For the homophobic win: same-sex scandal-ridden Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll

By: Sunday July 15, 2012 6:36 pm

We’ve seen epic denials from pols that are hall-of-fame worthy when they are caught in a sex scandal with someone of the same sex — think Larry “ I never have been gay“ Craig , or Bob “black gay panic” Allen come to mind — but we’ve got a real winner today. Not only do we have a rare [...]

Trayvon Martin gunned down for ‘carrying Skittles while black’

By: Sunday March 18, 2012 6:19 am

Is it 2012? Yes, it is, but in Sanford, Florida (near Orlando), the clock winds back to the days of Deep South Justice. Unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was hunted down and gunned down for the heinous crime of “carrying Skittles while black.” Charles Blow, in the NYT: Trayvon had left the house he and his [...]

Florida lawmaker’s bill would make abortion a felony with a max of life in prison — for the doctor

By: Thursday January 5, 2012 10:08 am

Never mind the fact that these continual attempts to slither around Roe v. Wade are unconstitutional, it hasn’t stopped pols around the country from attacking a woman’s reproductive freedom as if it should be the first order of business when our economy is in the crapper. Look at Florida State Representative Charles Van Zant‘s (R, [...]

Wilton Manors Gays Kick Bigot Allen West To The Curb

By: Wednesday August 3, 2011 12:30 pm

PhotobucketRepresentative Allen West (R-FL) tried to reach out to the Wilton Manors Business Association for an audience. He found many in that community weren't too receptive.

When word leaked out that he was scheduled to address the Wilton Manors Business Association in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the local reaction was swift.

Legislative Director of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, Michael Emanuel Rajner, wrote Business Association President Celeste Ellich:

This morning I was shocked to read your email below announcing that WMBA is hosting anti-gay and fear-mongering Allen West who in his role has publicly worked to advance social injustice.

In 2000, I moved to Wilton Manors because it was a community that openly welcomed GLBT-people. Since that time, we have watched the City grow, embrace its diversity, enact anti-discriminatory LGBT-inclusive protections for all City employees, and extend the same protection mandate to vendors doing business with the City. I personally worked with our mutual friend, former City Commissioner Joe Angelo, to advance these protections in a City Ordinance. I know we share this vision for the City.

He included many examples of West's unacceptable positions and inflammatory, uncivil rhetoric. Rajner concluded:

Celeste, I’m demanding that you take a courageous stand of leadership for the rights of GLBT-Americans as President of the Wilton Manors Business Association and disinvite West to your August 8th meeting. If not, GLBT-community leaders and other social justice advocates will: Call for your resignation; Call on businesses to disavow the Wilton Manors Business Association for placing profits ahead of human rights; and Call on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-community to boycott any and all businesses who are a member of the Wilton Manors Business Association, including GLBT-owned businesses willing to put profits ahead of human rights. Yours in the struggle for social justice.

The response was populist as well as political. Reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel:

John Zieba, an owner of Rosie’s Bar and Grill, which caters largely to a gay and lesbian clientele, said he wanted the event cancelled.

His business was one of the newest members of the Wilton Manors Business Association – and as such was listed prominently on the business group’s website. After the West invitation made news last week, he got about 15 emailed complaints from angry people, some of whom said they wouldn’t patronize his establishment.

He emailed Celeste Ellich, president of the association, said that if the group “was going to continue to welcome this speaker or any other speaker with those messages of inequality and injustice we would be resigning from the association.”

He said plenty of other speakers could talk to association members about business issues who “don’t vehemently oppose the basic values of a lot of people in our community.”

Zieba said he respects “anyone’s right to be able to come into speak. I respect anyone’s right to come and rally against it.” He also said the proposed boycott of business association members was ill conceived.

The Association rescinded the invitation.

Kissimmee, Florida City Commission Approves DP Benefits

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 7:41 pm

Woot Kissimmee!  Tonight Kissimmee, FL City Commissioners voted 4-1 to extend domestic partnership benefits to LGBT city employees.  From Equality Florida: I am so proud of Kissimmee City Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, who led this effort. Mallory Wells, our Public Policy Director and I have worked side-by-side with Commissioner Grieb for months and she has never [...]

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