Friday, September 24, 2010

Flip-Flops in Florida

Charlie Crist, the current Governor (and recently-converted) independent Senate candidate from Florida, released a nine-point policy statement articulating his stance on LGBT equality issues. Observers continue to question whether this effort is a sincere change of heart or purely politically motivated. What we do know is that the move is a fantastic development for the Florida Senate race as it brings many LGBT Issues to the forefront of a closely-watched campaign.

In the statement, Crist voiced support for ENDA, the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the existence of legally-recognized civil unions, and immigration equality. The most controversial position – his support of same-sex adoption – has received a great deal of attention from the media, activist community, and from both his Republican and Democratic opponents.

Why? Besides the bold move, in 2006 Crist – then a Republican – ran on a platform of “traditional family values” (which, at the time, looked nothing like the traditional family values PFLAGers hold) and blasted his opponent for supporting marriage equality and adoption rights with mailers like this.

To dispel criticism in regards to his previous positions, since the policy paper was released, Crist announced that he would attempt to drop the state of Florida’s appeal in a Miami-Dade County case, disputing the legal adoption of half-brothers to a North Miami gay couple.

But it seems as if he won’t get that chance. The Third District Court of Miami announced yesterday that Florida’s total ban on adoption by gay and lesbians is unconstitutional. Many of you read the news Wednesday that Martin Gill and his family have won their case.

What happens next? We’re all going to be watching. If you’re interested in learning more, stay tuned on the blog. Want to talk to your legislators about these issues? Check out PFLAG’s Bringing the Message Home resources to get started.

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