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Category archives for: Civil Rights

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.

Black Man 101: Déjà Jim Crow All Over Again For African-American Parents and Their Sons

| July 18, 2013

We already teach our sons to be “agreeable” and “non-challenging” with police. Must we now teach our sons to conform to some modern form of “Jim Crow etiquette” and defer to all potential bigots who come their way? Terrance Heath writes that the answer is as heartbreaking to give as it is to receive.

Anxieties Over Profiling and Vigilantism as Bunnell Marchers Protest Zimmerman Verdict

| July 15, 2013

Fewer than two dozen people gathered on South Bacher Street in Bunnell Sunday afternoon for a protest march following the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The group turned its gathering march into an impromptu town hall on the trial, its meaning and its implications for blacks, whites and gun laws.

If You’re Gay, Would Like to Legally Marry and Are Ready to Sue, Equality Florida Wants You

| July 2, 2013

Equality Florida, the state’s the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBT community, is looking for potential plaintiffs for a lawsuit to challenge Florida’s ban on gay marriage. Voters approved a ban on marriage equality in 2008, by a 62 percent margin.

Florida GOP Rallies Around Marriage Inequality as LGBT Community Mobilizes

| June 26, 2013

Though Floridians rejected gay marriage in a 2008 vote, Florida LGBT activists, fired up by Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings favoring same-sex unions, said they have no intention of leaving matters as they stand.

In Biggest Victory for Gay Rights Yet, Supreme Court Declares Marriage Act Unconstitutional

| June 26, 2013

The United States Supreme Court today declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The court’s 5-4 decision is the biggest victory for gay rights to date and adds to a tide of states legalizing gay mariage.

Voting Rights Act Sapped as Fractured Supreme Court Defies Near-Unanimous Congress

| June 25, 2013

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, declared key parts of the Voting Rights Act invalid even though the U.S. Senate had passed the act unanimously in 2006, and the House of Representatives had passed it 390-33.

ACLU to School Board: Sending 8th Grade Boy Home for Wearing Make-Up Is Not Lawful

| June 13, 2013

Chris Martin, a 14-year-old 8th grader in Pinellas County, was sent home last week for wearing eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipstick even though girls at his school wear make-up, and the student code of conduct does not prohibit boys from doing so. Nor could it, the ACLU wrote the superintendent, saying the principal’s action was illegal. The case triggered a petition and is garnering international attention.

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