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Rights & Liberties
Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

For Black Students in Flagler Schools, Some Progress But “Systemic Bias” and Startling Disparities Persist

| January 27, 2015

Amir Whittaker, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, presented a report card on the school district’s treatment of black students, acknowledging some progress but pointing out enduring racism, especially in suspensions.

8 Weeks After FSU Shooting, House Panel Approves Concealed Guns on Florida Campuses

| January 21, 2015

Currently, people are banned from carrying such weapons at Florida colleges and universities, with the exception of stun guns or similar devices. Data show that 246,632 Floridians between the ages of 21 and 35 have concealed carry permits.

Supreme Court May Invalidate Fair Housing Provision Cities Use to Combat Segregation

| January 21, 2015

The Supreme Court has been weakening many civil rights protections for decades. It appears on the verge of gutting the Fair Housing Act. It hears arguments in a case today that will be decided by the end of June.

Florida Prison Ban on Beards Violates Muslim Inmates’ Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

| January 20, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Florida and six other states could not ban inmates from growing beards for religious reasons. The case originated in Arkansas.

Legal Aid For Poorer Floridians Diminishing, Commission Starts Work on Seeking Fair Fix

| January 18, 2015

With Gov. Scott opposed to moire funding, the 27-member Florida’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice will have to figure out how to provide additional funding for civil legal aid without simply asking for money from state legislators.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

At Hemming Park, Jacksonville Evolves From Axe Handle Saturday To Civil Rights Saturday

| January 15, 2015

Jacksonville filled Hemming Park with racial hatred and violence 55 years ago. But January 10, 2015 was a celebration of love as it became the location of a series of gay marriages, writes Julie Delegal.

A Muslim Cartoonist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre: Shame, Fear, But Mostly Hope

| January 13, 2015

Cartoonist Khalil Bendib, an American Muslim and native of Algeria who’s known his share of censorship and death threats, writes of grief and human solidarity in the wake of the attack.

Light Up Again: John Morgan Files Medical Pot Amendment Language For 2016 Ballot

| January 11, 2015

The revamped measure clarifies that doctors cannot order medical marijuana for children without their parents’ approval and clears up ambiguity about what diseases would make patients eligible for medical-marijuana treatment.

Florida Lawmakers Seek Secrecy For College and University Searches and Vetting of Candidates

| January 11, 2015

Pointing to the possibility of a “chilling effect” if word gets out, a House bill filed Friday would allow information to be kept confidential about people applying to become presidents, provosts or deans of state universities or colleges.

Standing With Charlie Hebdo:
The Right and Duty to Offend

| January 8, 2015

We should celebrate differences of opinion. We have no duty to embrace differences of principles, and in many cases—and this is one of them—we must oppose them, angrily and militantly if need be.

Four Gay Couples Get Marriage Licenses at Flagler Courthouse in Quietly Momentous End to Long-Standing Prejudice

| January 6, 2015

It was a quiet but significantly historic day at the Flagler County Courthouse as Florida’s ban on marriage equality ended across the state Tuesday and couples celebrated the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses ahead of marriage ceremonies after the three-day waiting period.

First Gay Marriages in Florida Are Celebrated as Miami-Dade Recognizes Two Couples

| January 5, 2015

With same-sex marriages ready to start Tuesday across the state, a circuit judge allowed gay couples to go ahead and begin getting married Monday in Miami-Dade County.

Education or Exploitation? When a Patient’s Death is Broadcast Without Permission

| January 4, 2015

Ethicists say medical reality shows exploit patients’ pain for public consumption, but their makers argue that they educate viewers and inspire people to choose careers in medicine.

In a Reversal, Florida Court Clerks’ Lawyers Say Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Must Be Issued

| January 2, 2015

The reversal from the association’s lawyers should remove the last roadblock to gay marriage starting in Florida, though some clerks say they’ll refuse to perform ceremonies.

Federal Judge Orders Florida Clerks to Issue Gay-Marriage Licenses Across Florida Starting Tuesday

| January 1, 2015

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle warned that clerks of court who refuse to comply with the ruling expose themselves to be a party to the suit, allowing successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.

