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Posts tagged as: human rights

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.

The Shame of Guantanamo, 11 Years On

| January 4, 2014

The irony should not be lost on us that our congressional district is represented by Ron DeSantis, the sort of fanatic who had no trouble advertising his brief service in Guantanamo’s kangaroo courts as a badge of honor while leaving silent his employment with a more legitimate Florida corporate law firm. With political charlatans like that in Congress, it’s no wonder Guantanamo endures.

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.

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.

Why Malala Yousafzai Should Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize

| October 10, 2013

Malala Yousafzai is the 16-year-old Pakistani girl and activist for girls’ education who a year ago was shot in the head by a shaking, demented terrorist whose allegiance to the Taliban tells us all we need to know about the lethality of religious fundamentalism. Any kind of fundamentalism, really.

Obama’s Born-Again Missile Envy Over Syria: Wrong on All Counts

| September 6, 2013

Whether the Syrian regime used chemical weapons or not, Obama would be wrong to attack, even if Congress approves. It’s not America’s war to fight, it’s not Obama’s judgment to make, and his red line is an absurd marker when contrasted with two and a half years of atrocities, and 100,000 deaths, that never got a peep.

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.

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.

Don’t Cram Your Heterosexuality Down My Throat

| March 31, 2013

Several years ago around Christmas I was standing at a Walmart checkout counter with my son when a stranger behind me felt compelled to make me his homophobia’s bosom buddy. “What’s wrong with that?” I told him. “My son is gay.” My son was 2 at the time.

Zero Dark Thirty’s Tortured, Losing Premise

| February 17, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty is a movie the CIA wants you to see. Torture is illegal under U.S. and international law and it is utterly immoral. It doesn’t “work,” but that’s beside the point to the movie-makers, argues Chris Toensing. The result is disturbing for all the wrong reasons.

Rather Than Allow Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance, Lake Board Plans Ban on All Clubs

| February 9, 2013

A group of students at Carver Middle School in Lake County, Fla. have tried to establish a GSA, saying the student-led club is needed to address name-calling, bullying and harassment in school. In response to the students request, the Lake County School Board has begun the process of banning every non-curricular club at every school in the district rather than follow their legal obligation to recognize the GSA at Carver Middle School.

Three-Year Effort to Abolish Death Penalty in Florida Fails in 9-4 Justice Committee Vote

| February 8, 2013

The rare vote to kill a bill in committee, rather than just bottling it up never to be heard, gave death penalty opponents their first chance to extensively argue for a repeal, following several years in which the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, has been unable to persuade Republican leaders to put the bill before a committee.

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.

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.

Countering 2 Precedents, Florida Court Rules Pregnancy Discrimination Is Not Illegal

| July 26, 2012

Appeals courts in 1991 and 2008 had clearly stated that either the state law’s intent forbids discrimination or federal law, which explicitly forbids it, preempts state law. Yet the appeals court in Miami ruled against a woman fired from her real estate job after she got pregnant.

As Florida and Other States Privatize Prison Health Services, Care Standards Suffer

| July 22, 2012

Florida and other states, in an attempt to cut costs, are increasingly outsourcing health care for inmates to for-profit companies, but the trend is raising concerns among unions and prisoners’ rights groups.

How Obama’s Support of Gay Marriage Could Lose Him Florida Come November

| May 28, 2012

With debate and votes taking place around the state and polls showing a growing acceptance, the issue of same-sex marriage and domestic partner rights will likely be among a host of second tier issues that could determine which presidential candidate takes Florida.

Obama’s Come to Jesus Moment on Gay Marriage: More Buchanan Than Lincoln

| May 13, 2012

One might be tempted to see in Barack Obama’s belated embrace of gay marriage a retraction of the infuriatingly compromising president we’ve come endure and a return to the audacious president we thought we were electing four years ago. But that would be projecting a fantasy on a cave wall.

Joe Biden Outs Himself

| May 7, 2012

Joe Biden unequivocally endorsed gay marriage in a Meet the Press interview Sunday, sending the Obama administration scrambling for its latest tangle in hypocrisy.

U.S. Citizen, Floridian, But Denied In-State Tuition Over Parents’ Status: Senate Kills Fix

| February 1, 2012

A measure that would grant in-state tuition to Florida high school students who are U.S. citizens but whose parents are in the country illegally was voted down Tuesday by a Senate committee.

Supreme Court’s Ruling on Immigrants Will Redefine Policing and State Powers

| December 12, 2011

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s law is due by the end of June, at the same time as its ruling on Obama’s health care reform law, making this court term one of the most consequential in years, and with big reverberations in Florida.

When Florida, Like New York State, Joins the Ranks of the Civilized on Gay Marriage

| June 25, 2011

New York State is celebrating the legalization of gay marriage. We should celebrate along. Where can such baseless assertions as marriage being the “legal union of only one man and one woman” have so much as a throb of credibility other than in the harebrained fictions of scriptures?

Abu Ghraib Brutality in Florida’s Youth Prisons: Suit Charges Rape and Other Abuses

| October 11, 2010

A class-action law suit against a private Florida juvenile prion contractor claims children were physically abused, forced to have sex with counselors, and kept from seeing lawyers.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Try to Survive Crushing Stones

| October 18, 2009

The dishonor is the nation’s tolerance of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy no less offensive than segregation-era racism – or current-era worship of “diversity,” which stops at sexual preference.

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