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
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.
”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
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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