As Lawyers Duel, Meet the Interracial Gay Cowboys at Heart of Florida’s Gay-Marriage Quest

| December 30, 2014

Stephen Schlairet and Ozzie Russ are a typical couple in many ways. They finish each other’s sentences, and reminisce over a photo album of their commitment ceremony nearly 15 years ago.

2014 In Review: For Florida, A Year of Same-Olds More Than Change

| December 27, 2014

State government from the governor on down is virtually unchanged, with all major figures and almost all incumbent senators winning reelection, but gay marriage and some legalized marijuana suggest some change for the state.

Woman In “Catholic Warrior” Shirt Vandalizes Satanic Temple Display at Florida Capitol

| December 24, 2014

Susan Hemeryck, 54, of Tallahassee, entered the Capitol at 11:23 a.m. and told an on-duty police officer that “she was sorry and had to take the Satanic display,” according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement charging affidavit.

Flagler Court Clerk Gail Wadsworth on Gay Marriage: “People Should Have Freedom to Be.”

| December 22, 2014

Flagler County Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth, whose office will be responsible for issuing same-sex marriage licenses starting Jan. 6, assuming legalities are worked out, speaks of her support for the sweeping change and hopes that it does not apply in one part of Florida but not others.

Gay Marriage Begins in Florida Jan. 6 as U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bondi’s Plea For Stay

| December 20, 2014

It’s no longer a maybe, an if or a pending: clerks of court in Florida must begin issuing gay-marriage licenses on Jan. 6 as the U.S. Supreme Court Friday evening denied Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request that a stay on the matter be extended.

As Compliance Replaces Controversy, Sheriff Cautions of 2 DUI Checkpoints in Palm Coast

| December 18, 2014

The checkpoints, which must follow strict guidelines, will be located at Palm Coast Pkwy NW and Frontage Road as well as State Road 100, East of Old Kings Road.

What White People Don’t See

| December 17, 2014

Whether it’s police dealing with suspects or Sony executives referring to President Obama, what they see first isn’t the human being, but the color, and usually in the basest terms, argues Steve Robinson.

Florida Clerks Told To Deny Licenses Even When Federal Court Order Granting Gay Marriage Kicks in

| December 17, 2014

Lawyers for the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers have advised county officials statewide not to issue marriage licenses “until a binding order is issued by a court of proper jurisdiction” and warned the clerks that they could be subject to criminal prosecution if they allow gay couples to wed.

With 22 Days To Go Before Gay Wedding Bells, Pam Bondi Asks Court To Object

| December 15, 2014

Bondi’s request to the U.S. Supreme Court comes less than two weeks after a federal appeals court rejected her effort to at least temporarily extend the gay-marriage prohibition in Florida.

Yes, We’re Cops. And We’re Human Beings. But We Won’t Be Your Victims.

| December 12, 2014

In an impassioned response to acute criticism leveled at police after events in Ferguson and Staten Island, Jonathan Dopp, a sheriff’s deputy in Flagler County, presents law enforcement’s unapologetic perspective.

Palm Coast Council Weighing Suspending Red-Light Camera Program Entirely

| December 9, 2014

The Palm Coast City Council is considering suspending–but not ending–its red-light camera program until courts rule more conclusively on the legality of the system.

Cops Get Away With Murder Because They Know They Can. It’s America In Black and White.

| December 7, 2014

Resisting arrest is a cop’s license to kill: In retrospect there was little doubt that grand juries in Missouri and New York would let off the cops responsible for the killing of two unarmed black men.

Satanic Temple Display Approved for State Capitol, With Festivus Beer Pole and Nativity

| December 5, 2014

The Florida Department of Management Services this week approved the proposed holiday display from the Satanic Temple, which a year ago was rejected because the agency said its proposal was “grossly offensive.”

Cue That Processional: Gay Marriage Could Be Legal in Florida Starting Jan. 6

| December 4, 2014

A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request to at least temporarily extend Florida’s ban on gay marriage — possibly setting the stage for same-sex marriages to start in January.

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