The Candidates on Gays and Government!

     Fort Lauderdale, for years, has been in the middle of the controversy surrounding the rights of gays. And Fort Lauderdale has a lot of gay citizens.

     In fact, some demographic studies, based on US Census information, have the Fort Lauderdale/Miami Metro area ranking 4th on the list of American cities/metro areas with the highest gay population. As a percentage of population, other studies show Fort Lauderdale’s ranking at 23rd, Key West at 7, Orlando at 95, and Wilton Manors at number 1.

     So when an issue comes around that affects the lives of gays and lesbians, it always affects our City!

                                   giving a nutbucket a forum

     The latest such item came on November 4th with the ballot issue known as  Amendment 2. The Amendment said that in Florida, marriage could only be between a man and a woman, and that no other legal union that was the “substantial equivalent” of that would be valid. Critics say that language might also include civil unions or domestic partnerships.

     The constitutional amendment passed with 62 % of Floridians in favor and 38% opposing.
     In Broward, the results were much closer, 52 % in favor and 48% opposing…..Fort Lauderdale opposed the effort, with 46% in favor and 54% opposing ….(Wilton Manors weighed in at 25% in favor, 75% opposed.)

     This issue, and similar issues can have local consequences, so I asked the Candidates for the Fort Lauderdale Mayor and Commissioner jobs how they came down on the issue.

     Mayoral Candidates……
Steve Rossi ……. campaign has elected not to comment on any blogs for the duration of the campaign

Rynerson ……. opposed – says “religious fundamentalists should stay out of peoples private affairs”

Jack Seiler
………opposed – says “my concern is the adverse impact it could have on domestic partnersips and civil unions”

Trantalis …… opposed – says the amendment is a “slap in the face for anyone seeking equal rights”

District I

Inger Garcia
….. says her “personal vote is private”, but that she is the ” last to judge anyone in their personal relationships”

Bruce Roberts ….. opposed –  says gays should have “many of the benefits we straights take for granted”

Commissioner Teel  …… evaded giving an answer

    District II

Howard Elfman ….. opposed –  called it a “divisive and bigoted amendment”

Steve Glassman …. opposed  – says our City needs “new leadership to afford all our residents equal rights”

Commissioner Rodstrom – opposed – for personal reasons

     District III

Pam Adams …. opposed – says we should “treat everyone with respect” and that the amendment was “not just a gay issue”

Bobby Dubose …. opposed – says he believes “marriage is only between a man and a woman, but the amendment went further and was not clear” 

Cameron Mizell …. called too late to be included

Nadine Hankerson …. does she really exist?

    District IV

Jim Lewis …. opposed – says he is a strong family guy, but the amendment was “unnecessary, and government should stay out of people’s private lives”

Coleman Prewitt …. says he “strongly opposed it and voted against it”

Romney Rogers …. in favor – says he “voted in favor, with the majority,” but believes in domestic partnership contracts and the need for gays to “legitimize” . Doesn’t want to be labeled as homophobic (like his neighbor Jim Naugle).

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