The Public Hearing

      Last night, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission took up the proposal by Commissioner Dean Trantalis to pass a resolution to back gay marriage for Florida.

      When the hearing started, around 7 pm, the room was nearing capacity, and filled quickly with over 100 citizens.  

                                         

       Surprisingly, the crowd was almost entirely in favor of the proposal. Only a handful of anti- gay marriage proponents showed, and they proved to be their own worse enemy. They passed out the flyers below, full of over the top statements.

                                          

                                             

       The flyers say Trantalis’s proposal ” goes against the moral teaching of the Bible”, and goes on to say that people that support the resolution therefore “endorse incest sex, polygamy, and group sex”. It goes on to say that “male and female sex organs naturally fit together”, says” the “same cannot be said for male-male or female-female”. The flyers ramble about pedophilia, race, and producing babies.

                                   Here is a recap of the hearing from my notes

        …..  Bobby looks concerned  …….   Roberts seems engaged….  speaker says he’s getting married with his partner on Labor Day – in Mexico City  …..  another speaker says he got married last September, in NYC.……  Michael Albetta says passing the resolution would be a smart thing to do  ….. reminds Commission he helped many of them get elected.….  anti resolution speaker says he doesn’t think he should check his religion at the door ( of City Hall) ...says it is immoral …says “we are made male and female   …… female Rabbi says you can read the Bible many ways …. says you could “kiss your bacon cheeseburger goodbye” [if you read it literally] ….. says if you object to gay marriage she suggests you not marry anyone of the same sex ….. clinical psychologist says he prayed to God as a teen to make him straight …..  anti speaker says this would lead to brother and sister marrying, and that the proposal says God, Moses and Jesus are wrong …. gay chamber of commerce speaker talks of economic impact to Fort Lauderdale by gay tourists  …..

                  ……..  Public hearing closed  …..   Comm. Roberts starts  …..  is going to back the reso  ….Comm. Dubose declines to make comments  …..Comm. Rogers says he will vote against it ….says he has to lean on “the sanctity of marriage” ….. Comm. Trantalis makes his case for the reso  …..Mayor Seiler finishes by reminding crowd that he “signed first domestic partnership” law in Wilton Manors, has been a supporter of civil unions …… but goes on to tell the crowd that he would not be backing the reso .…..

            …… vote …. 3/2 in favor, Rogers and Seiler opposing  …..

                                          So what now ?

36 Replies to “The Public Hearing”

  1. On Channel 4 TV interview, Mayor Seiler said,” As a mayor of a city that doesn’t have any authority over the issue, we don’t regulate the issue, we don’t have any ability to make any laws impacting the issue, I thought it was important to remain consistent on this issue.” So how does he explain the following:
    Resolutions about county, state and federal issues have not been uncommon for the Fort Lauderdale City Commission to pass. Since January 1, 2012, there have been 14 resolutions on the agenda:
    * Opposition to destination resort casinos. Jan. 17, 2012.
    * Support of funding for Low-Income Energy Assistance program. Feb. 7, 2012.
    * Support for imposing state sales tax on internet-only retailers. Feb. 7, 2012.
    * Support for Students Working Against Tobacco. Feb. 7, 2012.
    * Support for legislation establishing the Dan Marino Foundation Florida Vocational College. Feb. 7, 2012.
    * Support for Earth Hour. March 20, 2012.
    * Opposition to human trafficking. June 5, 2012.
    * Support for adoption of a consolidated 911 communication system in the county. Oct. 16, 2012.
    * Support for Legislature repealing sections of statutes that prevent local government from exercising home rule authority to regulate fire arms on public property. Feb. 5, 2013.
    * Support for legislation to stop organized pill pushers. Feb. 4, 2014.
    * Oppose legislation to mandate use of uniform chart of accounts for all governments. Feb. 18, 2014.
    * Support for beach renourishment appropriations. Feb. 18, 2014.
    * Urge state to revise statutes allowing unrestricted firearm target ranges and discharges in urban residential areas. March 4, 2014.
    * Support legislation to regulate e-cigarettes. March 4, 2014.
    Mayor Seiler voted for all of them.
    How sad that the mayor did not remember that he is the mayor of all Fort Lauderdale and Romney Rogers needs to remember the separation of church and state. Bravo Trantalis, Roberts, and DuBose!

