Friday, December 19, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST December 19, 2008

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Wilton Manors: TONIGHT!
A Holiday Celebration, Free Trolley and Refreshments
It's not often you get an invitation to attend 25 private parties. The Island City Art Walk continues to thrive even in difficult times. Please visit Wilton Manors between 7 - 10 pm on Friday, December 19, for our monthly Art Walk. Twenty-five businesses will host over 35 fine artists along the one mile stretch known as The Drive. Many of the eclectic shops will have special Holiday shopping sales. The local artists will offer a variety of original works: paintings, photography and sculptures, all wonderful gift ideas. Take a hiatus from the malls and join us for the fun in historical Wilton Manors, one of Florida's premiere small towns, which offers fine restaurants, shopping and entertainment. There will be a photographer exhibit at Decades by Ali. Decades are at 1500 NE 4th Ave, so just jump on the free trolley and get off at Decades.

Miami Herald
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-CRITIC'S PICK: Rising Action recasts Biblical stories with gay twist
What if, instead of humanity beginning with Adam and Eve, the first couple had been named Adam and Steve? What if Cain and Abel were actually Jane and Mabel? Though it might seem sacrilegious to some, playwright Paul Rudnick imagines just such a scenario in The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, the holiday production from Oakland Park's Rising Action Theatre. Featuring Martica DeCardenas, Emily Ocheltree, Ricardo Rodriguez and Larry Fields, the show goes on through Jan. 18 at Rising Action, 840 E. Oakland Park Blvd. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $30 ($39 New Year's Eve. Call 800-595-4849 or visit -- CHRISTINE DOLEN

Steve Rothaus
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-Light Up The Night For Equality gay protest to be Saturday night on Lincoln Road
This Saturday, December 20th, you are invited to LIGHT UP THE NIGHT FOR EQUALITY on the corner of Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue, in South Beach. This demonstration will be one of many taking place in cities and towns all across the nation, in remembrance of the civil marriage rights that were taken away on November 4th, and in honor of the future of equality that is to come. We will begin gathering at 6:45pm, and at 7:00pm, we will stand united in a silent, candlelit protest. We will not yell, instigate, or chant - but we will be visible to our community and neighbors. Please bring along a long-burning candle (preferably with a wind guard). A flashlight would work too. Extra candles / flashlights to share, if possible, and homemade "2nd Class Citizen" t-shirts are encouraged. For more information, go to, or find us on MySpace or Facebook by searching for Light Up The Night for Equality.

ArtsUnited - Ft. Lauderdale

-Art Festival Explodes!
Ninth Annual GLBT Art Festival Bigger Than Ever!
The economy may be shrinking, but ArtExplosion sure isn't!
Despite the country's financial situation, ArtExplosion '09 looks to be even bigger and better than ever. The fun commences February 7, 2009 with the Opening Night Reception of the Visual Art Show at ArtServe and ends with an amazing Finale performance by Lea DeLaria, Scott Ryan and Levi Kries at the Broward Center for Performing Arts on February 21st.

-Monthly Exhibits to Resume.
New Stonewall Gallery to host 4 Group Exhibits
The long awaited opening of the new Stonewall Library & Archives has finally arrived. Jack Rutland, Executive Director of Stonewall Library & Archives announced last week that plans were underway to open the new space next to ArtServe, at 1300 East Sunrise Blvd., to the public on January 26, 2009. The first exhibition in the new George C. Hester Gallery, named for the ArtsUnited member that funded the space, will be on display by February in time for ArtExplosion.

Palm Beach Human Rights Council

-The Year in Review, and 2007 too!
**December 2008
The School Board of Palm Beach County unanimously votes to include "sexual orientation" and "gender expression and/or identity" as protected classes in a comprehensive policy protecting students against bullying and harassment.
**November 2008
On election day, more than a quarter of a million Palm Beach County voters (48.45%) reject Amendment 2, making us Florida's leading metropolitan area to oppose the so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. Of Florida's 67 counties, only Monroe and Alachua Counties had higher percentages (52.04% and 48.83%, respectively).
Seacoast Utility Authority in Palm Beach Gardens extends family health, dental, disability and life insurance coverage to employees with domestic partners.
**October 2008
Palm Beach County's Clerk & Comptroller revises her office's policies to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on "gender identity and expression."
City Commissioners in both West Palm Beach and Lake Worth unanimously pass resolutions urging voters to vote against Amendment 2 -- the so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment.
**September 2008
The Palm Beach County School Board extends health insurance coverage to the children of employees' domestic partners, effective January 1, 2009.
The Board of Trustees of Palm Beach County Community College votes to offer employees the opportunity to purchase health insurance for their domestic partners.
**August 2008
94% of the PBCHRC endorsed candidates are elected, re-elected, or make the November run-off election in their races.
**June 2008
In two cases brought jointly by PBCHRC and the Palm Beach County chapter of the ACLU of Florida, the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity determines that the Palm Beach County School District's policy of charging higher health insurance premiums for employees with domestic partners than it charges for married employees is discriminatory.
The Village of Tequesta revises the definition of "immediate family" to include an employee's domestic partner for the purpose of bereavement leave.
**April 2008
Senator Deutch enlists Senator Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach) as one of six co-sponsors to his bill. With bipartisan support, the Deutch anti-discrimination bill is approved by the Senate Commerce Committee by a vote of 7-1.
**March 2008
100% of the PBCHRC endorsed candidates are re-elected.
At the Council's request, Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) -- and a record 31 co-sponsors -- introduce legislation to amend the Florida Civil Rights Act and Florida's Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination in employment and housing based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression."
At the Council's request, Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) introduces legislation to amend the Florida Civil Rights Act and Florida's Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimiantion in employment and housing based on "sexual orientation."
**February 2008
The Palm Beach County School Board unanimously votes to expand the definition of "family" in the School District's Leave of Absence policy to include employees' domestic partners and their children.
**January 2008
The Town of Juno Beach notifies PBCHRC that it has revised its non-discrimination and harassment awareness policies to include "sexual orientation." In addition the Town notified the Council that it has revised the definition of "immediate family" to include an employee's "significant other" for the purpose of bereavement leave Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Charles Bronson informs the Council that his office's sick leave policy now allows employees to opportunity to use sick leave to care for domestic partners.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Council promotes equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation and community outreach.
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
Contact Ray's List for PBHRC accoomplishments in 2007.

