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Category archives for: Civil Rights

Bathroom Use By Transgenders Scuttles Bill Designed to End LGBT Discrimination

| February 9, 2016

The anti-discrimination bill is backed by big business such as Disnet and AT&T but opposed by social conservatives such as Florida Family Policy Council.

Florida’s “Pastor Protection Act” Seen as Defense of Clergy or Latest Bias Against LGBT

| January 31, 2016

The proposal, which was approved this week by a Senate committee, would prevent clergy members from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their beliefs.

Sheriff Manfre Proposes De-Criminalizing Pot Possession; County Officials and State Attorney Open to Idea

| January 22, 2016

Following in the steps of three Florida counties and some 20 states, Sheriff Jim Manfre wants to replace criminal penalties for small amounts of pot with civil fines. State Attorney R.J. Larizza and county officials are willing to explore the new approach.

Florida House Wants to Prohibit Immigrants’ “Sanctuary” Communities

| January 13, 2016

Despite emotional pleas from immigrant advocates, state House members Wednesday moved forward with measures aimed at cracking down on cities and counties that provide “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants and increasing penalties for people who defy deportation orders.

Two Sweeping Supreme Court Cases Set to Redefine Abortion and Contraceptive Rights

| January 10, 2016

As devastating to abortion rights as 2015 proved to be in state legislatures, 2016 is shaping up to be even more turbulent — perhaps the most momentous year for reproductive issues in a generation.

Congress Has Created An Average of 50 New Crimes Per Year for the Past Decade

| December 21, 2015

In just the five years Congress created 439 new criminal offenses for a of 4,889 federal crimes. That’s in addition to the growing number of state and local crimes for which Americans can be prosecuted.

Hunting Undocumented Immigrants,
Travis Hutson Discovers His Inner Jim Crow

| December 5, 2015

Sen. Travis Hutson filed a pair of bills that would criminalize undocumented immigrants in Florida. The bills are unconstitutional, bigoted and unnecessary.

Transgenders in Flagler Schools: District Takes It Case By Case as State Scrutinizes More Than Nurtures

| December 4, 2015

The state and, to some extent, Flagler County, have a long way to go to ensure that transgender students are treated not only fairly and equitably, but that the environment they face is more respectful than questioning, more welcoming than inhibiting.

Shirley Chisholm, “Part of the Heritage of Palm Coast,” Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

| November 24, 2015

Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for president, retired to Palm Coast in 1991. She received the posthumous medal from President Obama today as an awareness campaign about her life and impact on Palm Coast grows locally.

From a Speeding Stop to an Accusation of Rioting at Flagler Jail: Dustin Singleton’s Spiral

| October 29, 2015

Dustin Singleton, 35, was accused of inciting a riot at the Flagler County Jail Tuesday, a 2nd degree felony, after he refused orders to go to his bunk. He was serving 30 days on a misdemeanor probation violation over a minor pot possession.

For Flagler’s NAACP, More Trust Than Fear of Local Police as Body Cams Clip On

| October 28, 2015

Flagler NAACP members were mostly reassured by use-of-force evidence that, according to the Sheriff’s Office, has declined in Palm Coast, thanks in large part to police body cameras.

No Sanctuaries: Undocumented Immigrants’ Fears Persist Even as Deportations Are Down

| October 24, 2015

Immigrants’ fear can prevent them from cooperating with police, derail attempts to ensure that all drivers are licensed and endanger growth in areas looking to immigrants to help reverse population losses.

Superintendent Apologizes Over Gender-Neutral 8th Grader Sanctioned for Wearing a Dress

| October 17, 2015

Leon County School Superintendent Jackie Pons apologized to the family of an 8th grader who identifies as neither boy nor girl, but who was accused of violating the dress code for wearing a dress on Tuesday. The violation was, in fact, committed by the school principal.

Florida’s Clergy Did Not Need More Protection from Gays. They Don’t Bite.

| October 11, 2015

Florida lawmakers in each chamber are plowing ahead with bills to protect the religious freedoms of lawsuit-fearing clergy in case the U.S. Constitution doesn’t. It’s entirely unnecessary, argues Nancy Smith.

How Does Lawbreaking Kim Davis Get to Keep Her Job?

| September 22, 2015

The law of the land isn’t an item on an a la carte menu from which elected officials can pick and choose, argues Nancy Smith, who says Kim Davis should have been removed from office by the governor.

