Thursday, November 20, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST November 20, 2008

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-Amednment 2 protects meaning of marriage
November 16, 2008
The word "marriage" has forever meant the joining of one man and one woman.
Those who want to change the definition of the word to also mean man and man or woman and woman should realize that the majority do not want to change the original meaning. Why don't they get their own word for their union? An article in last Sunday's paper stated, "Local government leaders don't plan to retreat from offering domestic partner benefits" and "registries grant unmarried gays and straight couples decision-making rights." That's happening more and more all over the country. Besides, anyone can draw up a legal contract to give someone else anything that a married man and woman have. Please don't hijack the word from us if all you want is the same rights.
Alexandria Ostrowski, Delray Beach,0,1015465.story

-Unmarried partners can be health-care surrogates
Way too much worry is making the rounds about whether unmarried people, gay or straight, can make health care decisions for each other. They can. It's governed by Florida law, says William Bell, general counsel for the Florida Hospital Association. The law says a person can appoint another person to be a health-care surrogate. It doesn't say that person has to a spouse.,0,7824443.column

-The benefits of marriage are based on federal rules
The gay marriage ban that Florida voters added to the state constitution this month doesn't add up to a hill of beans, when it comes to unwed couples' personal finances. Unmarried people, gay or straight, have huge economic disadvantages compared with married couples.,0,5732932.column

-Local government leaders don't plan to retreat from offering domestic partnership benefits in the wake of voters' decision last week to rewrite the state constitution to outlaw gay marriage and anything similar to it. The governments and school districts of Broward and Palm Beach counties offer health insurance coverage to domestic partners of their employees, as do some cities. Both counties also have partnership registries that grant unmarried gay and straight couples certain visitation and decision-making rights.,0,3582971.story

-Palm Beach County School District passes new anti-bullying policy,0,5977956.story

-Black voters in Broward overwhelmingly supported amendment banning gay marriage
Their conservative views helped pass Amendment No. 2
Black voters in Broward County provided some of the strongest support for Amendment 2, which added a ban on same-sex marriage to the Florida Constitution. The amendment passed statewide this week, winning 62 percent of the vote. Adding an amendment to the constitution requires a 60 percent "yes" vote.,0,2073362.story

-Pine Crest School swimming coach confesses he had sex with minors
Fort Lauderdale's swimming coach Roberto Caragol confesses, criminal complaint says
A popular Broward County swim coach confessed he had sex with minors and traded hundreds of pornographic images of young boys via e-mail, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in federal court. Now law enforcement officials are urging parents and students with any information about improper sexual contact by the coach to come forward.,0,2265365.story

Miami Herald
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-Letters to the Editor - Gays' rights denied
Why do I not deserve the same rights -- not special rights -- as any other person in this country? What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I did not wake up one day and say that ''I think I will choose to be gay.'' My father did not wake up and say, ``I will be straight.'' I was not taught to be gay, despite what the religious right says. I have had family and friends of my parents say that they knew I was gay when I was 8. How would I have selected my sexual orientation at that age? I have been registered to my partner as domestic partners since 2005. We own a home together, pay taxes and have family that loves us as a couple.
MARC A. HANSEN, Fort Lauderdale

Fort Report
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-In Florida, Fallout from a Gay-Marriage Ban
Parishoners at a Tampa church voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama and a ban on gay marriage that critics say may have unintended consequences

-Howard Simon: Amendment 2 just delays the inevitable
The vote approving Amendment 2 (the "marriage protection" amendment) was a devastating but temporary setback for the cause of equal treatment for all.

-Bill Cotterell: Gay-marriage defense faces an uphill battle
As Alan Alda peeled an orange on the steps of the Old Capitol one sunny afternoon in the mid-1970s, the actor told a throng of Equal Rights Amendment supporters not to try punishing Florida's citrus industry.

South Florida Blade
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-Poll shows Floridians believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights Despite vote to bar gay marriage, equal rights are favored Floridians may not support same-sex marriage, but they overwhelmingly believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights in a number of other areas, a survey indicates. Gay activists are still reeling over a loss Nov. 4, when state residents voted 62 percent in favor of Amendment 2, which addsFlorida's existing ban on gay marriage into the state constitution. But a poll conducted as part of that campaign also asked another question unrelated to marriage: Should gays and lesbians have the same rights as everyone else with regards to housing, job opportunities and public accommodations, such as restaurants and movie theaters? The results showed 89 percent of respondents answered yes.

-Not a lost cause
LGBT groups seek silver lining after Amendment 2 defeat
Sweeping endorsements by editorial boards of major newspapers, a massive grassroots education effort, millions of dollars and a large turn out of GLBT votes Nov. 4 were not enough to defeat the constitutional amendment in Florida effectively banning same sex marriage. Voters approved Amendment 2 by a decisive 62.1 percent to 37.9 percent margin Tuesday. No On 2 strategists were relying on strong opposition to the measure from voters in liberal leaning Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade Counties. While Palm Beach and Broward voters rejected Amendment 2 by 48 and 47 percent the no vote in Miami Dade was 42 percent.

