Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST January 15, 2008

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Gay marriage ban, other initiatives still short of signatures

Associated Press
4:23 PM EST, January 14, 2008


A gay marriage ban and several other citizen initiatives were short thesignatures needed to get on the November ballot Monday with just two weeksleft before a petition-gathering deadline.

Sponsors of the gay marriage ban a month ago announced they had met the611,009 signature requirement, but revised numbers issued by the stateshowed the proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution is still 21,989signatures short.

That's because Miami-Dade County election officials last week discoveredthey had submitted duplicate signature reports, said Department of Statespokesman Sterling Ivey.

Also still short is a proposal being fought by construction, real estate andother business interests that would require voter approval for changes incomprehensive plans, which opponents say would stifle Florida's growth.


January 14, 2007

Breaking News: Marriage Amendment Now Vulnerable

Help Us Stop the Deceptive Marriage Amendment On Primary Day, January 29th!

A "glitch" at the Division of Elections has caused an over count of 22,000signatures for the deceptively named "marriage protection amendment."
Instead of submitting the 611.009 petitions required, the actual number is589,020 as of Jan 10th.

HOWEVER, those supporting this discriminatory amendment have until Feb 1stto turn in signatures and that means they will certainly use the January29th Primary Election to gather those signatures.

Some early news reports may give the impression that the amendment is nowoff the ballot. This is not the case!

We must keep up our campaign to oppose this harmful and dangerous amendment. Remember, those backing this deceptive measure still have time and we shouldexpect after four years of signature gathering that they will make theballot.

Other states that put all their hopes in a measure failing to reach theballot ended up ill-prepared when an 11th hour ruling placed it beforevoters.

We Need You!
We need hundreds of volunteers to staff precincts on Jan 29th. Take the dayoff. Get to work a little late or leave a bit early to help.

Click here to volunteer on Primary Day and help ID our supporters.

Read about our "Primary Day of Action" plan below and spread the word tofriends and family. With today's news, it's more important than ever for youto get involved.

Barbara DeVane
Fairness for All Families


Joe Solmonese to be at our Wednesday training!

Attend our Ft. Lauderdale Training and Make History on Primary Day

Join HRC President Joe Solmonese and HRC members from Broward County for aTraining!
Join us in Fort Lauderdale for a training on how to take action on PrimaryDay.

Joe Solmonese will be at our Wednesday, January 16th training to be held atArt Serve. If you can attend, RSVP with HRC Organizer Toby Quaranta at202.459.3307, or by email at

HRC is organizing an education campaign against the November stateconstitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage --already illegalin Florida-- and eliminate all domestic partnerships. Health benefits areon the line, and the government will take an even larger role in your dailylife.

Will you volunteer a few hours this month to help build a campaign to defeatthis harmful amendment?

HRC is a leading partner of Florida Red & Blue, a statewide coalition whosesole mission is to defeat the November amendment.

Please sign up to volunteer to work a polling location near you for a fewhours on Tuesday, January 29

Primary Day Training with Joe Solmonese
When: Wednesday, January 16 6:30 pm
Where: Art Serve in Ft. Lauderdale
Address: 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, 33304

RSVP: HRC Organizer Toby Quaranta at 202.459.3307, or by email

If you can't make it to the training but still want to help, Toby will be onthe ground in Ft. Lauderdale until Primary Day. To learn more about thecampaign, visit Red & Blue's webpage at


Primary Day of Action Key to Stopping

Deceptive Marriage Amendment

Volunteers Needed to Educate Voters at the Polls January 29th

(Tallahassee) The Fairness for All Families ("Fairness") campaign haslaunched a "Primary Day of Action" to educate Florida voters about theharmful consequences of the deceptively named "marriage protectionamendment." Volunteers from across the state will work the polls on January29th and talk face-to-face with voters about opposing the amendment, whichwill be on the ballot in November's General Election.

"Primary Day offers one of the best opportunities we'll have all year toeducate voters," said Barbara DeVane, Board Member of the Florida Alliancefor Retired Americans and a member of the Fairness Campaign's SteeringCommittee. "Once voters understand that this amendment will make it harderfor all unmarried couples to care for each other, we know they will opposeit."

The Fairness Campaign is asking people to volunteer, even for just a coupleof hours in the morning or evening, on Primary Day - Tuesday, January 29th.To find out more about the Primary Day of Action and to register as avolunteer, visit
Or, for additional information, contact orcall the Fairness Campaign at 727-490-0963.

Fairness for All Families is a growing coalition that includes seniors,business leaders, consumer groups and social justice organizations who arejoining together to oppose stripping away existing employee benefits whilebarring the passage of future measures to help Florida families.



Palm Beach County: Gay rights group requests addition to sick time policy

January 15, 2008

A local gay rights organization wants the Palm Beach County School Board toextend rights for domestic partners in a policy concerning leaves ofabsence.

The board removed the issue from its Wednesday agenda after receivingrequests from the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

Under existing policy, employees may donate unused sick time to a spouse,child or parent who is also a district employee. The council askedadministrators to add domestic partners to the list.

Employees already may obtain health insurance for domestic partners; 46 ofthe district's 22,000 employees have enrolled in domestic partner medicalbenefits this year.

"I don't see this as being controversial at all," said Rand Hoch, presidentof the council. "It's probably just an oversight. This doesn't cost theSchool Board anything."


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