Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Other Top Elected Officials Speak at Anti-Gay Group's Breakfast

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Many believe that Carlos Gimenez's endorsement from several gay rights groups in the Miami-Dade County mayoral election helped propel him to a narrow victory over Julio Robaina. So why the hell was he speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Family Coalition, a fringe organization most notable for opposing the "homosexual agenda" at every stop and trying to resurrect anti-gay laws from Miami-Dade's homophobic past?

The Christian Family Coalition may have a feel-good name, but make no mistake the group's founder and executive director Anthony Verdugo is something of the less successful, second coming of Anita Bryant. In 1977, Dade County passed an ordinance protecting homosexuals from discrimination at the workplace and in housing. Bryant lead a successful, high-profile campaign to have the ordinance repealed. Twenty years later, Miami-Dade once again passed a similar bill protecting homosexuals from discrimination. Verdugo helped lead a similar effort to have the new ordinance repealed by a referendum, but it was voted down by 56 percent of voters in 2002. In other words, his most extreme views haven't flown with Miami-Dade voters for at least the past decade.

That hasn't stopped Verdugo and his group from working to opposed gay rights at every turn. The group called Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen "an arrogant, anti-Family, homosexualist extremist" for her support of gay rights. The group opposes even domestic partner registries, and claimed that former Mayor Carlos Alvarez "got on his knees for homosexual groups" for granting domestic partner benefits to the same-sex partners of county employees. They've even blasted AAA for offering family memberships to gay couples.

So it's a bit concerning that some of the top elected officials in Miami-Dade County still speak at events hosted by the fringe group. Eye on Miami points out that State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Miami-Dade chairman Joe Martinez all appeared last Saturday at a prayer breakfast sponsored by the group.

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via CFC
Rundel, Martinez and Gimenez speaking before the group.
Verdugo is now using their attendance to legitimize his group's extremist views.

"The presence of these top elected officials from Miami-Dade County, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Chairman Joe Martinez, is indicative of the increasing support for the work of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) among fair-minded elected officials," he said in a release on the group's website.

I wonder what gay rights groups like Save Dade, who endorsed Gimenez, would have to say about that.

Of course, Miami-Dade mayors trying to cultivate support from both gay rights supporters and homophobes is nothing new. Recalled mayor Carlos Alvarez used to do it all the time.

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12 comments
Soshallwar
Soshallwar

Its a shame the the State Attorney attended such an event as a Democrat running for State Attorney. We should all support her opponent Rod Vereen.

Joe Martinez?
Joe Martinez?

Will Chairman Joe Martinez stand up and demand that the County enforce it's Sign Code?

Miami breaks laws
Miami breaks laws

Corrupt Miami Commissioners take money from billboard companies and then they approve trashy illegal billboards. Who is investigating? Carlos Gimenez protecting our views?

Wake up
Wake up

What's up with Carlos? Why does he let the corrupt City of Miami commissioners install illegal billboards in Miami-Dade County?

Bribes much?
Bribes much?

Carlos Gimenez is letting the outdoor advertising industry walk all over him. Gimenez sits on his hands as Clear Channel and the City of Miami install dozens of illegal LED billboards. Hello? Carlos?

Felixrod50
Felixrod50

Actually, Mayor Gimenez and the other elected officials appearing are being tolerant and respectful of people of ALL faiths and lifestyle choices.  They were invited to speak to this group and their willingness to speak here shows they are open to every resident of the county, regardles of faith or personal preference.  So the premise of this New Times article places the magazine as highly intolerant. I'm sure many in the gay community would say it is fine for the Mayor to be respectful of the Christian Coalition as long as he is respectful of Save Dade and other GLBT groups.  

Phil Ander
Phil Ander

More proof that our local elected are out of touch with their voting base and wayyyy too touchy feely with conservative lobbyists. It's a natural symptom of living in the city with the lowest civic engagement in the country. Things have to get worse before they get better. The corruption will have to bubble up over the edges before people finally decide to do something about it—even if doing something just means SPEAKING UP.

BuffBeachBum
BuffBeachBum

That is an argument that neo-conservatives use all the time: we must be tolerant of those who are intolerant. The circular logic falls apart though because no one is saying you are not allowed to feel that way, speak that way, or organize that way. But you are not free from the repercussions of acting that way. You have free speech and free will. You also have responsibility of free speech and free will.

Jeebus
Jeebus

 oyvay really? so if the KKK invites the county Mayor to give a speed at a KKK conference, he should be expected to attend to appear "tolerant" ? Zero tolerance for hate groups and CFC is nothing more than a hate group, period.

Msol
Msol

Gimme a transcript of their speeches and lets see. 

BuffBeachBum
BuffBeachBum

Amen to that Phil. Things will have to get much worse. Maybe if it somehow involved Castro. That seems to be the only thing that causes outrage in Miami.

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