Ft. Lauderdale - GLCC Newsletter
The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC) is accepting honoree nominations for "Stars of the Rainbow". The event will be held on Sunday, March 1, 2009! This year's gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty Six which is located at 2301 S.E. 17th Street Causeway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.
Nomination of honorees is available December 1 thru December 31, 2008.
Honorees will be announced January 10, 2009. Please submit your nomination(s) in following categories:
(1) Volunteer or Activist Star of the Year
Honoring individuals who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and/or activism, and who have also been a benefit to the GLCC and/or the LGBT community.
(2) Community Star of the Year
Honoring individuals or groups that represent the LGBT community in a positive light; have supported the Center and/or community, have shown the true sense of community and who are true STARS!
(3) Business, Corporate, Media or Government Star of the Year
This category honors a business, corporation, agency, media/publication or government entity that has supported the efforts of the Center and the LGBT community.
Nomination Forms are available at the GLCC or can be submitted online at or . You can also print a form and fax or mail it to the GLCC at 954-764-6522 or PO BOX 70518, Fort Lauderdale 33307 - Attn: Robert Boo.
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, volunteering or more information please contact Robert Boo, Development Director at 954-463-9005 or via email at

-Action Alert!
The State of Florida currently sends a dangerous message that the health and well being of gay youth is of no concern to state officials. This can no longer stand. Please contact your state representative and senator today and ask them to co-sponsor Rep. Evan Jenne's Florida House of Representatives bill, HB 19, and Sen. Jeremy Ring's Senate bill, SB 268, which will delete the following language from the Florida State Statute requiring, with regard to instruction in HIV/AIDS, that a school shall:
Section 1003.46, Subsection (2)(a) Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage. With new infections rising among gay and bisexual males, especially in youth of color, heterosexist language designed to ignore gay youth, and intimidate HIV/AIDS prevention educators, must end.

South Florida Blade
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-Community profile: Terry DeCarlo
Love for activism, Disney, and all things SoFla
No name or face in our community is more recognized than that of Terry DeCarlo, director of marketing and events for Broward House. And as the saying (with a gay twist) goes, "Behind every strong man is another strong man pushing him along," Terry's partner, who has been Terry's backbone for more than a decade, Bill Huelsman, is Terry's biggest supporter. DeCarlo, a native of New York, came to the public forefront when he first put his public relations skills to work as Director for Development for the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Since that time he has also worked for Equality Florida and Care Resource. His commitment to the community started long before he entered Broward County.


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-Florida attorney general wants to bust the Seminole Tribe's card games
By John Holland and Josh Hafenbrack
The Seminole Tribe should face criminal charges if it does not stop offering illegal blackjack and other card games on its reservations, the state's chief law enforcement officer wrote Thursday in a stinging letter to federal prosecutors. Attorney General Bill McCollum made the appeal to the U.S. attorney in Tampa on a day that anti-gambling forces rallied in the state capital for what's expected to be a heavily lobbied fight over whether to revive a defunct gambling deal with the Seminoles. McCollum is powerless over the sovereign tribe, and federal regulators have been reluctant to step in while the state and tribe continue negotiating a deal.,0,2900028.story

Fort Report
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-Nominee wrong for high court
If Gov. Charlie Crist appoints Frank Jimenez to the Florida Supreme Court, he will be selecting the least qualified and most ideological nominee available. Jimenez is a Cuban-American and would add diversity to a court that now lacks a Hispanic justice. But in this case, diversity would be a pretext for stacking the Supreme Court with political conservatives and abandoning its centrist history.

-LEGISLATURE: Crist offers up ideas for balancing budget, sparing services
Gov. Charlie Crist has a plan to eliminate Florida's $2.3 billion budget shortfall without cutting services too deeply. Will lawmakers approve?
Florida lawmakers can fill a $2.3 billion budget hole by slightly trimming government spending, nearly emptying savings accounts and approving a gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, according to a draft document approved by Gov. Charlie Crist.

-Dems appeal to Feds to investigate House speaker
By Michael C. Bender
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman appealed to acting U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirwan to investigate Republican state House Speaker Ray Sansom for public corruption. Citing the work of the St. Pete Times and the Palm Beach Post, Thurman said there were too many questions around Sansom and a job he received with Northwest Florida State College last month.

-Florida prison population reaches 100,000
By Bill Cotterell
The head of Florida's prison system was just winding up a radio interview Friday morning when a message buzzed on his BlackBerry - at 8:17 a.m., the state's prison population hit 100,000 for the first time.


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