Thursday, December 04, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST December 02, 2008

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-About time gay adoption ban gets thrown out
It is a shameful distinction that Florida doesn't need. Hopefully, the courts will put an end to it, and soon. Last week, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman struck an overdue blow against discrimination by ruling that a gay man should be able to adopt two foster children. The ruling could very well be the first step in overturning Florida's stigma as the only state with a complete ban on gay adoption.,0,1514721.story

-Equal rights for gays in committed relationships
In response to the "garriage" letter to the editor, I, as a gay man in a committed relationship, would gladly accept whatever word you want to call our relationship as long as we get the exact same rights that go with marriage: automatic right to a spouse's retirement benefits, including Social Security; filing jointly as "married" on all federal forms; right to survivorship on all property and right to hospital visitation. Some of these rights can be obtained through legal documents, but why do we need to go through the added expense?,0,1216633.story

Miami Herald
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-GAY PARENTS: Fair ruling benefits children
Once in a great while an event happens -- an election, a terrorist attack, a court ruling -- that marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. These are defining moments where old disputes and arguments are, at least for the moment, resolved and a new direction taken. We had such a moment last week when Judge Cindy Lederman, a wise and courageous Miami-Dade jurist, struck down Florida's ban on gay adoption as unconstitutional.

-Foes of gay marriage oppose North Miami adoption ruling
The former Miami-Dade County coordinator for the state's gay marriage ban amendment will meet with area pastors Tuesday to voice opposition to a recent court ruling allowing adoption by a gay man. Rev. Paul Carvalho will hold a press conference at Wayside Baptist Church, 7701 SW 98th St. at noon on Wednesday. Last week, a Miami child welfare judge declared Florida's 31-year-old ban on adoption by gay people unconstitutional.

Men of Style to Benefit ArtServe
ArtServe and Galleria Mall at Fort Lauderdale invite you to "shop for a cause" during its premier MEN OF STYLE SHOPPING NIGHT. Enjoy great food - Drink sensations - Live entertainment - Exclusive shopping discounts This events benefits ArtServe and other local charities in Broward County. Help us recognize five men of style including Alan Koslow representing ArtServe, as you enjoy a festive evening and indulge in the best "shopping with benefits." Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door.
When: Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 6-8pm
To purchase tickets and for additional information call:
ArtServe at (954) 462-8190

Palm Beach Human Rights Council
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-Seacoast Utility Authority Offers Domestic Partner Benefits
(Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) At tomorrow's Benefits Fair, Seacoast Utility Authority ("SUA") will inform employees with domestic partners that they will soon be eligible for all of the same family benefits that married employees have long received. SUA, which furnishes water and sewer service to the City of Palm Beach Gardens, the Village of North Palm Beach, the Towns of Lake Park and Juno Beach, as well as to portions of unincorporated Palm Beach County, has 130 full time employees. "Once again, informed managers have recognized the importance of providing family health care coverage and other benefits to to employees with domestic partners," said Rand Hoch, President of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. [...] The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council currently is working with other local public employers, urging them to consider providing domestic partner benefits. These include the Cities of Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, the Towns of Lake Park and Palm Beach, the Village of North Palm Beach and Florida Atlantic University.

Winterfest Boat Parade Party to benefit HRC
Advance ticket sales close this Friday, December 5 - get your tickets today!
Join us for a wonderful evening of hors d'oeuvres, complimentary cocktails, live entertainment, fireworks, and, of course, the most unique parade around! Find out more or buy your tickets today at!
Saturday, December 13
6:00 p.m. - VIP Reception
7:00 p.m. - Main Event
2110 Intracoastal Dr.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33305
Get your tickets today! »
General Admission: Pre-Registration $95 / Onsite $125
Ticket Includes: Food, Drink, Live Entertainment, Fireworks and Annual Membership
VIP Reception: Anyone who purchases a VIP ticket will be invited to attend a special reception with Joe Solmonese, HRC President, and Kirk Rice, HRC Sr. Major Gifts Officer.
VIP Reception: $125
Ticket Includes: Personal access to VIP/Federal Club pre-event reception with Joe Solmonese in a private rooftop setting and admission to the main event. Please note, VIP tickets are only available for purchase online, in advance.

-Pictures from last year's event:
Watch 7 Minute Video:

From Steve Glassman for Ft. Lauderdale City Commission Campaign
You are Cordially Invited to a Cocktail Fundraiser for
STEVE GLASSMAN Candidate for Fort Lauderdale City Commission District 2
Thursday, December 4th
Shore Club Beach Club
1912 N. Ocean Blvd. Fort Lauderdale
6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M
Minimum Contribution Suggested at $25.00; Maximum Contribution Allowed is $250.00 per person.
Please RSVP by email to
or 954.565.1548

