ALL THAT POSITIVE GAY MOMENTUM WAS BOUND TO BRING A BACKLASH. NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED: “But Nadine Smith's State of the State address brought a necessarily sobering tone to an otherwise joyous occasion. She began by noting the most newsworthy events of the past year, including the news that Equality Florida, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, is teaming up with six same-sex couples in filing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Sunshine State’s gay marriage ban. Smith said that there has been ‘extraordinary progress’ in seeking a statewide non-discrimination law in Florida (such ordinances exist in places like Tampa and St. Petersburg but not in Hillsborough County), and said ‘Florida leads the South in terms of support around the range of things that affect our lives.’ But she stressed that the gains were due to hard work, and now was not the time to ease up, specifically referring to legislation pending in Arizona that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers. ‘We are winning all over the country and we should be thrilled and we should be proud, but also remember in Arizona they’re considering a law that would allow a restaurant or a barber shop or any place of business to say, 'We do not serve your kind,'’ Smith told the audience. ‘So the backlash is real. The progress is real. And this is the moment to lean in like never before. This is the moment to hit the gas.’” (via Creative Loafing Tampa)
RIDE INTO THE DANGER ZONE:
SPEAKING OF BACKLASH, LET’S TURN THIS UGANDAN THING INTO A WITCH HUNT (WHILE REMEMBERING THAT U.S. CHRISTIAN MISSIONS FUNDED THIS INSANITY, RIGHT CHIK-FIL-A?): “A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's ‘200 top’ homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday's signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked ‘a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights’ and warned that Washington could cut aid to the government of the East African nation. ‘Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values,’ Kerry said in a statement. The Red Pepper tabloid published the names — and some pictures — of alleged homosexuals in a front-page story under the headline: ‘EXPOSED!’” (via Miami Herald)
SO, APPARENTLY THE NRA DOESN’T OWN THE SUPREME COURT LIKE IT DOES YOUR LEGISLATURE: “The Supreme Court on Monday declined to wade into the politically volatile issue of gun control by leaving intact three court rulings rejecting challenges to federal and state laws. The court's decision not to hear the cases represented a loss for gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, which was behind two of the challenges. The first case involved a challenge by the NRA to a Texas law that prevents 18-20 year olds from carrying handguns in public. It also raised the broader question of whether there is a broad right under the Second Amendment to bear arms in public. The second NRA case was a challenge to several federal laws and regulations, dating back to 1968, that make it illegal for firearms dealers to sell guns or ammunition to anyone under 21. The third case was on the narrow question of whether consumers have the legal right to challenge laws that regulate the sale of firearms. The challenge to a federal law that restricts the interstate transport of guns, and a related Virginia law, were filed by several District of Columbia residents who wished to obtain guns via neighboring Virginia. The court has yet to decide whether there is a right to carry guns in public, a question left unanswered in its two most recent gun-related decisions.” (via Sun-Sentinel)
DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES ABOUT INCREASED EDUCATION SPENDING. “CHOICE” IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR IGNORING PUBLIC SCHOOLS: “‘In 2011 and 2012 Florida state charter schools received $55 million each year, while 67 public school districts received no state Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) dollars,’ says James Call of the Florida Current. When most residents try to understand a state budget they have no idea what the numbers mean. But when a line item indicates Public Education and it goes to a private institution, there is a fundamental accounting error, or a lie. PECO is a state program that provides funds to school districts from revenue derived from tax collected on gross receipts from the sale of utility services. There are two types of PECO funds for school districts: 1. PECO maintenance dollars, and 2. PECO new construction dollars. Lately in the news district superintendents are screaming about funding and now with our governor, we understand where the money is going. When the state charter schools are allocated $55 million and the public schools get nothing, the public schools are falling apart. Governor Scott from the very beginning had an agenda and he has been pushing for school choice and ignoring the public schools. As the public schools suffer, the national and large charter school owners line their pockets with profits, and claim they can give a better education with less funding per student. ‘In 2013, the charter schools received $91 million while school districts split $6 million with another $14 million going toward special facility construction projects in rural counties,’ says Mr. Call. This is better than the last two years, but it would appear that the majority of the funding would be allocated to the facilities where the most students would be impacted.” (via Florida Courier)
YOUR CITY LIES IN DUST
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