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Palm Beach County Republicans Betrayed again by RINO Leadership!(My Title)
Palm Beach Post ^ | 12/4/2002 | J.Christopher Hain

Posted on 12/04/2002 6:04:42 AM PST by Jacvin

Gay-rights law quietly passed

By J. Christopher Hain, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 4, 2002

WEST PALM BEACH -- With not a word of discussion and not a peep from the public, Palm Beach County commissioners quietly enacted sweeping new protections against job discrimination sought by the county's gay community.

A law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in both private and public workplaces was approved in September after a carefully orchestrated lobbying campaign that successfully avoided any public debate of the controversial topic.

The law was initiated by then-Commissioner Carol Roberts, a longtime gay-rights advocate who has a gay son. At the time, she was actively courting gay and lesbian voters in her unsuccessful race for Congress. Vaguely worded as a legal housekeeping item on the agenda, the law's summary sheet never mentioned the addition of "sexual orientation" to the county's Equal Employment Act.

Commissioners approved the change on Aug. 20 and again on Sept. 10, the same day Miami-Dade County voted down a turbulent effort to repeal a similar gay-rights ordinance in a campaign that drew national attention.

The Palm Beach County ordinance slipped past the county administrator, religious groups and the news media. Word got out well after the vote, when the law was reported in the gay press and on the Web site of a group that pushed for passage. To some, the deliberate lack of discussion raises questions about how committed the county commission is to open government.

"In the state of Florida, we believe in openness in public decision making," said Robert Meyers, executive director of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics, a government watchdog group. "It does seem kind of bizarre that this could go through without even a blip on the radar screen."

Groups opposed to such protections were particularly outraged. "I think it was deceptive," said John Brooks, local Christian Coalition chairman, who said he had no inkling that the law was under consideration. "I would have been there, if we had known."

The new law allows anyone in the county to file claims against an employer of 15 or more workers for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status or family status -- adding those categories to the existing list of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability. A claim can lead to a county demand for compensation of lost wages or legal action seeking other damages. Nationwide, 239 municipalities, 11 states and the District of Columbia have anti-discrimination ordinances protecting gays and lesbians in either public or private employment, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, an advocacy group. The state of Florida has no such law, but 14 Sunshine State cities and counties do.

Here, county commissioners found the law not worth a single spoken word in two public meetings. "When you talk about discrimination, certain things aren't debatable," Commissioner Addie Greene said. "We're more open to accepting people's different types of lifestyles." Hush-hush strategy

Keeping it quiet was exactly the strategy adopted by the group pushing the measure, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. The council had previously failed to get the same law passed. "It becomes a huge public spectacle, and it gets in the way of focusing on good public policy," said Jamie Foreman, president of the council, a nonpartisan gay-rights organization.

By contrast, a similar measure passed last month in Orlando after seven hours of debate and a 4-3 vote. And this week the Palm Beach County School Board postponed a decision on whether to include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy for students after opponents asked for more time to consider the change. "We wanted to approach this with a fresh perspective," Foreman said. "We talked one-on-one with commissioners."

Roberts set the stage for passage at a July 23 meeting, just as the commission was breaking for lunch. All she said was that she wanted the language of two ordinances -- No. 95-1 and No. 95-31 -- "to conform." When it was placed on commissioners' Aug. 20 agenda, the law's cover sheet said only that it would make the protected classes consistent in the equal employment ordinance (No. 95-31) and fair housing ordinance (No. 95-1).

Only the proposed law itself told that the protected class covered "sexual orientation," "marital status" and "familial status." Prior to the meeting, commissioners had each received a letter from the human-rights council letting them know Roberts would bring up the issue.

The council had sought Roberts' help while she was aggressively courting gay and lesbian voters in her bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw. Roberts, however, said her political ambitions played no part in her decision. "It was the right thing to do," she said. "This was just a coincidental thing." Roberts contended the agenda item was written like any other. "We didn't treat this any differently than we do any other ordinance," she said. Assistant County Attorney Tammy Fields said she wrote the agenda item the way Roberts requested it. "Our office tries as much as possible to stay out of the politics," she said. County Administrator Bob Weisman said he didn't realize what the ordinance was about until told last week by a reporter. "Frankly, the way it came up, it was kind of like housekeeping," Weisman said. "I never had a question asked of me of any kind by the commissioners."

Victory largely symbolic Commissioners said not a single word Aug. 20 or three weeks later during a public hearing on the day of the Sept. 10 primary, a review of the meeting tapes showed. Fields said she was surprised at the lack of debate. "I certainly expected a crowd," she said. Harry Lamb, director of the Palm Beach County office of equal opportunity, said the lack of public debate wasn't unexpected. "We don't have the vocal opposition here that we've seen in other counties," he said. "I like to think the county's more forward looking." In 1990, Palm Beach County became the only county in Florida to approve protections for gays and lesbians against housing discrimination. That effort succeeded after intense lobbying and lengthy debate.

