Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gay foster parent ruling in Key West

In Key West, a family is celebrating a victory in what never should have been a battle in the first place - a Monroe County judge declared Florida’s ban on gay adoptions unconstitutional, paving the way for Wayne Larue Smith’s son to legally be able to call him “Dad.”

But Smith and his partner Daniel Skahen have been their son’s fathers for 7 years. The legal roadblocks stemmed from Florida’s ban gay adoptions, a rule purported to preserve families that, in actuality, only serves to hurt the children who need parents most.

We reported on the initial overturning of the ban last week, before the courts had released Smith’s and Skahen’s names. Since then, the Miami Herald has taken a closer look at the family, including reports on the obvious, have-already-been-stated-and-proven evidence that gay parents are “just as good” as hetero ones.

The new ruling prompted us to revisit the landmark 1997 ruling in New Jersey that set the precedent for allowing gay couples to adopt. While we were snooping around, we found this analysis by, a GLBT-inclusive religious organization whose mission is to untangle the truth and doublespeak so frequently employed by those who tout policies purported to preserve the integrity of families, but which actually only serve to keep children homeless. Their report is fascinating, but also sparks unease, when you realize that in a decade…not much has changed. Despite a body of statistical evidence to the contrary, including now 10 years worth of case studies, the same old panicky false arguments against gay adoption are still being employed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Scott Newton files for third mayoral term

Scott Netwon has announced he will run for re-election as Mayor of Wilton Manors, Fla.

He had previously not entered the mayoral race because he ran for election in the State House of Representatives, in District 92, which includes Wilton Manors, as well as areas of other such cities as Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. However, he did not win the Democratic Primary in his district, coming in behind Gwendolyn Clark-Reed.

However, now that the State House election has ended for Newton, he has changed his position and will seek re-election of the job he has held since 2004.

Newton files for third mayoral term [South Florida Blade]

Rainbow flags illegal in Miami Beach--but not for long

In a move that will undoubtedly rock the South Florida universe, Miami Beach city commissioners are prepared to rule on the legality of displaying rainbow flags in public.

Rainbow flags cannot be flown outside any businesses or homes in Miami Beach, because of a city code restricting "pennants, banners, streamers, flags and flagpoles." Only flags that represent actual countries are allowed. No word on the legalities surrounding my Brazilian next door neighbor, who uses his country's flag as curtains.

City commissioners, led by fearless Mayor Matti Bower, are concerned about the loss of gay business in Miami Beach. By allowing symbols of gay pride in public, they hope to welcome back the crowds that once lined the nightclubs and shops in town. And waving gay flags in everyone's faces is the first step, apparently.

The new law that allows rainbow flags is up for vote on September 10. If city commissioners vote in favor of the new law (and they are expected to pass it unanimously), rainbow flags will be the only flags added to the list what is allowed. So no bear flags, leather flags, etc. But these things come in baby steps, baby steps.

Anti-Palin Feminist Roundup

In case anyone was mistaken in believing Sarah Palin's VP candidacy is being embraced by the feminist community, enjoy the following round-up of women giving her the smack-down:

  • Gloria Steinham: "This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just
    because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women
    want and need." Shazaam. [LA Times]
  • Dr. Laura: "I am haunted by the family pictures of the Palins during political
    photo-ops, showing the eldest daughter, now pregnant with her own
    child, cuddling the family's newborn." If Dr. Laura doesn't like the Republican candidate, then who does? [Dr. Laura Blog]
  • Oprah Winfrey: Although Winfrey has stomped around her talk show asking Americans to share "the dream" of electing Barack Obama as President, she has refused to invite Sarah Palin on until the election is over—despite requests from her femaie-friendly audience. That sounds totally unbiased, right? Although perhaps she should bring Palin on the show, so her audience can see first-hand what a nut Palin is, by her own words. [Drudge Report]
  • Lindsay Lohan: "I get Sarah Palin's views against
    abortion, but i would much prefer to hear more about what she can do
    for our country rather than how her daughter is going to have a child
    no matter what." First Paris Hilton unveils an effective energy policy, and now Lindsay is talking politics? What is going on? [Lindsay Lohan's MySpace page]