Gay and Lesbian Connection

Support and Acceptance for the Gay and Lesbian Community

6,000 Floridians Want Their Money Back

August 3rd, 2010 by Admin

Bill McCollum, Florida’s Attorney General and Republican Gubernatorial hopeful would like us to believe he is open-minded when it comes to the gay community.  But his actions prove otherwise—to at least 6000 Floridians.  After top members of his staff warned against it, McCollum paid George Rekers, a notorious anti-gay activist  $120,000 of Florida’s tax dollars to testify in favor of Florida’s ban on gay adoption as an “expert” witness. Rekers, if you remember got caught traveling with a male “escort” from Rentboy.com.  When McCollum was unable to find anyone willing to testify in favor of the ban, top members of his staff advised him not to use Reker, but he ignored them—too bad. Not only did the Court consider Reker’s testimony not credible, it was found to be far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence.”

Thanks to Equality Florida, 6,000 Floridians sent messages to Bill McCollum telling him that he was wrong to use taxpayer dollars to uphold an archaic ban on gay adoption that doesn’t do anything to better the lives of Florida’s children.

Telling is good.  Showing is better.  Floridians can also show McCollum that his actions were wrong in the next election.   

Category: Gay-Lesbian | No Comments »

A Tragic Story with a Positive Outcome

April 19th, 2010 by Admin

Janice Langbehn and Lisa Marie Pond were setting sail on a vacation cruise with three of their four children in February 2007.  The cruise was a celebration of their 18 years together as a couple.  But, before the ship left port, Pond suffered a massive stroke and was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) in Miami.

Because she was not considered “Family” Jackson Memorial administrators refused to allow Janice into Mary’s hospital room.  It was tragic that the hospital’s narrow definition of “Family” kept Janice from her beloved partner of 18 years at such a crucial time when she so needed the comfort of her family. Left alone for eight hours Mary slipped into a coma and died. It’s hard to believe that people could have been so callous and uncaring to allow that to happen.

This tragic incident was the catalyst that changed Jackson’s policies and procedures regarding LGBT families.  In a move that sets a new standard for Florida hospitals, Jackson Memorial Hospital has adopted a comprehensive set policies and procedures that respect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families.  Thanks go to Equality Florida for their work in helping to ensure that LGBT families are respected, protected, and supported. JMH CEO, staff, and administrative leaders are working closely with the LGBT community to upgrade hospital policies and training procedures with the goal of making Jackson a model for how hospitals should treat gay and transgender families and patients.

Just days ago, President Obama sent out a memo stating in part, “Gay and lesbian Americans are “uniquely affected” by relatives-only policies at hospitals.  They are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives—unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.  In his memo the President asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation rights to civil partners, effective immediately. 

 …And not a moment too soon.

 “It gives me and my family some comfort to know that by sharing our story we have helped to change Jackson’s policies for the better.”- Janice Langbehn

Category: Gay-Lesbian | No Comments »

Anti-Bullying Law

May 3rd, 2008 by Admin

Equality Florida and the Safe Schools Coalition Celebrate Anti-Bullying Law Eight Years in the Making

Florida Becomes 36th State to Pass Anti-Bullying Law

After 8 years of effort on the part of hundreds of students, parents, educators and civil rights groups, The Florida Safe Schools Coalition celebrates the unanimous passage of a statewide anti-bullying bill.

According to Nadine Smith, Executive Director for Equality Florida, “The legislature has made clear that any school that fails to prevent and respond to anti-gay bullying and to protect every student will be in violation of this law and will face the consequences. We will hold them accountable.”

 

Category: Youth, Bullying, Gay and Lesbian | No Comments »

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