Thursday, March 10, 2022

President's Message - March 2022


March 9, 2022

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. We promote equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation and community outreach.
Since 1988, PBCHRC has been responsible for the enactment of more than 160 laws and policies providing equal rights, protections and benefits for the LGBTQ community. Our work never stops. Even during the pandemic, we were responsible for the enactment of seven new LGBTQ-inclusive municipal civil rights ordinances in Palm Beach County. For a list of the laws and policies enacted as the result of PBCHRC’s efforts, click here and select "Laws & Policies."
Our success in enacting pro-LGBTQ laws is directly related to our community’s participation in electoral politics.

Since 1988, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance (PBCHRCVA) members -- all volunteers -- have conducted close to 1,000 face-to-face endorsement interviews — and close to 100 interviews via Zoom and phone — of candidates seeking public office. We have done this to educate public officials, make endorsements and take action to elect people who will take steps to change laws and policies to provide equal treatment and equal benefits for the local LGBTQ community. As part of our efforts, PBCHRCVA has been working diligently for decades to identify more LGBTQ-supportive residents and get them registered to vote.
This year, PBCHRC-supportive volunteers joined several campaigns, working especially hard to elect Ty Penserga Mayor of Boynton Beach. When sworn in later this month, Ty will become the first openly LGBTQ Mayor of Boynton Beach and the sixth openly LGBTQ mayor elected in Palm Beach County.
Boynton Beach Mayor-Elect Ty Penserga
As a result of these efforts -- and your participation -- the following candidates were elected (or re-elected) to office on March 8:
Boynton Beach Mayor
Ty Penserga

Boynton Beach City Commission (Dist. 1)
Angela Cruz

Greenacres City Council (Dist. III)
Judy Dugo

Greenacres City Council (Dist. IV)
Susy Diaz

North Palm Beach Village Council (Group 3)
Darryl Aubrey

Wellington Village Council (Seat 2)
Tanya Siskind

Wellington Village Council (Seat 3)
John T. McGovern

West Palm Beach City Commission (Dist. 1)
Cathleen Ward

In addition, Jervonte “Tae” Edmonds was elected to serve as State Representative for District 88.

Congratulations to all and special thanks go out to those PBCHRCVA-endorsed candidates who referenced our endorsements and used our logo in their television, social media, and print media campaigns.

Since the following candidates endorsed by PBCHRC Voters Alliance did not receive more than 50% of the vote n the March 8 election, they will face opponents in runoff elections on March 22.

Boynton Beach City Commission (Dist. 3)
Marit Hedeen

Jupiter Mayor
Ilan Kaufer

Lake Worth Beach City Commission (Dist. 4)
Craig Frost

Please remember to vote for them in the upcoming runoff election!

For the list of more than 90 candidates endorsed by PBCHRCVA who currently are serving in office, click here.

As a result of our successes in electing LGBTQ-supportive candidates, throughout Palm Beach County it is illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people with regard to employment, housing and public accommodation. In addition, there are now more than 160 local ordinances, resolutions, collective bargaining agreements and policies that provide Palm Beach County's LGBTQ residents and visitors equal rights, protections and benefits. A complete list can be found by clicking here and selecting the "Laws & Policies" tab.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Charitable Foundation is accepting applications for the 2022 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards – college scholarships available to graduating LGBTQ+ high school seniors from Palm Beach County.

PBCHRC's Social Justice Award is named after Daniel S. Hall, a local attorney who manages a financial counseling company. Hall has served as the Treasurer of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council since 1990 and is its longest serving board member. As a father of three, an activist, and a mentor of gay youth, Hall has always had a strong interest in education.

Applications and recommendations for the 2022 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Award scholarship are due no later than midnight April 15, 2022

For an application for the 2022 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Award scholarship, click here

For recommendation forms (two are required), click here

For further information, contact Jasmin Lewis at 

To review the biographies of the 17 Daniel S. Hall Public Social Justice Award recipients and to learn more about the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation, click here. The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation also provides need-based scholarships to LGBTQ college students. Last year, the Foundation’s Board of Directors voted to establish the W. Trent Steele Legal Advocacy Awards for second- and third-year law students.
Immediately following his attendance at an event sponsored by the Republican Party of Palm Beach County on June 14, 2021, Alexander Jerich vandalized the Delray Beach LGBTQ Pride Steetscape, using his pickup truck to create approximately 15 feet of skidmarks across the streetscape. A video of the event made by one of his colleagues went viral on social media. To watch a video of Jerich's crime, click here.