  2. Absolute sadness over our mayor – thought he was better than Naugle until now. His words were hollow nad sounded like he was talking five years ago. Who talks about civil unions anymore? Shame on him for not representing all of us and for recognizing the right side of this issue. His recitation of his resume in supporting the LGBT community in the past was pure theatre – no sincerity. This was the real test, and he failed.

  3. So now FL takes a tiny step toward joining the 21st century. It’s only a gesture, but an important one. The LGBT community has a big impact on the FL economy. Plus, the relevant cities of today and tomorrow recognize equality is good for business and the health of the city. The creatives and visionaries shaping the future and growing cutting edge businesses don’t want to live in a cultural backwater. They want access to the best and brightest, who simply don’t want to live in intolerant, regressive communities. The position/statements of the Mayor and Comm. Rogers are just not the same as that of leaders of the most vital and prosperous cities in the USA. Bravo to the 3 who voted in favor.

  4. In my opinion, I think the Mayor made a big mistake. Wish I’d been there to hear the speakers! Congrats, Dean!

  5. On behalf of a couple of Ft. L. out-of-town residents, I thank you for this report.

    Bill and I fully support the outcome. Thank heavens.

    I was surprised that it was so close though.

  6. This was written by the Executive Director, Nadine Smith, on Facebook concerning Mayor Seiler’s support of civil unions- great line:
    Civil unions? Why not insist gay employees be paid in confederate dollars.

  7. Agree or not, Seiler has now ‘officially’ shown that he is more concerned with winning another office beyond being the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

    While we in S. Florida are generally a pretty liberal bunch, remember, once you get north of Palm Beach, the rest of Florida is very different politically. My guess is that by his calculated move, he has surmised that he will garner much more of the conservative vote throughout the rest of the state (Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, etc) by voting this way as opposed to S. Florida’s gay or liberal vote.

    People shouldn’t be so offended..Democrat, Republican, black, white, gay, straight, bi, whatever…a politician is a politician with his or her own separate self serving agenda. They all pander for votes and align themselves with whatever group they think they can get the most out of. None of it should really come as any great surprise or shock.

  8. you are correct
    the emperor with no clothes is exposed
    and like naugle after he is term limited
    Thats IF the voters give him one more term till March 2018 (And we know now that it will not come to be)
    he will disappear into the landscape of irrelevance like naugle

  9. I think this was way over do. I have always stated equal rights for all(except for me), not better rights, or special rights, just equal rights. We as a city cannot judge anyone, or who they want to marry. I think Comm.bruce Roberts shined last night like a new penny. As far as bashing Mayor Seiler he believes in “civil unions, w/ benefits”. Although Mayor, civil unions don’t have any benefits. That is the proplem. It would have been nice to see the mayor support this. The mayor is a good man and is under alot of pressure form the arch-bishop(wenski). W/ all do respect Arch-bishop the residents of Ft.lau elected jack, not the catholic church. As far as Comm.Rogers he was also under alot of pressure. Same thing Romney the residents elected you, not “First bapist”. You have to seperate your religious beliefs from your elected postion. Now since the LBGT is so organized they should now regroup and put it back on the ballot. That and pot. Also i thought the couple of non-supporters in their stated “gay marriage” was like incest. Please, what a cheap shot. These people are not in love w/ their brothers or sisters. Those couple of speakers after hearing them I knew most defintely this would pass. Comm.Trantalis will get all the credit. That is great Dean, however enjoy the celebration for now, because “Catherine Maus” is just around the corner……

  10. I hear there is a well funded gay lawyer in imperial point who planned to run for his seat when he was termed out but threatened to run against him in January if Bruce didn’t vote yes.