Advocates hoped to follow up the housing protections with job protection. But a 1991 drive was killed. And a 1995 amendment proposed by Roberts was defeated by commissioners.

Among those voting it down: Republicans Mary McCarty, Karen Marcus and Warren Newell -- all of whom voted for it in September. Marcus said she assumed the change was the result of review by a citizen or staff committee suggesting policy changes. But it wasn't. "I'm assuming there was plenty of staff scrutiny," she said. Newell said he voted against adding employment protection for sexual orientation in 1995 because he felt it went beyond federal and state law. It still does. Now, however, Newell said he doesn't have a problem with it. "The issue is: Should people be discriminated against for any reason? And they should not be," he said. McCarty said she now feels protections against housing and employment discrimination should be the same. She insisted she hasn't changed her position since 1995, but would not elaborate. For the gay and lesbian community, the law's passage represents a largely symbolic -- yet quiet -- victory. Palm Beach County gets fewer than 10 cases of housing discrimination against gays and lesbians annually, Lamb said. And he said he doesn't know how many new claims the employment ordinance will generate. Neither does Foreman of the human-rights council, but he thinks it's an important step. "It gives a little more confidence to people to just be who they are and if something happens to not be afraid to come forward," he said.

chris_hain@pbpost.com


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS:
All four RINO's (a majority of the Commission) voted for this betrayal.Help your fellow Freepers out! Let them know how Freepers Feel!

Commissioner McCarty (R) (561)355-2204 930-2204 Tool Free outside the West Palm Beach Calling area) E-mail: mmccarty@co.palm-beach.fl.us

Commissioner Warren Newell's (R) Office:(561)355-2203 E-Mail: WNEWELL@co.palm-beach.fl.us

Commissioner Karen Marcus'(R) Office: (561) 355-2201 930-2201 (Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach calling area) Email Commissioner Marcus KMARCUS@co.palm-beach.fl.us

Commissioner Tony Masilotti's Office:(R) (561) 355-6300 930-2206 (Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach Calling area) Email Commissioner Masilotti TMASILOT@co.palm-beach.fl.us

1 posted on 12/04/2002 6:04:42 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Jacvin
Enraged self bumps!!
2 posted on 12/04/2002 6:15:28 AM PST by Jacvin
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Jacvin
As you know all too well, Mary McCarty is the consummate RINO.

No Rino's 0cents Stamp Products

4 posted on 12/04/2002 6:27:06 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: Jacvin
This is so typical!
5 posted on 12/04/2002 6:30:05 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: William Creel
Unfortunately, Carole Roberts' cronies and followers outnumber Republicans in this county.
6 posted on 12/04/2002 6:30:12 AM PST by EnquiringMind
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To: Jacvin
This kind of stuff makes me wonder if all these demoncrats switching parties is a good thing.
7 posted on 12/04/2002 6:30:27 AM PST by stevio
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To: Zena princess warrior
Is that you, Jody?
8 posted on 12/04/2002 6:32:13 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: Jacvin
Jack, this seems to be against the law regarding public debate. Do we have any legal beagles looking into this?

Is there anything else that can be done at this point before the ink dries on this thing?

9 posted on 12/04/2002 6:34:46 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: stevio
Tony was Democrat of the year, the year prior to being elected to the County Commission as a Republican. No surprise here! McCarty trained under Tip O'Neill and is the Queen of Rhinos. No surprise here either!
10 posted on 12/04/2002 6:35:16 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: stevio
The wife & I were discussing this last night . Switching parties is like getting a face ~ lift . 'Ya might look different but the persons core is still the same .
11 posted on 12/04/2002 6:41:10 AM PST by Ben Bolt
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To: William Creel
Palm Beach County Republican is an oxymoron for the most part.
12 posted on 12/04/2002 6:42:49 AM PST by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: dorben
Aren't we the lucky ones to have been served by the Queen of Rhinos as the chair of "our" party, Mary McCarty?
13 posted on 12/04/2002 6:46:20 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: Jacvin
I think you are missing the point. The pro-gay iniative was hidden, because the Dems knew it would not pass if subject to open debate.

Think of the havoc this brings. Marital status, for example. If you are in a business that requires overtime, are you discriminating against married prople who have more family responsibilities? If two gays are openly groping each other on the job, are you discriminating if you fire (or fire at!) them?

The bottom line is this. Every time a gay person is discharged, there will be a complaint filed charging discrimination.

