Religious leaders and some black lawmakers on Tuesday escalated a fiery debate over anti-LGBTQ policies at private schools that receive state-funded scholarships, fueling discussions of religious freedom, discrimination and politics.
The fight is rooted in the wording of the 2018 constitutional amendment, which restored voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation,” excluding people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”
A throng of students, faculty members and parents asked the Flagler County School Board Tuesday to support more explicit procedures protecting LGBTQ students as Charlene Cothran, a Palm Coast pastor, again attacked the a transgender student and ridiculed LGBTQ rights.
Michael Waltz, Flagler County’s voice in the House of Representatives, recently signed on to a Friend of the Court brief saying the time is right to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
In the past year, six states implemented measures restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions, including Florida, though Florida alone raised new obstacles: the payment of fines and restitution before rights may be restored.
Rev. Charlene Cothran of Palm Coast called a transgender student “mentally ill” and his father “confused” and “intimidated” in both their presence during a Flagler County School Board meeting this week, with pushback only from Colleen Conklin.
The 6-3 vote by the Senate Health Policy Committee followed a hearing that lasted more than 90 minutes as Chairwoman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, tried to balance testimony between people on both sides.
Republicans are less likely to win elections when voter turnout is high. So GOP lawmakers have been doing all they can to restrict or roll back voting rights.
Florida Supreme Court justices appeared convinced Wednesday that a constitutional amendment, overwhelmingly approved during the November 2018 election, requires payment of restitution, fees and other legal costs for felons to have their voting rights restored.
The Supreme Court’s ruling will have a drastic material impact on the millions of transgender people living in the United States. Allowing this discrimination to continue will threaten many more with unemployment and economic hardship.