Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual rights have been swept under the rug by lawmakers since the infamous Gay Rights Movement began in the summer of 1969. Now, here we are 40 years later and not much has changed, especially in Florida.
Not much attention has been paid to those who identify as same gender loving. A 1997 Legislative Session voted largely to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act. In the 2008 election a measure calling for same sex marriage to be legalized was placed on the ballot in the form of Amendment 2. Voters defeated the amendment by 62 percent.
Just weeks after the election a Miami judge ruled Florida’s ban on gay adoption unconstitutional saying that the states’ ban on adoption was “not in the best interest of the children.”
The state however, is not completely at fault for the lack of attention paid to the issue by politicians and voters. Gay rights activists haven’t been as vocal as you would think in pursuing those basic rights denied to those they represent.
Speaking of representatives, what about the lawmakers who serve some 1.5 million Florida residents who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual)? It’s probably safe to say that they haven’t examined the benefits of a gay friendly Florida.
According to a report by the University of Florida, the state reportedly saw its first decline in residents for the first time in 46 years after the housing bubble reached its limit in 2008. Maybe lifting bans on same sex marriage and allowing LGBT persons to adopt would make way for Florida to find a new vice outside its endless sunshine, tourism and low taxes.
Jason Lawrence for the Editorial Board.