Muslim, Dark-Skinned, Geeky:
Ahmed Mohamed Had No Chance

| September 19, 2015

If there’s remaining doubt that it is subhuman to be a Muslim or an Arab in the United States, the imbecilic arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed over a clock puts the doubts to rest.

“God’s Authority” Has No Place In Civil Government

| September 7, 2015

Kim Davis is not the problem. She’s a symptom of a dangerous movement that seeks to carve out religious objections all over the law books, making civil government a vassal of religious edicts.

Rethinking Restrictions on Food Stamps and Welfare Benefits for Drug Felons

| August 3, 2015

The bans on welfare and food stamps assistance apply only to drug felons, in accordance with a 1996 federal law, unless states choose to waive them.

Florida’s Impending “Pastor Protection Act” Weds Spurious Scenarios With Homophobia

| July 16, 2015

The proposal is aimed at safeguarding clergy members from being forced to perform gay-marriage ceremonies even though they’re categorically protected from doing so by the First Amendment.

Against Protest, Walton County in Panhandle Joins Marion to Let Confederate Flag Fly For Now

| July 14, 2015

Walton County flew started flying the Confederate flag at its courthouse in 1964 in direct opposition to the Civil Rights Act, which extended rights protections to blacks.

Memo to GOP Candidates: Why Conservatives Should Embrace Gay Marriage Decision

| July 10, 2015

As a conservative who has always supported gay marriage, it’s difficult for Nancy Smith to understand why so many people of her generation — the ones who grew up witnessing some of the worst discrimination of the 20th century — could consistently rage against it.

Gay Marriage Is Now Legal in the United States: Supreme Court Rules for Equality, 5-4

| June 26, 2015

The United States Supreme Court this morning declared gay marriage legal across the United States in a 5-4 decision authored by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Taxpayers’ Tab in Gov. Scott’s Losing Drug-Testing Lawsuits: $1.5 Million

| June 19, 2015

The $1.5 million in legal fees, including nearly $1 million to civil-rights lawyers, are because of Gov. Scott’s failed push to force welfare applicants and tens of thousands of state workers to submit to suspicionless drug tests.

Flagler Schools Will Settle Civil Rights Lawsuit And Appoint Disciplinary Oversight Council

| June 3, 2015

The lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center had targeted Flagler schools’ disproportionate punishment of black students. The disciplinary oversight coalition will meet quarterly and publicly, reviewing disciplinary data and making recommendations to the superintendent.

Assisted Suicide In Your Back Yard: More Prevalent Than You Think

| May 23, 2015

People don’t talk about it, but assisted suicide happens in states where it’s not legal. Just over 3 percent of U.S. doctors said they have written a prescription for life-ending medication, and almost 5 percent reported giving a patient a lethal injection.

If Violence Isn’t the Answer, Someone Should Clue In the Police

| May 20, 2015

Nobody wants to see people hurt, businesses burned, or innocent lives disrupted by violence in their communities. But you can’t understand urban unrest in isolation from the violence residents face at the hands of their own government.

Online Voter Registration in Florida Is Now Law, Over Resistance By Gov. Scott and Detzner

| May 16, 2015

Florida must now develop an online voter registration system by October 2017, joining 20 other states that already provide the service. Gov. Scott was reluctant to sign the measure into law.

Gov. Reubin Askew, Sallye B. Mathis and Edward Daniel Davis Inducted Into Civil Rights Hall

| May 13, 2015

Reubin Askew was named to the hall of fame in part because of his support for desegregation and his appointments of top black officials, including the first black justice on the Florida Supreme Court.

Gov. Scott Ends Worker Drug-Testing Crusade, Restricting Tests to Limited Job Classes

| April 20, 2015

Monday’s agreement, which still requires court approval, identified more than 100 job classes that Scott can test for drug or alcohol use. Workers in most of the positions deal with vulnerable children or adults, handle heavy equipment or are already required to undergo medical tests for other reasons.

Rep. Jason Brodeur: My Religious Freedom Bill Will Encourage More Adoptions

| April 14, 2015

Rep. Jason Brodeur, the Sanford Republican, sponsored the controversial bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate in their decisions on whom to place where, even on behalf of the state’s foster system. Brodeur defends his bill.

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