An example: Northwest Airlines has a black structual engineer at ATL. His work is so bad that management will not let him sign off on mechanics' work, let alone minor aircraft medifications, as it would endanger the aircraft and passengers. But fire him; heavens no. The litigation would begin that day!
14 posted on 12/04/2002 6:47:46 AM PST by MindBender26
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
No not really. There are many of us involved in the Palm Beach County Republican Party that are true blue Republicans.We are out-numbered about 60-40,but fight the good fight day in and day out.

One of the reasons the RINOS try to hide this stuff is that they know we scream bloody murder every time they betray Republican principles.

15 posted on 12/04/2002 6:50:07 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Jacvin
To those who are listening, any living in Palm Beach County need to see if their seat is open on the Republican Evecutive Committee and if so, apply. Let's get the 60-40 reversed! It is a must.
16 posted on 12/04/2002 6:55:34 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: William Creel
"Isn't Palm Beach the headquarters of country club Republicans?"

Yes it is. We like to call them "wine and cheese" Republicans.

However,there are plenty of Conservatives and Freepers in Palm Beach County that refuse to give up fighting for their principles.

We do our best to expose the RINOS for what they are.
17 posted on 12/04/2002 6:55:35 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Seeking the truth
No!
18 posted on 12/04/2002 6:59:19 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
"Palm Beach County Republican is an oxymoron for the most part."

Don't abandon your own troops in enemy territory.
We may be out-numbered, but we never surrender!
19 posted on 12/04/2002 6:59:54 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Seeking the truth
My name is Zena. I don't know Jody......
20 posted on 12/04/2002 7:01:25 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: Zena princess warrior
Oh indeed I'm honoured to be a subject in the court . After all they set such darling examples ... nyet
21 posted on 12/04/2002 7:02:28 AM PST by Ben Bolt
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To: MindBender26
"I think you are missing the point. The pro-gay iniative was hidden, because the Dems knew it would not pass if subject to open debate."

Not missing the point at all. We know these people well.
They get the Dems to "sneak" it through, so they can vote for it and leave themselves "plausible deniability”. The RINOS could very easily introduce a resolution rescinding this rule, but they won't because they support it.
This trick has been used many times.
22 posted on 12/04/2002 7:08:25 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: dorben
The queen of an ant hill atleast has her worker ants, not "wine and cheese" ants. The conservative are the workers, which the queen has fought so diligently to keep off her hill. Her hill is no more!
23 posted on 12/04/2002 7:10:28 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: Jacvin
Same old stuff here in Palm Beach. Just 2 weeks ago everybody but Nathaniel Brazille was responsible for the murder he committed. The Palm Beach county School Board, gun manufacturer, owner of gun, were all liable for a murder they had nothing to do with. All this type of crap is status-quo for Palm Beach.
24 posted on 12/04/2002 7:13:52 AM PST by maccraze
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To: Jacvin
I've reread the article.

I get the impression that the Republicans voted against this. Am I wrong?

Re: this new law. This type of law normally exempts religious institutions and normally applies only to county related orgs or those businesses that do business with the county.

Is that the case here?

If religious institutions are not exempt, expect to see a concerted effort by the gays to get employed by them!

25 posted on 12/04/2002 7:15:36 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: maccraze
Good to hear from you MacCraze!

"Never flinch, never weary, never despair." - Winston Churchill
26 posted on 12/04/2002 7:16:08 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: MindBender26
You are right on and as I said, this is so typical of them!
27 posted on 12/04/2002 7:17:12 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: Seeking the truth
Read it more carefully. They voted against it in 1995.
You know they all support it. Have you ever known the "four RINO horseman of the Apocalypse" not to be quoted in the press when they oppose something.
28 posted on 12/04/2002 7:18:48 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: maccraze
I am still waiting for your new e-mail address, Bud! Hope you are healing up well......
29 posted on 12/04/2002 7:20:03 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: Zena princess warrior
They all go down sooner or later because they simply stand for nothing . Sometimes it can be a bit tough to get the job done but rest assured that when FReepers get their teeth into something it almost always gets shreaded . You heard anything from Ms. Oliphant lately ?
30 posted on 12/04/2002 7:20:26 AM PST by Ben Bolt
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To: Zena princess warrior; maccraze
There's a lot of us waiting for that email address!
31 posted on 12/04/2002 7:23:29 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: dorben
Oliphant!

You know, everytime I get tired of fighting it out in Palm Beach, I buck myself up by thinking, "Well, at least you're better off then Broward Freepers".
32 posted on 12/04/2002 7:25:27 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Seeking the truth
"I get the impression that the Republicans voted against this. Am I wrong?"

