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Category archives for: Civil Rights

Bill Targeting Transgenders in Public Bathrooms Clears 2nd House Committee, 7-4

| March 17, 2015

The 7-4 vote of the Florida House Government Operations Subcommittee included one dissent from a Republican, though as the bill advances, its chances of becoming law increase.

Why Black America Fears the Police

| March 8, 2015

When shots were fired as a group of black friends walked along the beach, there was no rush to call 911. They feared what could happen if police came rushing into a group of people who, by virtue of their skin color, might be mistaken for suspects.

Bill Forbidding Local Government Protection for Transgenders In Public Bathrooms Advances

| March 5, 2015

A bill by Florida Rep. Frank Artiles that would overturn local government ordinances protecting transgender use of single-sex bathrooms passed 8-3 on a party-line vote Wednesday after an impassioned discussion in a House subcommittee.

I Am A Throw-Away Piece Of Trash In This Country of Freedom and Liberty and Respect

| March 5, 2015

Cindy Robert Sullivan, a transgender man transitioning to a woman, addressed Rep. Frank Artiles and a House committee before a 9-4 vote approving a bill forbidding certain protections for transgender people.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ebola Isn’t a Problem in the U.S.
Hysteria and Xenophobia Are.

| October 26, 2014

There is not going to be an Ebola epidemic in the United States. There isn’t one now. But there is a an epidemic of hysteria and cowardice that’s costing more lives in Africa, and that could threaten the West if segregationists have their way.

As 32 States Now Recognize Gay Marriage, Pam Bondi Files Latest Delaying Tactic

| October 26, 2014

Same-sex couples should continue to be prevented from getting married in Florida until a legal battle plays out about the constitutionality of the state’s gay-marriage ban, Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a federal-court filing.

Florida’s Gay-Marriage Ban Teetering as U.S. Supreme Court Clears Way to Equality in 11 More States

| October 6, 2014

With the U.S. Supreme Court clearing the way for same-sex marriages in 11 other states, gay-rights supporters said Monday they will ask a federal judge to follow suit in Florida.

In Florida, Police Can Use Deadly Force Without Fearing Prosecution

| September 8, 2014

“In the past 20 years, not a single officer in Florida has been charged with using deadly force,” The New York Times reported last week, a startling prevalence of de-facto immunity in a state where police violence is not rare.

Federal Judge Rules Florida’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, But Stays Decision

| August 21, 2014

It is the fifth court decision in the state finding against Florida’s ban, but the first federal-court decision, and the first that applies state-wide. Nevertheless, as in previous cases, the judge stayed the decision, granting time for this and other decisions to be appealed.

Every Town a Ferguson:
Reflections of a Scary Black Kid from Brooklyn

| August 16, 2014

Next time you feel intimidated by a black man, try to understand that it’s not about you, writes Jon Hardison, as much as it reflects remnants of a fear of what the average black American grew up with.

4th Judge in 3 Weeks Strikes Down Florida’s Gay-Marriage Ban

| August 6, 2014

A Palm Beach County circuit judge ruled Tuesday that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional in a probate case involving a gay couple who married in Delaware.

Florida Ban on Gay Marriage Is Declared Unconstitutional, But Miami-Dade Judge Stays Decision Until Appeals

| July 25, 2014

Eight days after a Monroe County judge declared a ban on same-sex marriage illegal, a Miami-Dade circuit court judge late today struck down the ban in Florida on behalf of six gay couples, but stayed her decision until the results of an appeal.

Calling It “Obviously Unconstitutional,” Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban in the Keys

| July 17, 2014

Judge Luis Garcia, a Jeb Bush appointee, ruled that fundamental rights such as marriage may not be defined by the state, nor can they depend on a vote, such as Florida’s 2008 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But the ruling applies only in Monroe County.

Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio, “Undocumented” Immigrant, Earns Florida Bar Recommendation To Be an Attorney

| July 2, 2014

The action benefiting Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio, of Largo, came less than two months after Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill (HB 755) that allows “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, to be eligible for The Bar.

Dream Act’s Florida Push Dies as Senate Panel Kills Proposal to Give In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrants

| April 18, 2014

Supporters of the bill seemed taken aback by the news, which came less than a week after Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who sponsored the bill, announced that half the Senate had agreed to join him in sponsoring the measure. Latvala and Negron are locked in a battle over the Senate presidency for the session beginning after the 2016 elections.

Eight Gay Couples Married Elsewhere File Federal Lawsuit Challenging Florida’s Rights Violations

| March 14, 2014

The lawsuit lists numerous examples of alleged disparate treatment, such as the state retirement system providing benefits to the surviving spouses of dead public employees who were in heterosexual marriages. Such benefits are not available to surviving spouses in same-sex marriages.

Clarence Thomas as a White Playwright: “Race” Inflames City Rep’s Stage, With Sequins

| February 22, 2014

David Mamet’s “Race” turns the table on an old American convention: the white rapist of a black woman. This time getting away is not an option in a thrill-ride of a play that turns the tables on stereotypes and prejudices. No one is immune. It is the Palm Coast City Repertory Theatre’s big event of the year, under the direction of John Sbordone.

Florida Lawmakers Edging Toward Offering In-State Tuition for Some Undocumented Immigrants

| February 19, 2014

A measure allowing some undocumented students to receive in-state tuition was easily approved Wednesday by a House subcommittee, but the bill still faces a steep climb in the Senate.

How Obamacare’s Enemies Turned a Victory For Workers’ Freedom Into a “Job Killer”

| February 9, 2014

The prediction that Obamacare will lead to the equivalent of 2.5 million fewer jobs has nothing to do with businesses cutting the workforce and everything to do with workers being finally free of job-lock, now that they don;t need to stay in a job to have health insurance. That’s a good, and very American, thing, not the job-killing catastrophe Obamacare’s enemies make it out to be.

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