Thursday, November 06, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - November 06, 2008

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Go to the links for the following articles:

-Voter paradox: Breaking barriers, creating new ones
How is it that a state that embraced Barack Obama and his barrier-busting presidential win could also enshrine exclusion in the state constitution the same day? How is it that a majority of voters in gay-friendly Broward, supposedly the most liberal county in Florida, ended up supporting the amendment banning gay marriage and throwing domestic partnership benefits in doubt?,0,5094884.column

Palm Beach Human Rights Council

Despite the recent passage of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, all Florida legislators who sponsored or voted for gay rights legislation in 2008 were re-elected, according to Rand Hoch, President of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. The Council is a non-profit organization which, since 1988, has been dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. At the Council's request, legislation was introduced earlier this year in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation. The House bill also included gender identity or expression.
"In 2008, Forty-three legislators went on record supporting equal employment and housing rights for gay and lesbian Floridians," said Hoch. "Even though a Florida voted to ban gay marriage on Tuesday, not a single lawmaker who supported equal employment rights for our community was denied re-election to the legislature." The Florida Senate bill, which was sponsored by Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton), had six co-sponsors. Seven senators -- including two of the co-sponsors -- also voted in favor of the bill in the Commerce Committee last April. "Several lawmakers who privately supported the bills last session preferred to stay on the sidelines, fearing it would cost them votes," said Hoch. "Clearly, a candidate's public support of equal employment rights for gays and lesbians for is not a negative factor in the minds of Florida's voters."
In a hotly contested race, one of the co-sponsors, Senator Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach) was re-elected. As a result, Atwater will serve as Senate President for the next two years. In the Florida House of Representatives, thirty-one legislators signed on as co-sponsors to the bill, which was introduced by Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton). According to a poll conducted last Spring at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, 89% of Florida voters believe gay and lesbian Floridians should have the same rights as everyone else with regard to job opportunities, housing and public accommodations. The poll, which was conducted jointly by Keith Frederick and Tony Fabrizio, has a margin of error of 2.7%. Frederick Polls primarily works with Democratic candidates.
Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates primarily works for Republican candidates.
Both companies are based in Virginia.
"This is consistent with annual polls taken nationally by the Gallup organization," said Hoch. "Nationwide, 89% of Americans feel that gay and lesbian employees should have equal employment rights"
Nationwide, the number of anti-discrimination laws and policies continues to grow. Currently, more than 92 percent of the Fortune 500 companies prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. In the public sector, twenty states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin), the District of Columbia and hundreds of counties and cities have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. While gay people exist in virtually every county in Florida, laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians are in effect only in Broward, Leon, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties, as well as in the cities of Gulfport, Gainesville, Key West, Lake Worth, Miami Beach, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Since there is no statewide law, most Floridians can be fired simply because of their sexual orientation

-Palm Beach County School Board To Implement Inclusive
Anti-Bullying Policy
At the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, the School Board of Palm Beach County unanimously voted this afternoon to include ""sexual orientation" and "gender expression and/or identity" as a protected classes in a omprehensive policy to protect students against bullying and harassment. The Council, a local non-profit organization, is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The School Board's six nondiscrimination and harassment policies are inconsistent, conflicting, and do not conform to state and local nondiscrimination laws, according to Council President Rand Hoch. As a result, for the past three years, the Council has been asking the School Board for more than three years to bring the policies into compliance and specifically to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. At an October 1 meeting with Superintendent Art Johnson, Hoch again brought up the problems with the six policies. At Johnson's suggestion, Hoch called School Board Associate Counsel Elizabeth McBride, who was in the process of drafting a new policy prohibiting bullying and harassment. Although Hoch requested that all the classifications be included in the School Board's policies, McBride told Hoch that while "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" were both included in the working draft, "gender expression" was not. While the Council expected the request to include "gender expression" would be accepted, on October 25, the Council learned that the draft policy McBride had provided to School Board members did not include "gender expression."