From Mark Ketchum
Gay & Lesbian Business Exchange: My last nudging email on this subject
I know you are busy so I will try to type quickly......Reasons why I would like you to consider coming at least once to the GLBX meeting.
1) I was very pleasantly surprised by the turnout we had at our first GLBX meeting two weeks ago, especially since I am a skeptic---We had about 30 people, who shared information on their business in a comfortable and unstructured manner, and I know a few people who picked up some new clients.
2) In the current economy, here is a way to meet new clients and bring in more business. I don't know about you but people have not been banging down my door to throw money at me---I have to work to get more business, and this is a group who wants to do business with you.
3) From a completely political/clout standpoint, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce has excitingly reached out to our community. From my point of view, to have the business community behind us and by being part of this same business community, will never allow another elected or public official to besmirch us, their fellow chamber members and hurt their, and our business. The Chamber will stand up and say to whomever that this behavior is unacceptable and it is hurting all of Greater Fort Lauderdale business.
4) This is an exciting time in our and Fort Lauderdale's history. We are starting something new. At this point, our meetings are the first and third Thursdays at the Chamber Building (512 NE Third Avenue--parking behind the building) from 4 to 5 PM. And since we are new, and are developing our program(s), if we have enough people who would like a later meeting, say at 5:30, then we will set it up. If people want to have a meeting in morning prior to the workday, we will work toward that.
5) I am asking you to come and try us out; show the Chamber our financial power, show ourselves our financial power, see some old friends and hopefully pick up some new clients. That would probably not be a waste of an hour, don't you think?
6) And yes, sooner or later we are going to want you to join. But for now, people can come to the GLBX to try us on and see how we fit. Here is the Chamber website for you to poke around in a bit, and below is the verbiage we are using in our new GLBX Brochure. I think it explains what this is all about pretty well.
Top 10 Reasons to Join:
10. Only Chamber in Broward County that recognizes the Gay and Lesbian Business Community.
9. Members gain complimentary listings in Chamber print guide and web site.
8. Each member can join a "Chamber Leads Group."
7. The Chamber provides five distinct "Councils" to enhance members' networking objectives - for example, Downtown Council, Beach Council, etc.
6. The Chamber offers its members a variety of committees to be a part of at no additional cost.
5. The Chamber provides members with the best venues to network and build relationships with other Chamber members.
4. Twice a month "Business Exchange Networking" exclusively for GLBX members and their guests (complimentary).
3. Each member has the opportunity to network with over 1400 other businesses, develop relationships and expand their business.
2. Members gains access to the Chamber's Concierge Services, whereby a member completes an on-line profile, including the types of businesses they want to connect with. The Business Connect Team adopts profiles and reaches out with business introductions.
1. It is the Chamber's mission to "Enhance our members' business profitability." Join the Chamber, get involved and get business.
I hope to see you Thursday and have a great Holiday Season.
Mark Ketcham - GLBX Chair


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-Questions about I-95 express lanes? We have answers
At 6 a.m. Friday, the state will start charging tolls in the new northbound Interstate 95 express lanes in Miami-Dade County. Here's what you need to know about the express lanes and how they work.,0,3273666.story

Miami Herald
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-Sen. Martinez would-be successors line up
Would-be successors began lining up as U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, elected in 2004, announced he would retire after completing his term in 2010

Fort Report
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-Crist v. Jeb for GOP Senate primary
Hey, a political writer can dream, right? Let's stipulate that almost every name out there for Mel Martinez's senate seat is rank speculation at this point. But the fact remains that on the Republican side, only two people -- Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush -- could effectively clear the GOP field on a Senate race, just as Alex Sink, to a lesser extent, would on the Democratic side.

-TC Columnists Ponder: Sink, Crist, Bush the likely candidates to fill Martinez' Senate seat?
With slumping poll numbers and growing numbers of Democratic voters in Florida, Martinez may have seen the writing on the wall in announcing he won't seek re-election in 2010. Who is most likely to replace Martinez in the U.S. Senate? The obvious choice is Gov. Charlie Crist who apparently can't stand to stay in one place for very long.