-Stonewall Library & Archives
The Arscht Center for the Performing Arts invites Stonewall and ArtsUnited members to an Arts Night OUT with "1000 Homosexuals" on Thursday, November 20, at 8pm at a special discounted rate. Also, don't miss this opportunity to view Stonewall's exhibition "Days without Sunshine: Anita Bryant's Anti-Gay Crusade" which will be on view in the Arsht Center lobby. "1000 Homosexuals" by Michael Yawney, tells the story of Anita Bryant's 1977 crusade against gay civil rights. The play is a documentary/fantasy/comedy presenting Anita just the way she would want: as a musical Joan of Arc battling a powerful and perverse gay mafia.The performances take place at the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Per- forming Arts, Carnival Studio Theatre from November 19-23, 2008. Stonewall and ArtsUnited members are invited to Thursday night's performance, on November 20, at 8pm, at a special rate of $30.25. To purchase discounted tickets for this offer, visit and enter the discount code ANITA. You must purchase tickets by 5pm this Tuesday, November 18, to get the discount. All online surcharges have been waived. This special offer is only available online for the date listed and is not available at the Box Office Window or through the Box Office Call Center. If you have trouble accessing the online discount, please call Group Sales at 786-468-2326

Congregation Etz Chaim Young People's Group: A New Vision
Congregation Etz Chaim, Wilton Manors's Reform Synagogue for the GLBT community, welcomes the Young Jewish People's Group (YJP) as it initiates its new social networking group for young Jews. YJP will bring together men and women in their 20's, 30's, and 40's to share in various social and religious events. YJP invites the community to join it on Friday, December 12, at 8 p.m. as it participates in Cong. Etz Chaim's Sabbath Services. YJP invites young GLBT Jews to come early and get acquainted with others from the greater South Florida area and socialize during a special Oneg Shabbat following the service. Congregation Etz Chaim is located at 1881 N.E. 26 Street in Wilton Manors. For more information, e-mail Andrew at

Please join us as we gather together to remember and honor all those whom have died as a result of anti-transgender bigotry, hatred, and violence. Brandon Teena, Rita Hester, Marsha Johnson, Gwen Araujo, Simmie Williams, & countless more. "Over two trans-persons have been reported murdered every month, since the turn of the new millennium!" Help us to end all violence against transgender and gender-variant people!
Observance will be held at:
MCC Sunshine Cathedral Chapel
1480 SW 9th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315
Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 6:30 pm
All are Welcome!

-Dolphin Democrats Annual Holiday Party
Wednesday - December 10 - 7:30-9:30 pm
Wilton Station Clubhouse
2605 NE 14th Ave
Wilton Manors FL
Donation $10 - Free with your paid renewal or 2009 membership
Go online to to renew today

Mark's List
-Wilton Manors Island City Art Walk
Stroll the shops along Wilton Drive in WilMa for this monthly event that brings the LGBT community out on Florida's enjoyable winter nights. The walk begins at 7 PM anywhere along the drive, just pick your starting point and take advantage of the cool dry night!

Safe Schools South Florida
John Bremer
It is with great sadness that we relay that long-time Safe Schools South Florida board member, community activist, successful businessman, bon vivant and friend John Bremer, 82, passed away Friday, November 14, after an extended illness. His legacy will continue as his dedicated work for Safe Schools South Florida has helped ensure that young peoples' lives are changed for the better for years to come. He is survived by his partner and long-time friend Rob Stauss. A memorial is being planned for January. In lieu of flowers, John asked that donations be made to Safe Schools South Florida, P.O. Box 24444, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307.


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-Kids' mixed gun message: Do as adults say, not as they do
In the past week, we've seen a fatal shooting at Dillard High and five other kids caught with guns at Broward schools, including four elementary students. It's only natural to wonder what in the world - or the Wild, Wild West - is going on. I could see how our kids might be confused. When it comes to guns, there's a barrage of mixed messages. You have adults buying and carrying firearms in greater numbers, with some viewing guns as the cornerstone of personal protection. You have the NRA and other gun-advocacy groups winning the battle of the second amendment to the point where courts and politicians consider "gun control" dirty words.,0,2997724.column

-South Florida home buyers step up as prices drop
Buying a South Florida home is in vogue again as prices continue to crater.
So who's snagging all these bargains? First-time buyers are stepping forward, overjoyed at the idea of finally being able to afford places of their own. Retirees paying all cash also are getting into the game, yanking their money out of the volatile stock market and putting it back into real estate.,0,613238.story

SAVE THE DATE: Dania Beach Historic Home Tour-December 13, 2008
$20/person - 2-6pm
1500 S.W. Second Avenue
Dania Beach, FL 33004-4209
LIBERTY SUITES: (954-927-0090)

Fort Report
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-Ritter's ties to Obamas create speculation as she becomes Broward County
Ties to the Obamas could land her a new job - in Washington
Even before Stacy Ritter took over as Broward County Click here for restaurant inspection reports's mayor Tuesday, she received her first call of congratulations - from Michelle Obama.,0,7151867.story

-Jews, Muslims come together to discuss overcoming discord
In the wake of a U.S. election that broke new racial ground, Jewish and Muslim leaders met Wednesday night to discuss ways to overcome "a darkness of the heart" hurting their own communities. A Jewish-Muslim dialogue on "confronting Islamophobia and anti-Semitism" helped kick off what are scheduled to be 50 "twinnings" of mosques and synagogues in North America through the weekend. More than 350 people, including about 100 Muslims, gathered at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.


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