Dignity, Respect, and Equity across Gainesville
I believe that unity, diversity, and acceptance make our city strong. I will always stand up for human rights. It’s important to remember that human rights are not upheld without responsibilities: I believe each individual has a responsibility to respect others and the planet we share.
Ban conversion therapy for minors
Gainesville should join the 17 other municipalities in Florida that recently passed similar ordinances. I believe that Gainesville taking this step will encourage our Alachua County Commissioners to pass a countywide ban.
Support statewide prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
For 10 years, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act has been introduced to the Florida House and Senate, and the powers that be have killed it in committee. Its passage is long overdue. It is shameful that a concept as simple and straightforward as equal protection under the law is not a priority for our state’s decision makers
Inclusion of gender transition services in our city’s health plan
It is up to us as a city to lead by example on social justice issues. During my first term as Commissioner, I worked with City staff to obtain prescription coverage for an employee going through the transition process.
Providing resources and education
It is important that LGBTQ youth are aware of support networks available to them when family or friends don’t accept them. It is also important to educate the entire community so that prejudices evaporate. On the local Ilene Silverman show, we produced an episode featuring PFLAG in order to educate the community about LGBTQ minors and the need for families to accept and love them.
Building support for the LGBTQ community
For many years I have been an active member of Equality Florida, have attended Pride events in town. 28 years ago, I opened the University Club with Mark Spangler as a gay bar. This provided a much-needed venue for the LGBTQ community.