  11. which is EXACTLY why no governor of FL will be elected from South Florida
    the rest of the state ain’t like us, don’t like us and don’t trust us – whether flip floppers, fence straddlers or liberals

    and even if the mayor stood a chance getting picked as crists lt gov before Tuesday it ain’t happenin’ now

    but I digress because crist won’t be gov regardless of the lt gov pick

    As to roberts being next mayor don’t hold your breath
    the fiscal condition will trump any embrace of equal marriage

    and dubose won’t be moving to Tally and won’t bring home the bacon on the $800,000,000.00 broward school bond

    Dean Trantalis for Mayor in 2015!

  12. You think politics (running for future office) is also what pushed this vote to passing? Dubose doesn’t support this but voted this way for political gain. Why isn’t anyone calling him a sell out?

    I’m am relieved that now that we have equality in the city for all sexual preferences, we can cancel the future parades, pride festivals, ditch that twisted library in Holiday Park, etc. and return to a sense or normalcy.

  13. I am disappointed to see that the vote was so close. This matter as all resolutions and laws should be for the greater good… not one’s personal beliefs or agenda.

  14. Does that mean that Mayor Seiler will also have to cancel his St. Patrick’s Day parade?
    By the way, “America” – your views are no longer the views of America.

  15. If this is true, then how ironic that by the time Seiler runs for state office, marriage equality will be the law of the land. Those rulings are coming any day now.

  16. South Middle River neighborhood has been treated as separate but equal, by the Mayor Seiler and the Vice Mayor. Because it contains a large LGBT and Haitian citizenry. This is the underlying reason why the neighborhood has been blighted and neglected. Now since Commissioner Trantalis had the Commissioners vote on equality for all people, particularly the LGBT citizens, it reveals the true colors. Just lie former commissioner Rostrom, Mayor Seiler will be voted out of office next year. I challenge the LGBT citizens to cease apathy and vote!

  17. Along with my comment of earlier this AM…I still ( in my humble opinion) am solid that this resolution was a grand stand diversion and that our elected officials can or should do way more than press social issues( remember abortion rights , Oops another firestorm).

  18. Why particularly the GLBT citizens? How about for all citizens of Fort Lauderdale… That’s the point here. Safe neighborhoods need to Be a focus, proper infrastructure must be a focus, our beaches must be a focus. I am on your side but no more so than any other citizens needs of equal rights.

  19. Yes, to me this is a social issue as it was authored and used to get our attention away from the real issues.
    In my earlier comments ( if you’ve read them) I am in favor of equal rights for all.

  20. Romney Rogers and Jack Seiler have probably been hearing nothing but praise from the folks who inhabit the world they live in (probably a few gay jokes, too)- old Fort Lauderdale, good ole’ boys, church crowd. There is really no down side to their “no” votes because the folks that agree with them are the folks who vote and control this town – the 9%. Maybe someday people will wake up, care, and participate in the process. In the meantime, the likes of our mayor and Rogers will continue to do what they do – because they can.

  21. don’t discriminate
    and don’t discriminate against America

    since y’all wanted room under the sun for everyone and everything and everycause well you got it but its the whole lock stock and barrel

    go gloat but stop discriminating

  22. It is not pretty when a politician allows himself to be this self serving in public – when it is clear his career ambitions are the motivations. He will not recover from this in the hearts and minds of GLBT community – no matter how many times he reminds us how gay friendly he was in the past. He is playing the same Obama did. Yes I voted for Obama – and would vote for the Mayor if he ran for Gov. against any Republican – but you never really ever respect this type of political calculation.

