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Category archives for: Civil Rights

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.

Will Florida Senate Recognize That Every Child Has the Right To Be Loved?

| April 10, 2015

The choice is not whether church-sponsored agencies have a right to practice their religion. Of course they do. The issue is whether they have a right to enforce their beliefs against others when acting as agents of the state. They do not.

Florida House Advances ‘Conscience Protection’ Bill That Discriminates Against Gay Adoptions

| April 8, 2015

Three hours of debate and numerous attempts to diminish the ability of private, religious adoption agencies to deny placement among gay couples failed as the bill now appears headed for approval Thursday.

Indiana and Arkansas Retreat From Hate Laws. Florida Plows Ahead.

| April 3, 2015

Between Sen. Frank Artiles’ war on transgender people and a House bill protecting discrimination against gay parents, Florida verges on making bigotry state policy again, harkening back to Jim Crow days, but against the LGBT community.

Florida Lawmakers OK Discriminating Against Gay Adoptions on “Religious” Grounds

| April 3, 2015

Despite warnings that Florida would follow Indiana into a controversy with statewide economic implications, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

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.



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