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

Equality of Rights A Loss and Win
Florida Gold Coast Members and Friends of the Broward Log Cabin Republican Club were taken back by the margin of success and the extreme nature of exclusivity adopted in the Florida Constitutional Marriage Amendment #2. This platform was enthusiastically backed by Attorney John Stemberger, David Caton and their politically-active fundamentalists whose supporters allegedly campaigned within and outside of tax exempt facilities vigorously persuading their household faithful that it's a religious obligation to support this dogmatic legislation .
Florida's Amendment 2 unveiled the reality that David Caton and his supporters have an divisive agenda. Activist Cayton's refusal to pledge that if the Marriage Amendment passed in Florida he and other fundamentalists and evangelicals would not challenge the many Domestic Partnership rights granted in Florida not only from county to county but from business to business unveils the assumed expose.
Unfortunately, if political active judges and lawyers involve themselves in an extensive effort to abolish such domestic partnership rights which include hospital visitation, distribution of assets upon death, etc. it's evident that a plot has been contrived to systematically deceive many Florida voters. These unsuspecting voters included many Blacks and Latinos who have, in the archives of their historical roots and tradition, suffered persecution, death, and imprisonment many times under the guise of religious conversion and convection. Such inhumane treatment against them because of the hue of their skin color, tribal heritage and religious practices, political status and/or political affiliation, etc. mirrors the degradation citizens of the United States now face simply because of their sexual orientation.
It's time for fundamentalist and orthodox leaders to address divorce, out-of-wedlock births, the exploding rate of births by single-parent mothers, condemned Biblical contraception, etc. as it relates to their particular religious dogma. They must cease claiming that the failing of the traditional American family is the end result of adult actions of about 5% of the population seeking equality of benefits between committed partners.
Skeptical Americans should question FL Amendment 2 activists and CA Amendment 8 Mormon, Orthodox and Fundamentalist supporters by asking them to honestly look into their conscience to determine if they have purposely avoided looking in house while casting stones of condemnation. Are they neglecting and camouflaging current day marriage promiscuity relative to indifference to mutual fidelity which could be readily hinged to divorce? Isn't this blindness to reality the real-root cause of the failure of the family and the displacement of children who suffer at the hands of love-lost parents?
The good news about this election is the heightening of educational awareness. Many believe that the reality of such logical enlightenment swimming in the minds of younger people, many besieged with historical inquisitive thinking, will eventually result in a changing realization about those who have misled society. Such righteous enlightenment will transcend harden beliefs often enabling bigotry and hate.
Fair minded Americans will eventually comprehend that the poor treatment and discrimination perpetrated by some against their neighbors, family members, co-workers etc. fail society when people aren't living up to tenants of the Biblical concept of "Brotherly Love," the essence of the Sermon on the Mount, and/or the reasons why our Founding Fathers understood the need of a Constitutional guarantee of "Freedom of Religion" hinged to "Freedom from Religious persecution."

Anthony Niedwiecki Campaign for Oakland Park City Commission
Join me, Anthony Niedwiecki, for food, drinks and friends at our "Open House for an Open Door Commissioner" Event! This is an event where I will open my home to my friends, fellow residents, and supporters to celebrate the open door policy I will always have as a comissioner for Oakland Park! The Home of Anthony Niedwiecki & Waymon Hudson
Friday, November 7th, 2008
6:00 PM - 8:00PM
5280 NE 1st Terrace
Oakland Park, Forida 33334
(suggested campaign donation of $20 to $250)
RSVP at 954-319-5249 or email

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
$2 Self-Parking available in the garage across the street
Minimum Contribution Suggested at $25.00; Maximum Contribution Allowed is
$250.00 per person.


Go to the links for the following articles:

-Tropical Storm Paloma takes aim at Cuba
Now we have Tropical Storm Paloma, and it's expected to sprout into a Category 2 hurricane by Sunday. Florida doesn't appear to be its target.

-Al Lamberti holds lead in Broward County sheriff race, but count continues
Absentee and provisional ballots remain to be tallied in close contest Al Lamberti apparently beat Scott Israel in the race for Broward County sheriff, according to election results updated Wednesday.,0,4204965.story

-Pay raise approved for 260 Fort Lauderdale employees
4 Lauderdale staff forgo hike
A controversial 5 percent raise for 264 city employees was approved by city commissioners late Tuesday night with one slight change: Now there are only 260 employees getting the extra money. Four of the highest-compensated city officials - the city manager, attorney, clerk and auditor, who together make $766,394 plus benefits - agreed to give up the cost-of-living bump so commissioners would approve the raises.,0,5809994.story


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