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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.

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.

Guns and Ammo Included In Sales Tax Holiday Florida Lawmakers Are Set To Approve

| March 31, 2015

Guns and ammunition remain in a proposed Independence Day sales-tax holiday on hunting gear that is part of a wide-ranging tax cut package that advanced Tuesday in the House.

Florida House Votes To Require Flags Flown By Governments To Be Exclusively U.S.-Made

| March 27, 2015

If the Senate follows suit, Florida flags purchased by governments in Florida after Jan. 1, 2016 would have to be made from materials grown, produced and manufactured in the United States.

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.

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.

Rudy Giuliani Loses It

| February 25, 2015

Donald Kaul has been trying to make up his mind about Rudy Giuliani: “I can’t decide whether he’s a nutball or a sleazeball,” he writes. “For now I’m going with a sleazy nutball, but I’m open to suggestions.”

Lest We Get On Our High Horse: Obama’s Caution to Self-Righteous Christians

| February 8, 2015

President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast cautioned Christians against shutting their eyes to their own brutal past, but was rebuked by Evangelicals and the conservative press, often with flurries of historical inaccuracies.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortions and Repeal of Undocumented Immigrant Attorney Law Filed

| February 6, 2015

In a sign that hard-core Republican legislators intend to press their case at the Florida Legislature, lawmakers this week filed bills that would impose a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and that would repeal the law adopted last year that enabled Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, to become a practicing lawyer.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

A Muslim Cartoonist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre: Shame, Fear, But Mostly Hope

| January 13, 2015

Cartoonist Khalil Bendib, an American Muslim and native of Algeria who’s known his share of censorship and death threats, writes of grief and human solidarity in the wake of the attack.

Standing With Charlie Hebdo:
The Right and Duty to Offend

| January 8, 2015

We should celebrate differences of opinion. We have no duty to embrace differences of principles, and in many cases—and this is one of them—we must oppose them, angrily and militantly if need be.

Four Gay Couples Get Marriage Licenses at Flagler Courthouse in Quietly Momentous End to Long-Standing Prejudice

| January 6, 2015

It was a quiet but significantly historic day at the Flagler County Courthouse as Florida’s ban on marriage equality ended across the state Tuesday and couples celebrated the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses ahead of marriage ceremonies after the three-day waiting period.

In a Reversal, Florida Court Clerks’ Lawyers Say Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Must Be Issued

| January 2, 2015

The reversal from the association’s lawyers should remove the last roadblock to gay marriage starting in Florida, though some clerks say they’ll refuse to perform ceremonies.

Federal Judge Orders Florida Clerks to Issue Gay-Marriage Licenses Across Florida Starting Tuesday

| January 1, 2015

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle warned that clerks of court who refuse to comply with the ruling expose themselves to be a party to the suit, allowing successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.

As Lawyers Duel, Meet the Interracial Gay Cowboys at Heart of Florida’s Gay-Marriage Quest

| December 30, 2014

Stephen Schlairet and Ozzie Russ are a typical couple in many ways. They finish each other’s sentences, and reminisce over a photo album of their commitment ceremony nearly 15 years ago.

Woman In “Catholic Warrior” Shirt Vandalizes Satanic Temple Display at Florida Capitol

| December 24, 2014

Susan Hemeryck, 54, of Tallahassee, entered the Capitol at 11:23 a.m. and told an on-duty police officer that “she was sorry and had to take the Satanic display,” according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement charging affidavit.

Florida Clerks Told To Deny Licenses Even When Federal Court Order Granting Gay Marriage Kicks in

| December 17, 2014

Lawyers for the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers have advised county officials statewide not to issue marriage licenses “until a binding order is issued by a court of proper jurisdiction” and warned the clerks that they could be subject to criminal prosecution if they allow gay couples to wed.

With 22 Days To Go Before Gay Wedding Bells, Pam Bondi Asks Court To Object

| December 15, 2014

Bondi’s request to the U.S. Supreme Court comes less than two weeks after a federal appeals court rejected her effort to at least temporarily extend the gay-marriage prohibition in Florida.

Road Rage Bleeds Into Racial Confrontation On Belle Terre Parkway, and 3 Arrests

| November 12, 2014

Samantha Smith, 25, Zachary Parsley, 22, and Tyler Parsley, 23, face assault charges after confronting four young black men, allegedly fighting and threatening to kill them and repeatedly calling them niggers.

Elections 2014 R.I.P.
Why Democrats Keep Failing in Florida

| November 8, 2014

For all its fear-based tactics, the Florida GOP focuses on understanding their base voters, and making them feel respected and protected. Democrats in comparison have no clue.

Ebola Isn’t a Problem in the U.S.
Hysteria and Xenophobia Are.

| October 26, 2014

There is not going to be an Ebola epidemic in the United States. There isn’t one now. But there is a an epidemic of hysteria and cowardice that’s costing more lives in Africa, and that could threaten the West if segregationists have their way.

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.

Why Malala Yousafzai Should Have
Won The Nobel Peace Prize

| October 10, 2014

Malala Yousafzai is the 17-year-old Pakistani girl and activist for girls’ education who in 2012 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.

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.

FPL’s $13-a-Month Surcharge on Customers Who Refuse Smart Meters Draws Challenges

| October 1, 2014

The dispute involves only a fraction of FPL’s customers, but it is part of a broader controversy in which critics say they worry the new meter technology could pose threats to their privacy or health.

Blame The Victim, Sports Fans: It’s Going To Be An Exciting Season for Misogyny

| September 11, 2014

Following video showing Ray Rice slugging his then-fiancee, there were scores of comments along the lines of “She slapped him! He had every right to hit her,” and the bizarre “Don’t start a fight you don’t intend to finish!” Diane Roberts isn’t taking it.

Obama’s Poisonous ISIS Moment and
The Snare of Remote-Controlled War

| September 10, 2014

It’s not enough to be fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and another against “terror” in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and wherever else Obama wants to play centurion to the world. Expanding the war to Syria is a grave error whose unintended consequences will add to 13 years’ worth of American setbacks in the Middle East.

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