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Category archives for: Civil Rights

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.

In an Unusually Brutal Arrest, a Palm Coast Woman Is Charged With Child Abuse Over Minor Pot Possession

| January 29, 2014

Sophia Zhudro, 30, was parked on a quiet, residential street in Palm Coast’s B-Section when she was detained, then arrested and charged with child abuse because deputies found a small amount of marijuana in her car (near in in the child seat). Zhudro’s traumatized child was forced out of her arms by four deputies and turned over to DCF.

Florida Is Excluded From Congressional Fix of Voting Rights Act Supreme Court Nullified

| January 29, 2014

Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Congress is working to reinstate a similar provision that would require certain states to acquire federal “preclearance” for new voting laws. Unlike the provision enacted in 1965, though, Florida is no longer one of the state’s that would need oversight.

Six Gay Couples and Equality Florida File Lawsuit in State Court Seeking Freedom to Marry

| January 21, 2014

The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.

Inquiry Into 4th Grader’s Suspension at Palm Harbor Charter School Raises Concerns of Arbitrary Discipline and Due Process

| December 12, 2013

The Flagler County school district is investigating the case of a fourth grade girl who was suspended from Palm Harbor Academy, the Palm Coast charter school, for two days in late November without documented due process, and in apparent violation of school policy and safety standards.

Employers Would Be Barred From Using Applicants’ Credit Reports or Firing Pregnant Women

| December 10, 2013

The Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee gave support to both proposals on Monday, even though a number of senators expressed concern about limiting an employer’s ability to use a credit history when judging a potential new hire for a non-financial or non-managerial role.

Equality Florida Calls on Cities to Suspend Ties With Russian Sister Cities Over Gay Bashing

| August 27, 2013

Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach are in the clear, but Equality Florida, the gay-rights organization, is asking the more than half a dozen Florida cities with sister cities in Russia to suspend those mostly symbolic ties for now, in protest against rising anti-gay violence and the enactment of strict anti-gay legislation.

After 31 Days, Dream Defenders
End Their Protest at the Florida Capitol

| August 15, 2013

Dream Defender leaders said they’ll carry their campaign against the “stand your ground” self-defense law and what they consider other forms of racial bias to the polls, trying to defeat the elected officials who opposed their demands, including Gov. Rick Scott, who is up for re-election next year.

Stand Your Ground Special Session: Florida Democrats Invoke Unique Tactic in Hunt for Votes

| August 12, 2013

Vastly outnumbered Democrats have a week to convince enough Republicans lawmakers to support a special session of the Legislature on the Stand Your Ground law. The Secretary of State’s office has to find 96 lawmakers to trigger such a session.

Cabinet Passes, for Now, on Pardoning Marissa Alexander, Pending Stand Your Ground Appeal

| August 7, 2013

Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year after firing a shot into a wall during a dispute with her abusive husband, a case that stands in sharp contrast with George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict after he shot and killed an unarmed teen.

Hypertown: Jesse Jackson and His Detractors

| August 4, 2013

But by the time Gov. Scott and his ilk were done demanding that Jesse Jackson apologize to all Floridians over hos comparisons of Scott to George Wallace and the Dream Defenders to the Selma march, lo and behold, we were back talking about the Dream Defenders and Stand Your Ground. That was Jackson’s goal.

Jesse Jackson Calls Capitol Sit-In “The Selma of Our Time.” Scott Calls It an “Insult” to Floridians.

| July 31, 2013

Calling Florida “an apartheid state,” Jackson spoke ahead of an overnight visit with the Dream Defenders that has staged a sit-in at Scott’s office to demand a special legislative session to consider changes to the state’s self-defense laws, initiatives to end racial profiling and an end to zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

Into Their Second Week of Protest, Dream Defenders Plan Their Own Special Session

| July 30, 2013

Scott, who is expected to spend the next couple of days back on the road, didn’t pop out for a chat with those who want him to call a special session on the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Harry Belafonte Joins Dream Defenders at Florida Capitol as Protest Enters 2nd Weekend

| July 26, 2013

Backed by the arrival of supporters from throughout Florida and the East Coast, as well as singer and activist Harry Belafonte, protesters led by the Hialeah-based Dream Defenders maintained their request for a special legislative session amid rousing chants that filled an area outside the governor’s office.

Dream Defenders’ Stand Your Ground Standoff at Scott’s Office Continues Into Second Week

| July 22, 2013

Members of the Dream Defenders, a student-led group that has protested at the Capitol since last Tuesday, said they’re busy making plans for the rest of this week and beyond as Scott reiterated Monday, before leaving Tallahassee for an event in southeast Florida, that there will be no special session to review the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Demonstrating and Reporting Outrage Over Zimmerman’s Acquittal Isn’t Overkill. Shooting Trayvon Was.

| July 21, 2013

Marches and other responses to the George Zimmerman trail are focusing needed attention on a culture at times too comfortable with the the paradox of imagining itself past the sort of racially motivated mindsets that made the killing of Trayvon Martin possible, argues Steve Robinson.

‘The Struggle Continues’: Civil Rights Generation Shows Palm Coast How It’s Done in 100-Voice March

| July 20, 2013

Some 100 people, most old enough to have lived through the civil rights era, walked for almost 4 miles on Palm Coast Parkway Saturday morning, singing and showing their solidarity with Trayvon Martin’s family and their opposition to Florida’s stand your ground law. Several had taken part in marches dating back to the 1963 March on Washington.

Obama on Stand Your Ground and Zimmerman Aftermath: “Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago”

| July 20, 2013

As protests have continued and grown, President Obama Friday afternoon spoke on the stand your ground law, the Zimmerman trial aftermath, Trayvon Martin and race more expansively and in more personal terms than he had since his speech on race from Philadelphia as a presidential candidate in 2008. The full text and video are included.

Trayvon Martin Solidarity March in Palm Coast Saturday as Protests Elsewhere Continue

| July 19, 2013

The Saturday morning march in Trayvon Martin’s memory is being organized by Valerie Ottley, a retired Palm Coast resident of 22 years who is herself a neighborhood watch coordinator. The march will start at 8:30 a.m. at Kohl’s on Belle Terre Parkway and follow a course down Palm Coast Parkway to U.S.1 and back.

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