  23. It is not pretty when a politician allows himself to be this self serving in public – when it is clear his career ambitions are the motivations. He will not recover from this in the hearts and minds of GLBT community – no matter how many times he reminds us how gay friendly he was in the past. He is playing the same Obama did. Yes I voted for Obama – and would vote for the Mayor if he ran for Gov. against any Republican – but you never really ever respect this type of political calculation.

  24. It is not pretty when a politician allows himself to be this self serving in public – when it is clear his career ambitions are the motivations. He will not recover from this in the hearts and minds of GLBT community – no matter how many times he reminds us how gay friendly he was in the past. He is playing the same Obama did. Yes I voted for Obama – and would vote for the Mayor if he ran for Gov. against any Republican – but you never really ever respect this type of political calculation. Still better than the last psycho mayor.

  25. It is not pretty when a politician allows himself to be this self serving in public – when it is clear his career ambitions are the motivations. He will not recover from this in the hearts and minds of GLBT community – no matter how many times he reminds us how gay friendly he was in the past. As former Mayor of Wilton Manors he should now how much money now flows down Flying L Drive into Wilton Drive and stays there, especially as the gay night clubs have moved out of Fort Lauderdale after the last mayor’s hate campaign.

  26. So many elected officials and politicians who were once not in support of marriage equality but now are in favor explain that is so because over time they have known, worked with, cared for, learned of loved family members, etc. who are LGBT and realizing the rightness of this issue. Obviously, Rogers and Seiler have not evolved on this issue although they have certainly worked with and have witnessed the many LGBT citizens of Fort Lauderdale who contribute so much to this community each and every day. Their “no” votes display an inherent bigotry and a deep-rooted disdain for the people who have supported them and perhaps even thought of them as friends. This is truly eye-opening.

  27. fort lauderdale could have had a mayor of the people in 2012 – Earl Rynerson
    but many mocked him as he pointed out the financial foibles and operation in the ‘red’ requiring tens of millions of dollars to eb syphoned out of reserves
    so you are all a bunch of hypocrites because all knew who seiler was and what he did not pretend to be – A Big Spender of Your Tax Dollars stuck in 1 1970’s mindset a la Anita Bryant and Connie Francis Where The Boys Are

  28. From 1993-2000 seiler was a resident, property owner and elected in Wilton Manors. Then he went to Tally, still a WM res, until term limits sent him looking for his next gig in late 2008

    he surveyed the political landscape and with naugle term limited decided to be a fort lauderdale resident

    he bought he house in march 2009 within days of the election
    so for the first time since maybe 1980 when he graduated high school Seiler is now a fort lauderdale resident

    he is not one of us

    since 2009
    he hoodwinked many thinking he has the city interests at heart. after being a resident for 5 years

    don’t be so naive and silly
    he is a carpetbagger and if he could ride charlie crists coattails to Tallahassee he would

  29. Actually , this turn of events is a blessing in disguise.
    It gave us all a chance to see the “true colors” of those sitting on the dias before the elections next year.
    Fort Lauderdale is a very diverse community,and needs leaders that are willing to be inclusive to ALL it’s tax paying citizens, not just the religious-right ones that donate handsomely to the campaign coffers.
    Now is the time to keep pace with the 21st century, and the old way of thinking has no place here if this City is to become the best it can be, so thank you Jack and Romney for finally saying what you really feel-now we can elect someone that doesn’t share your bigotry.
    I was there at the meeting Tim, and am grateful that you as a straight married man stood up and supported our cause, as you always have for all these years.
    I refuse to give up hope that someday you will be Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale.
    Thanks for all that you do, and have been doing for the citizens of the city……

  30. Dean has disappointed alot of people that helped him get elected – I’d be hell-bent on not even electing him for dog catcher, let alone Mayor! He is another true politition- making promises to get elected, and then catering to the fools that supported his competition

  31. “…display an inherent bigotry and a deep-rooted disdain for the people who have supported them and perhaps even thought of them as friends.” puts me in mind of these words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

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