live in Florida and of that number 20,000 live in Broward
County. Each year, approximately 5,000 people become infected with HIV in
the State of Florida.

It's time history begins to repeat itself and we return to our national
grass roots. On Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 8:00 P.M. Jackhammer in Fort
Lauderdale at 1725 North Andrew's Square (in the shopping plaza behind GLCC
and Boardwalk) will host a fundraising event for the unveiling of AIDS VOTE
in Broward County.

On hand to unveil AIDS Vote will be HIV+ Reverend Charles King, Co-founder &
President of Housing Works in New York City who also serves as Co-Chair for
Campaign to End AIDS. Rev. King has been instrumental in the national
effort to re-mobilize a nation that has fallen victim to apathy and



Florida - Section 1-B

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pompano minister wins fans among fundamentalists, but loses support in GOP

By Gregory Lewis,
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted July 17 2006

When the Rev. O'Neal Dozier called Islam "a cult" and derided Muslims as
"terrorists," he damaged his relationship with Gov. Jeb Bush, whose office
urged Dozier to resign from the Broward County Judicial Nominating

Dozier's comments also likely tarnished his image among high-level
Republican politicians who in recent years increasingly sought his blessing
to sway black voters from their historic allegiance to the Democratic Party.

To some Republicans, Dozier's political future is in jeopardy. Others say he
has sealed his credentials as a strong Christian leader whom Republican
officials must continue courting.

But one thing is clear: Dozier is now a polarizing figure.

"I tolerated him because the Republican Party, I guess, was looking to
garner the black vote," said Jack Majeske, president of the Broward Log
Cabin Republican Club. "But this guy was homophobic and I figured him to be
a racist a long time ago. He, as far as I was concerned, was way off the
wall for a man of the cloth."

Dozier's controversial comments about a mosque's plans to move to a
predominantly black neighborhood have make him a has-been in the GOP,
Majeske said.

"I think he's all through," he said. "I can't see how anyone in the
Republican Party will listen to anything he has to say."

Eric Spivey, a Republican who is active in the black community, agreed.

"Rev. Dozier is dead politically," he said. "He will be nothing more than a
disconnected, perceived black political leader."

Dozier said Sunday he's received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from
South Florida and around the country -- about 98 percent offering their

"They say, `Thank God, someone is finally telling the truth and telling it
like it is,'" Dozier said during the service at his Worldwide Christian
Center. "The people are fed up. They know Islam is a dangerous religion. The
teaching in the Quran is hateful."

A crowd of more than 100 gave Dozier a standing ovation at the service in
northwest Pompano Beach.


July 11, 2006

The Broward Log Cabin Club of Florida
P.O. Box 1281, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33302
(954) LCR-1995

LCR Florida Gold Coast Leader Denounces Broward Fear Mongering

Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jack Majeske, the President of the Broward Log
Cabin Gold Coast Republicans was not at all surprised that radio personality
Steve Kane afforded the politically active fundamentalist minister Dozier a
platform that permitted him to hurl mean and derogatory slurs against the
members of a local Islamic Center. The Mosque has been part of the Pompano
community for over 22 years.

Dozer and Kane have been noted for their antics and the members and friends
of Log Cabin have long felt the sting of their abusive antics that enable
fear and hate.

"I applaud Governor Bush for his swift action in this matter. I never
appreciated the appointment of this political active preacher nor was I
pleased with his long winded political invocation presented at the recent
Lincoln Day Dinner, an embarrassment to fair minded non-Christians and those
Christians who understand the nature of the Biblical Golden Rule when it
comes to loving and peacefully living with thy neighbor," noted Majeske.

Once again the NAACP, under the leadership of Willie Lawson, stood up
against clan like bigotry and like Governor Bush found such incendiary
rhetoric just another tool used to wrongfully ignite intolerance where our
community peacemakers are diligently working to create good relations
between neighbors.

Majeske ended his comments by stating, "God Bless America and God Bless our
Constitution which guarantees 'Freedom of Religion' and 'Freedom from
Religious Persecution.' Let's learn to live as good neighbors regardless of
our differences. "