West Palm Beach to Vote on Domestic Partnership Benefits Ordinance

Categories: News, The Gays

Photo: George Martinez
"It is all about equal pay for equal work," says Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council with the news that the City of West Palm Beach could become the first public employer in the county to enact an equal benefits ordinance.

The ordinance would require contractors to offer equal family benefits to all of their employees.

"The first reading is on Monday," Hoch, who is also Florida's first openly- gay judge, tells New Times.

Should the ordinance pass, city contractors would be able to offer the same health insurance and benefits to their employees who are in same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships that they offer to their other married employees.

See also: Boynton Beach May Add Domestic Partnership Benefits

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Boynton Beach May Add Domestic Partnership Benefits

Categories: The Gays

via Facebook
Rand Hoch, President & Founder of Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
Boynton Beach is getting set to join other Palm Beach cities in offering domestic partner benefits for its gay employees. The City Commission is expected to address offering employees with domestic partners or same-sex spouses the same benefits that those whose marriages are recognized by the state.

Mayor Jerry Taylor and city commissioners were sent a report on workplace equality from the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council in an effort to get the ball rolling on the city adopting policies that would give the city's domestic partner employees medical, dental, and life insurance, as well as giving them family sick leave, bereavement leave, and family-medical leave.

See also: Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

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Florida Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

Categories: The Gays

Photo by Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons
Judge Sarah Zabel of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Florida is unconstitutional.

Back in May, six same-sex couples filed a motion asserting that Florida's marriage ban cannot stand in light of last year's U.S. Supreme Court of Miami-Dade ruling that the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Florida's ban on same-sex marriage was added to the state constitution in 2008.

Every court in the U.S. that has looked into these constitutional claims has ruled in favor of same-sex couples' right to marry.

On Friday, Judge Zabel ruled in concert with those other courts,while staying the order pending appeal.

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Same-Sex Couples Deliver Petitions to Pam Bondi's Office

Categories: Activism, The Gays

Courtesy of Equality Florida
When Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia overturned Florida's 2008 constitutional gay-marriage ban and ordered that couples wishing to be married in Key West should be allowed to do so as early as this week, Attorney General Pam Bondi worked quickly to stamp out the ruling.

Bondi's office issued a statement this week saying that the issue needs to be tackled by the U.S. Supreme Court and appealed Garcia's ruling to the Third District Court of Appeal.

On Thursday, same-sex couples walked into Bondi's Tallahassee office and delivered 7,000 petitions signed by Floridians asking her to "stop wasting taxpayer resources defending the state's discriminatory exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage."

See also: Gay Florida Couples Suing the State Will Be Heard in Court Today

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John Paul Alvarez Wants to Be Broward's First Gay State Rep

Via Facebook
John Paul Alvarez lives for the look in a student's eye that shows he or she gets it. At Stirling Elementary School in Hollywood, the baby-faced teacher is known for working well with troubled third-graders.

Perhaps it's because he recognizes himself in them. Alvarez grew up in Miami, just south of the airport, as the son of two Cuban immigrants who made their way over to Florida in the '60s. Although his parents opened a sandwich shop downtown, it floundered after a few years, leaving them to work a series of what Alvarez remembers as "the bad jobs, the hard jobs."

But now Alvarez, a Democrat, is asking for South Floridians' permission to take on a hard job his parents could have never dreamed of. He wants to serve as District 100's state rep and prioritize women's rights, LGBT rights, and education. If granted his wish, he'll also be making history as Broward County's first openly gay state rep. The district stretches south to Hollywood, Hallandale, Sunny Isles, Aventura and North Miami Beach.

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Man Behind Trinity Broadcasting Network Says Gays Are Tryng to Create a "Homosexual Special Race"

Categories: The Gays

Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker co-founded Trinity Broadcasting Network, which broadcasts in South Florida.
Ever seen a gay man's living room? A bloody, mounted head of some Christian is not, I repeat NOT, there.

But Rick Wiles, a former marketing exec for Trinity Broadcasting Network, thinks otherwise. According to him, gay rights activists are the second-coming of Nazis, because both groups were trying to create a "homosexual special race."

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Gay Florida Couples Suing the State Will Be Heard in Court Today

Categories: The Gays

Photo Credit: Brett Hufziger
The six same-sex couples who sued the state back in January and are asking a state court to rule that Florida's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional will finally be heard today in a Miami courtroom.

Eleventh Judicial Court Judge Sarah Zabel will preside over the case of Pareto v. Ruvin in a hearing scheduled for 4 Wednesday afternoon.

The suit looks to overturn Florida's ban on same-sex marriage, which was added to the state constitution in 2008. According to Equality Florida, the six couples' motion asserts that Florida's marriage ban cannot stand in light of last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

See also: Gay Florida Couples Sue State for Right to Marry

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Updating LGBT Workplace Discrimination Laws Would Boost Florida's Economy, According to Study

Categories: The Gays
Gay rights advocates have been arguing for a while now that marriage equality and overall rights are not just a matter of allowing the LGBT community to be treated like all others but also a matter of the economy for the state.

And now a brief put together by the national think-tank Movement Advancement Project (MAP) that nondiscrimination laws not only protect LGBT workers but also give a shot in the arm to the economy.

The brief, titled "The Need to Update Florida's Nondiscrimination," is a detailed analysis focusing specifically on how Florida businesses can gain a competitive advantage if they value diversity and open their doors to hiring LGBT workers.

See also: Gay Weddings Could Bring Lots of Business to Lake Worth if Legal, Commissioner Says

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Fort Lauderdale Commissioners Approve Gay Marriage Resolution

Categories: The Gays

In what at one point had a bleak outlook turned into a symbolic victory for Fort Lauderdale's LGBT community when commissioners approved a marriage-equality resolution Tuesday night.

The measure, sponsored by openly gay Commissioner Dean Trantalis, is nonbinding and asks Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to make gay marriage in Florida legal.

As they had indicated before the vote, Mayor Jack Seiler and Vice Mayor Romney Rogers opposed the resolution.

But it passed in a 3-2 vote, with Commissioners Trantalis, Bobby DuBose, and Bruce Roberts supporting it.

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Gay Marriage Support Might Be Getting Shot Down by Fort Lauderdale Commissioners

Categories: The Gays

A City Fort Lauderdale measure asking commissioners to openly support marriage equality and gay rights is in danger of not having enough votes to pass Tuesday.

The measure, sponsored by openly gay Commissioner Dean Trantalis, is nonbinding. However, it would speak loudly for city officials to openly support marriage equality -- particularly officials who serve a city densely populated by the LGBT community.

Still, with the vote happening at 6 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale City Hall, gay activists are looking at the real possibility that the resolution won't get the votes.

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