Task Force Mobilizes
Dade Fundraiser Nets $50,000

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force teamed up recently to help local activists in Dade County, Florida, raise $50,000 to fight an anticipated ballot initiative that seeks to repeal a county-wide sexual orientation nondiscrimination ordinance.

The fundraiser featured NGLTF Executive Director Kerry Lobel, NGLTF Policy Institute Director Urvashi Vaid, and Jorge Mursuli, chairman of SAVE Dade.

”The vote in Dade County is likely to be the first major vote involving civil rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community after the March 7 Limits on Marriage ballot  measure in California,” said NGLTF Executive Director Kerry Lobel.

Dade County is currently under attack from far-right social conservatives who are fighting to overturn the county’s Human Rights Ordinance. Led by the local chapter of the Christian Coalition and by the Florida chapter of the virulently anti-gay American Family Association, these social conservatives have pledged to gather enough signatures to place the ordinance on an election ballot, possibly on Sept. 5.

”More ballot measures are expected in November 2000. In fact, this could be a record year for ballot measures threatening the GLBT community. We must be prepared to defeat every one of these ballot measures, and that means helping local activists gain traction to fight the radical right. We are more than happy to assist local organizations in their battle,” stated Lobel.

Only months after the County Commission voted to extend non-discrimination laws to gays and lesbians, the Take Back Miami-Dade Political Committee of the Christian conservative Florida Family Association will seek approval to begin gathering signatures to repeal the sexual orientation clause of the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance. 

The Board of County Commissioners meets tomorrow. Upon approval of the petition, opponents of the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance would have 60 days to collect the necessary 4% of voters to bring their repeal effort to a public vote. After submission of the petitions, the issue goes to a popular vote.

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