-A look at who may run for Fla. Sen. Martinez' seat
Sen. Mel Martinez's announcement Tuesday that he would not seek a second term immediately set off speculation about possible candidates for his seat. The following is a look at people who have indicated interest or are the subject of speculation:
- Former Gov. Jeb Bush. He is seriously considering a run and party and elected officials from Florida and beyond are encouraging him, according to a former political adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity because Bush is not ready to publicly discuss his plans. But for now, the official word from spokeswoman Kristy Campbell is this: "Governor Bush hopes to play a constructive role in the future of the party, advocating ideas and polices to get the conservative cause back on track."
- Attorney General Bill McCollum. McCollum has twice run for Senate, losing to Democrat Bill Nelson in 2000 and in the GOP primary to Martinez in 2004. "At this point, my plan is - at the appropriate time - to announce my intention to seek re-election as Florida's attorney general. However, given today's development, I will seriously consider and discuss with my family a race for this U.S. Senate seat."
- Former House Speaker Allan Bense. Bense, of Panama City, considered a run for Senate in 2006. Party leaders urged him to challenge then-U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris in the Republican primary, but Bense refused to start a campaign while still serving as speaker. He said Tuesday he is considering a run and will make a decision in the next several weeks.
- Former House Speaker Marco Rubio. Rubio, of West Miami, wants to run, but won't if Bush decides to get in the race. Officially, he said, "The developments today create some rare opportunities and I need to assess them and make a decision soon."
- U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Buchanan easily won a second term in Congress last month after barely winning two years ago. The Sarasota businessman and car dealership owner has tried to create the reputation of an independent-minded congressman. His office issued a statement saying people are encouraging him to run and he won't rule it out.
- U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV. Mack's father served in the U.S. Senate, retiring in 2001. Mack was elected to his third term last month. He said in a statement that "I realize there are many people who want me to take a good, hard look at running for the U.S. Senate. Obviously, there's been no time to make any assessment."
- Rep. Adam Putnam. Putnam, of Bartow, just stepped down from his position as the third most powerful Republican in the House. Until now, political insiders were speculating that he'd run for agriculture commissioner, but an open Senate seat could change things. A spokesman said Putnam is "flattered" that people consider him a possible candidate.
- U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd. Boyd, of Monticello, was first elected in 1996. He leads the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of House Democrats who push for fiscal responsibility and federal debt reduction. He's a fifth generation farmer and is seen as a centrist whose north Florida background could help him in the Panhandle, where Republicans usually do well. He said, "I have been considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2010, before Sen. Martinez's announcement today. I will continue to discuss the race with state and national party leaders and with my supporters in North Florida and throughout the state."
- U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek. Meek was just elected to his fourth term in the seat previously held by his mother, Carrie Meek. He led the effort to put class size limits in the Florida constitution. As a congressman, he has led a group of young House members who are trying to reach out to younger voters with an edgier message. A spokesman said he is "definitely looking into it."
- State Sen. Dan Gelber. Gelber was elected to the Senate last month after serving as the House Democratic leader. Within minutes of Martinez' announcement, the Miami Beach lawyer said, "I'm seriously thinking about it."
- U.S. Rep. Ron Klein. Klein was elected to his second term last month. The Delray Beach congressman has led efforts to create a national insurance backup fund. A bill he co-wrote passed the House, but wasn't heard in the Senate. Klein is also one of the top campaign fundraisers in the House. He said he isn't ruling a Senate run out, but it is not his priority right now.

- Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Sink had planned to announce Tuesday that she would run for re-election, but decided not to issue her statement after the Martinez announcement, according to two sources familiar with the plans who didn't want to be named because the announcement was postponed. She is considered the strongest Democrat in the potential field because of her statewide name recognition.

-Tougher emission rule advances in Florida
Giving Gov. Charlie Crist a major boost in his fight to curb greenhouse gases in Florida, a state environmental panel on Tuesday endorsed a rule that would impose rigorous emission standards on new cars and light trucks. But the fight over tailpipe pollution is far from over. The rule, which is patterned after a California initiative, now moves to an arena where the lobbyists for the auto industry, which strongly opposed the regulation, have more sway: the Florida Legislature.

-CUBAN AMERICANS: Miami-Dade poll sees shift in opinion over Cuba embargo
A survey of Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade showed that the majority favor a lifting of the trade embargo. In an unprecedented shift in attitude that could affect Cuba policy for the incoming administration of Barack Obama, more than one out of two Miami-Dade Cuban Americans think the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba should end, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

-Court rules against Florida Schools of Excellence
Local school districts no longer have to worry about charter school applicants doing an end run to the state to win the right to operate. Florida's First District Court of Appeals found the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission "facially unconstitutional" in a series of opinions issued this morning. (See the main one, Duval County School Board v. State Board of Education.)

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-Mayor Recommends Task Force To Fix Courthouse
Broward Courthouse To Stay Closed Through Friday
The Broward County mayor has recommended the establishment of a task force to make a plan to repair the county courthouse, which will be closed through Friday after a water main broke. The water main broke on Sunday night, sending water gushing into offices at the courthouse, damaging the phone system and soaking important legal records in the Clerk of Courts' office. Crews worked Tuesday to try to rebuild the phone and communication system, set up a temporary phone system and dry the files. The carpets in the Clerk of Courts' office must be pulled up.


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1 comment:

Letsgetreal said...

-Oklahoma City Mayor, Pastor Team Up to Purge Libraries,
Detain Gays in Ex-Gay Re-Education Camps
Michael Airhart | Truth Wins Out
Oklahoma Baptist Pastor Steve Kern, husband of notorious Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, reportedly believes gay Americans should be incarcerated and forcibly "cured." "We have to get rid of that and start curing those sinners. It's past time that this nation stopped placating sin and start putting them in education programs. Courts can force drug offenders into treatment centers and violent people into anger management. There's no reason our courts can't do that with homos."

These Christians are an insult to every clear thinking person. While they are at it, I sure many of these Oklahoma Southern Baptist's would love to bring slavery back.

I live in Oklahoma and I can tell you they are upset having a black man for president. LOL. I'm so happy that Obama not only won the presidency but did so with a landslide victory.

My step daughter is gay and we support her in who she is.

I am also an activist and if interested please visit my web site and help spread the word.