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Posts tagged as: discrimination

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.

No Racism Here: EEOC Dismisses Ex-City Manager Martinez’s Complaint Against Bunnell

| March 19, 2015

Armando Martinez alleged that Bunnell ended his contract in 2013 because it didn’t want a Hispanic individual in that position. He has until mid-June to file a lawsuit against the city.

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.

After Spending $300,000 in State Funds, Gov. Scott Quits Fight to Drug-Test Welfare Recipients

| March 6, 2015

The ACLU, which filed the challenge on behalf of single father and Navy veteran Luis Lebron, hailed the end of the drawn-out legal battle over the drug tests, an issue Scott campaigned on during his first bid for governor in 2010.

Saggy Pants From Contempt of Court to a Rising Culture’s Free Expression

| March 5, 2015

What is the real issue with sagging? Is it the fact that underwear or shorts are exposed, or is it something else? Vanessa Lopez-Littleton argues for the latter.

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.

For Black Students in Flagler Schools, Some Progress But “Systemic Bias” and Startling Disparities Persist

| January 27, 2015

Amir Whitaker, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, presented a report card on the school district’s treatment of black students, acknowledging some progress but pointing out enduring racism, especially in suspensions.

Supreme Court May Invalidate Fair Housing Provision Cities Use to Combat Segregation

| January 21, 2015

The Supreme Court has been weakening many civil rights protections for decades. It appears on the verge of gutting the Fair Housing Act. It hears arguments in a case today that will be decided by the end of June.

Deadly Force, In Black and White: Analysis of Killings by Police Shows Outsize Risk for Young Blacks

| December 26, 2014

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater, according to an analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.

Taxpayers’ Bill for Rick Scott’s Losing Battle to Drug-Test Welfare Recipients: $307,000 and Rising

| December 8, 2014

ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, who blamed the governor and the Legislature for the cost to taxpayers, blasted Scott for refusing to back down as the governor mulls appealing the latest decision calling his ploy unconstitutional.

Citing Racism, Ex-Manager Armando Martinez Files Discrimination Charge Against Bunnell

| September 30, 2014

Armando Martinez charges that when Bunnell Commissioner Elbert Tucker spoke of not wanting another manager from Miami, he was discriminating against Martinez’s Cuban heritage. Tucker says he was merely opposing hiring another big-city manager.

Labor Day Realities: When Employers Have a Hiring Bias Against the Unemployed

| August 31, 2014

About 3.2 million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, and employers are punishing such job-seekers who have big gaps in their resumes, raising calls for anti-discrimination laws.

Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense

| July 11, 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision granting some companies authority to deny contraception to employees is a reminder that women-hating, science-bashing and religiously-based bigotry veiled as “faith” are alive and well in America.

Gov. Scott Gives Up Drug-Testing Half of State’s Workers, But Still Aims Pee Cup at Rest

| July 9, 2014

The governor has not conceded that forcing state employees to undergo urinalysis is unconstitutional despite lower court rulings that spurred the concessions. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year refused to take up the case, but it is believed Scott will again ask the high court to rule on the case if he ultimately loses in lower court proceedings.

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.

Florida Lawmakers Would Stiffen Penalties On Insurers Discriminating Against Gun Owners

| February 5, 2014

Insurance companies could face tougher penalties if they impose higher rates, refuse to issue or cancel auto or homeowner policies due to gun ownership, under a measure backed by a House committee Tuesday.

He Won’t Give Up: Scott Taking Drug Testing of State Employees to U.S. Supreme Court

| January 15, 2014

Lawyers for Scott filed a petition this week asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled against across-the-board drug testing, but various groups blasted the Scott administration for continuing to pursue the drug tests. They pointed to repeated past rulings against such drug testing.

Gov. Scott Now 0-For-4 on Drug-Testing as Federal Judge Harshly Criticizes Violation of Welfare Recipients’ Rights

| January 2, 2014

In a harshly worded, 30-page opinion, the judge concluded that “there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.”

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.

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.

To Combat Bullying, Middle School Student Wants Gay-Straight Alliance, But Officials Balk

| January 23, 2013

As Flagler County schools continues to grapple with bullying through various forums, middle school student Bayli Silberstein in Leesburg sees a Gay-Straight-Alliance club at her school as one measure against bullying–but school officials have so far resisted, in sharp contrast with their admission of other clubs, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In a Reversal, Florida Won’t End Benefits To Recipients With Underliverable Addresses

| September 16, 2012

The Florida Department of Children and Families on Friday scrapped a controversial change that would have halted food stamps, Medicaid and welfare benefits for people whose mail is returned to the agency as undeliverable.

Florida DCF’s Answer to Welfare Recipients’ Unforwarded Addresses: Cut Off Benefits

| September 7, 2012

The Florida Department of Children and Families has approved a change that would end public-assistance benefits for people who don’t report new addresses, drawing concerns that some low-income residents could unnecessarily lose food and medical aid.

Complaint Cites Broad, Harsh Discrimination Against Black Students in Flagler Schools

| August 7, 2012

Flagler County schools are among five Florida districts cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center in complaints filed with the federal Office of Civil Rights, calling for federal investigations into discriminatory punishments that disproportionately target black students.

When Elderly Is an Offensive Term

| May 28, 2012

The elderly are simultaneously the country’s most powerful single demographic and its least respected. But if the elderly don’t want to be infantilized, if they don’t want to be referred to as the elderly, it may be time to means-test the term and the literal benefits it entails.



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