HOLY COW!I WENT BACK AND RE-READ IT ALSO.
I THINK YOUR RIGHT!

MAJOR LEAGUE SCREW-UP ON MY PART!!

OH WELL, MY FATHER ALWAYS TAUGHT ME TO BE A MAN WHEN I'M WRONG.

I APOLOGIZE TO MCCARTY,NEWELL AND MARCUS. THE ARTICLE WAS CONFUSING AND I MISINTERPETED YOUR POSITIONS (I HOPE).

NOTE TO SELF: NEVER POST ON 5 HOURS OF SLEEP WITHOUT DRINKING 8 GALLONS OF COFFEE FIRST.
33 posted on 12/04/2002 7:36:16 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Jacvin
I think Miriam's time is coming. Jeb has given her a deadline to fix the problems. Of course, if she had any integrity she would have resigned by now. In the meantime, she's a high profile RAT that even other RATs can't stand. That's a good thing! I know the woman. Her stupidity is exceeded only by her arrogance.
34 posted on 12/04/2002 7:37:25 AM PST by clintonh8r
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To: Jacvin
That was my problem the first time I read it.

I had only half a pot in my system at that time.

I also don't function until that full 12 cups is on board!

Also, Jack....the article was poorly written, IMHO.

BTW, a real Republican county commissioner would have given a heads up to those who are against this and would have been outspoken about it also.

We know that would have happened if a certain someone had won that primary a couple months ago!

35 posted on 12/04/2002 7:42:14 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: Jacvin
Jack, in effect, those RINO's did vote for this as they remained silent on this issue and did the deal under the radar of public scrutiny.
36 posted on 12/04/2002 7:45:33 AM PST by Seeking the truth
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To: Jacvin
Yeah .. We have our share of malcontent's but you guys seem to get all of the good press ;)

Behind enemy lines morning Bump !

37 posted on 12/04/2002 7:53:59 AM PST by Ben Bolt
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To: Seeking the truth
APOLOGY RESCINDED!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS HAS TO THE MOST POORLY WORDED ARTICLE I'VE EVER SEEN.

RE-READ IT AGAIN. THEY DID VOTE FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I WAS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!!!


"Advocates hoped to follow up the housing protections with job protection. But a 1991 drive was killed. And a 1995 amendment proposed by Roberts was defeated by commissioners.

Among those voting it down: Republicans Mary McCarty, Karen Marcus and Warren Newell -- ALL OF WHOM VOTED FOR IT IN SEPTEMBER.

38 posted on 12/04/2002 7:55:23 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Seeking the truth
RIGHT THE FIRST TIME BUMP!
39 posted on 12/04/2002 8:12:44 AM PST by Jacvin
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To: Jacvin
It should have (in 1995) following, "Among those voting it down".



"Advocates hoped to follow up the housing protections with job protection. But a 1991 drive was killed. And a 1995 amendment proposed by Roberts was defeated by commissioners.

Among those voting it down (in 1995): Republicans Mary McCarty, Karen Marcus and Warren Newell -- ALL OF WHOM VOTED FOR IT IN SEPTEMBER.
40 posted on 12/04/2002 8:13:00 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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To: Jacvin; Registered
Isn't it time to post some of those wonderful photo shop jobs that Registered did of Carole Roberts and her "chad punching" jewelry from the recount days? Did anyone save those?
41 posted on 12/04/2002 10:17:05 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: MindBender26
This legislative underhandedness is far more dangerous than the law it just produced. The fact that little miss politics (Roberts) is downplaying this passage as ho-hum nothing news, means this proceedure is going to be used, abused and refined to the point of being as good as a presidential EO for local lobbyists.

Every preconceived personal political whim can now go this route. Roberts wants the press to stop looking at this thing immediately so her little game isn't ruined by ...."The Sunshine Law" !?

This law needs to be shelved and resubmitted through open channels so political debate can do it's job, one way or the other.
42 posted on 12/04/2002 11:45:45 AM PST by JoeSixPack1
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To: William Creel; Jacvin
PBC (where I went to High School and where my parents still live) has been dominated by transplanted NY liberals (ex. Robert Wexler) since the mid-80s. It's a miracle that there are still Republicans left on the county commission. Pretty much the only place you will find Republicans in Palm Beach county is along the coast from Lantana on up or north of PGA boulevard. Unfortunatly, most of the population is concentrated in places like Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton and West Palm, all of which are solidly Democratic.
43 posted on 12/04/2002 1:02:36 PM PST by Clemenza
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To: Clemenza
I County Commissioners that claim to be Republicans are RHINOs!
44 posted on 12/07/2002 5:53:28 AM PST by Zena princess warrior
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