I can’t hardly believe this (I saw this at Pam’s House Blend). There is a group of people in Gainesville Fl that are trying to repeal equal protection for the glbt community. What does this mean? It means that if you are glbt (or are even perceived to be), you can be denied housing. You can be fired from your job. You can be denied a room at a public hotel. How is that for sitting at the back of the bus?
So what are the beliefs of this right-wing group?
- Sexual orientation has been a protected civil rights category in Gainesville since the City Commission passed it into law on June 1, 1998. In the ten years since then, none of the organizers of Citizens for Good Public Policy has ever mounted a protest or legal action against that provision.
- Let us be clear: Citizens for Good Public Policy believes local laws should neither oppose nor favor sexual orientation. We consider sexual orientation a matter of personal choice, and therefore unsuitable as a civil rights category.
- The Gainesville City Commission linked sexual orientation to gender identity on January 28, 2008, when they enacted the poorly drafted Gender Identity Ordinance, despite a massive outcry to allow more time for public debate on the issue. This presumptuous action moved matters of privacy and sexuality from private bedrooms to public restrooms, and their refusal to consider public concern precipitated the formation of Citizens for Good Public Policy.
- The Gender Identity Ordinance’s vagueness invites abuse from sexual offenders and pranksters, as well as confrontation by protective husbands and unwary out-of-town sports fans. That fact, even more than the Commission’s refusal to listen, moved us to mount the petition drive.
- The proposed charter amendment to Gainesville’s Code of Ordinances calls for the city’s civil rights categories to match the State of Florida’s categories. Putting it on the ballot gives the voters of Gainesville the opportunity to decide if they will be subject to the State of Florida’s civil rights code, like most Florida cities, or bound by a single vote from four elected officials who don’t share most voters’ values or beliefs on this issue.
- The 6,343 signatures that were validated by the Supervisor of Elections reminds Gainesville’s elected officials that every vote counts, and that they would be wise to consider the majority’s values and opinions before formulating public policy.
- Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Commissioners Craig Lowe, Jack Donovan, and Jeanna Mastrodicasa are actively assisting a group whose purpose is to deceive citizens into surrendering their rights. These four elected officials are determined to keep the people of Gainesville from voting on this issue. Why? Why is the people’s voice considered offensive and unwanted? Why are they resorting to unprecedented measures to persuade people to rescind their signatures? The upcoming charter amendment can be voted up or down. Why are they afraid to let it come to a vote?
I can’t help but notice that in their #2, they state that they "consider sexual orientation a matter of personal choice, and therefore unsuitable as a civil rights category." Now clearly these people do not understand what a ‘civil right’ is. Have they considered that their own religious belief is a personal choice, yet it is protected? What they mean is that they do not want anything they do not agree with to be a civil right. And this is the real problem.