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Human Rights
Category archives for: Human Rights

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.

Brittany Maynard and the Right to Die: An Open Letter from a State That Denies It

| October 21, 2014

Laureen Kornel, a Flagler Beach resident, was left helpless, watching her mother’s agonizing death from cancer because the right to die on terms other than those dictated by doctors was not an option. She writes Brittany Maynard in hopes of spurring the movement in Florida and other states that deny that right.

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.

Richard Mathews, Accused of Mercy Killing in Mother’s Death, Sentenced to Two Years

| October 6, 2014

Mary Shaw Mathews, 88, was found to have died by strangulation and over-medication on Feb. 21 at her Palm Coast home. Her son Richard told detectives that she had asked him to end her life as she had been suffering and declining fast. Today’s outcome reflected a judicial system grappling with the gray area between mercy killing, which is not allowed by law, and a form of induced death.

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.

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.

Double-Killing in Ormond Beach:
Not Murder-Suicide, But Mercy and Heroism

| May 23, 2014

Shortly after midnight today John Poucher, 89, shot his wife Barbara, 86, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, then shot himself. The killings will be logged inaccurately as a murder-suicide. The crime is that we live in a society still too barbaric to give assisted suicide and mercy killing its due.

On the Road to Marriage Equality, Florida Slams Against the Worst of Homophobia

| May 22, 2014

Florida is nearing what could be a major step forward on marriage equality. But with awmakers like Charles Van Zant, we have some ugly reminders that the ignorance, prejudice and downright stupidity that plagued us in a dark past, are still alive and unwell today, writes Daniel Tilson.

In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants Passes House, 81-33, as GOP Opposition Thins

| March 20, 2014

The measure allows undocumented immigrants to pay cheaper, in-state tuition rates if they attend Florida middle and high schools for at least four straight years before going to college.

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.

Denying Service to Gays and Lesbians: Right of Conscience Vigilantism Meets Stand Your Ground

| February 28, 2014

Bills in four states that would let businesses deny service to gays and lesbians on religious-freedom grounds are based on the same faulty justification of Stand Your Ground laws on self-defense grounds. In both cases, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted into defenses of vigilantism rather than protection of rights.

Conservative Pensacola Approves Domestic-Partnership Registry, Heartening Gay Advocates Elsewhere

| December 22, 2013

The passage of a domestic-partnership registry ordinance in one of Florida’s most conservative environs has gay rights advocates cheering. But some social conservatives say the registries mean little in a state where a ban on gay marriage is enshrined in the constitution.

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
Forgive, But Don’t Forget

| December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, one of the towering figures of the 20th century and the liberator of South Africa from apartheid, died today–Dec. 5–at 8:50 p.m. in Johannesburg. He was 95. Here are exts from his own pen, which speak more eloquently than obituaries about his vision for a world of equality, human rights and dignity unobscured by illusions.

“Punishment Therapy” For Depression? A Lake Worth Doctor Is Accused of Torturing a Patient

| November 16, 2013

Dr. David Simon, a Lake Worth family doctor accused of sadistic “punishment therapy” that involved handcuffs, blindfolds, whips and other implements of torture apologized repeatedly to the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, but that was not enough to persuade board members that Simon could safely continue to practice.

In Divided Ruling, Florida Supreme Court Expands Parental Rights to Lesbians

| November 7, 2013

Siding with a woman who sought parental rights after separating from her lesbian partner, a divided Florida Supreme Court found Thursday that state laws about assisted-reproductive technology are unconstitutional in such cases involving same-sex couples.

Favoring Defense Industry Over Human Rights, Obama Loosens Restrictions on Arms Exports

| October 19, 2013

The United States is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former U.S. officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions. In 2011, the U.S. concluded $66 billion in arms sales agreements, nearly 80 percent of the global market.

Eric Holder Takes on the “War on Drugs,” Mandatory Sentences and Epidemic Imprisonment Rates

| August 12, 2013

Attorney general Eric Holder on Monday delivered a seminal speech outlining a plan to revamp federal drug policy and incarceration rates of non-violent and elderly offenders, and urging Congress to review mandatory sentencing in light of a “war on drugs” that has not worked. The full speech.

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.

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.

Updating Facebook Status, Charlie Crist Endorses Gay Marriage in Florida

| May 9, 2013

Amid speculation he will run as a Democrat for his old job, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday said he supports allowing same-sex marriage, joining other politicians who recently have changed stances to support gay marriage, including Florida’s Bill nelson and Ohio Republican Rob Portman.

France Becomes 14th Nation to Legalize Gay Marriage and Adoption in Historic Vote

| April 23, 2013

The National Assembly voted today (April 23) 331-225, with 10 abstentions, to legalize gay marriage and gay adoption in France, making it the 14th nation in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, which remains prohibited in all but nine American states.

When Doctor-Assisted Suicide Is the Humane Option

| January 29, 2013

In oncologists’ offices and Alzheimer’s nursing homes, illness is not “a portrait in blacks and whites, but unending shades of gray, involving the most profound of personal, moral, and religious questions.” Including when may it be right to help end a life.

How the Word ‘Retarded’ Hurts The Developmentally Disabled

| January 15, 2013

Americans with developmental disabilities still remain second-class citizens in the eyes of the law and our fellow human beings. There is no greater symbolic gesture of the ridicule they endure than the accepted use of the word “retarded” in day-to-day speech.

Obama Rule Gives 1 Million Undocumented Immigrants Clearer Path to Legal Status

| January 4, 2013

Many of Florida’s 700,000 undocumented immigrants would be eligible for the new path to the permanent residency status that is also a step toward citizenship as the Obama administration recalibrates the immigration issue.

Bill Filed to Guarantee In-State Tuition to Florida Children of Undocumented Immigrants

| December 4, 2012

Unlike the federal Dream Act, which covers children brought to the country illegally, the Florida bill filed Tuesday only deals with children who are American citizens by virtue of being born in the United States.

Mazel Not: Israel and the United States, Married on the Wrong Side of History

| December 2, 2012

Israel likes to claim that Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist. the reality is the opposite. Israel has spent the last six decades denying Palestinians’ right to exist in fact, going as far as denying them their history and identity. The UN vote for Palestinian statehood begins to right the injustice.

In Juvenile Detention for Girls, Health Care Is Shoddy, Absent or Geared Only to Boys

| November 30, 2012

Incarcerated girls are “one of the most vulnerable and unfortunately invisible populations in the country,” and up to 90 percent have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, yet the health care provided to children, and girls in particular, in juvenile detention is often ill-equipped to deal with their complex health needs.

We’re All Vikings Fans Today: Chris Kluwe Kicks Emmett Burns’s Gay Marriage Bigotries

| September 8, 2012

Maryland lawmaker Emmett Burns wrote a bullying letter to the Baltimore Ravens owner asking him to silence Brendon Ayanbadejo’s support for gay marriage. Chris Kluwe kicked back the most winning answer of the year.

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