Sun Sentinel - Palm Beach Politics
Gay activist hails, religious leader criticizes updated city policy for gay employees
By Anthony Man
April 7, 2011
Rand Hoch, founder of the gay rights group Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, is praising the West Palm Beach City Commission's decision to amend city policy to allow employees with domestic partners the right to use family and medical leave to care for their domestic partners the same way married employees can use it to care for their spouses.
"Perhaps one day, the state of Florida and the federal government will end their discrimination against non-traditional families," Hoch said. "Until that day comes, it is incumbent upon local officials to take action to protect all families."
Before the city policy change, employees were allowed to to take unpaid, job-protected leave to attend to their own serious health conditions, as well as to those of their spouses, children and parents.
"As mayor, I am proud that our lesbian and gay municipal employees are entitled to every family benefit offered by the City of West Palm Beach," Mayor Jeri Muoio said in a statement.
The Rev. Mark D. Boykin, senior pastor of Church of All Nations in Boca Raton, opposed the move.
“We are coming together to defend our family values and the traditions we hold dear in the State of Florida,” said Boykin. “It is sad to see that Mayor Jeri Muoio and the city commissioners capitulating to nefarious extremist groups in order to push a radical agenda. We have so many issues and problems in the City of West Palm Beach, and we need the mayor and city commissioners to focus on solving city issues and not to undermine the fabric of the nuclear family.”