To avoid going to trial, Jerich pleaded guilty to all felony and misdemeanor charges.on March 2. Jerich now faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. He also could be required to pay the city of Delray Beach thousands of dollars to repair the intersection.

A sentencing hearing will conducted by Circuit Court Judge Scott Suskauerheld on April 21 at 1:30 Courtroom 10 B of the Main Courthouse in West Palm Beach. In advance of the hearing, PBCHRC and the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation will file a Victim Impact Statement to assist Judge Suskauer in determining an appropriate sentence for Jerich.

It is PBCHRC's position that if Jerich receives a light sentence such as house arrest in his gated community or community service, justice will not have been served for the LGBTQ community,. A light sentence could encourage other anti-LGBTQ hatemongers to come to Palm Beach County and vandalize our LGBTQ public art, knowing they might not face felony convictions or jail time.

PBCHRC will ask Judge Suskauer to require Jerich to immediately pay the City of Delray Beach the full cost to repair the damage done to the Pride Intersection and be ordered to stay away from the Delray Beach LGBTQ Pride Intersection for the rest of his life.

In addition, PBCHRC will ask Judge Suskauer to make sure Jerich becomes a convicted felon, losing his rights to vote and legally own a gun. We oppose having Jerich's adjudication withheld as that would send the wrong signal to others of his ilk.

Finally, Jerich should spend some time behind bars.

To review an editorial from The South Florida Sun-Sentinel calling for jail time for Jerich, click here.

In October 2018, Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, filed suit in federal court on behalf of two local therapists seeking to nullify the bans on conversion therapy for minors enacted by Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton. However, in February 2019, Judge Robin Rosenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied Liberty Counsel's motion for preliminary injunctions, which sought to prevent the bans from remaining in effect pending trial.

Having lost, Liberty Counsel immediately appealed the order to the U.S. District Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit and in November 2020, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that the ordinances were unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. The City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County immediately filed a Joint Petition for Rehearing by the full Eleventh Circuit. To date, the Eleventh Circuit has not ruled on the Joint Petition. Fortunately, since the Eleventh Circuit has yet to issue a mandate, the panel’s decision has yet to take effect. PBCHRC will continue to keep you informed.
Serving more than 400 young people in Palm Beach County, Vita Nova is a safe bridge to independence for former foster care, LGBTQ and other homeless youth through supportive housing, education, employment and life skills training. As the voice of homeless young adults, Vita Nova is working to eliminate homelessness for youth ages 18 to 25 years old in Palm Beach County.

Please join PBCHRC and PBCHRC Charitable Foundation at Vita Nova's Manatees & Martinis at Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach on Saturday evening, March 19 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Guests at Manatees & Martinis will experience an exhilarating evening on the water featuring an array of culinary delicacies, exotic beverages, live music, and possible manatee sightings. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on unique auction items.

Proceeds from Manatees & Martinis will go toward Vita Nova’s Housing Program and
Independent Living Services.

To purchase tickets and
for more information,
click here


The 2022 Winter Fête was held on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at a private home in Palm Beach and as always, it was a stellar event. More than 200 people attended and we raised more than $80,000 for PBCHRC and the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation
Thanks go out to our generous donors, who helped make Winter Fête a great success.
Grand Benefactors
George Albrecht
Dan Hall
The Law and Mediation Offices of Rand Hoch, P.A.
SandyJames Fine Food & Productions
W. Trent Steele and Douglas B. Andrews

Bill Bone
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
Congressman Mark Foley and Ryan Ruark
Peter Conn, Jr. and Oscar Garza
Michael Kagdis
Wood Kinnard and Alberto Arias
Mittleman Eye / Dr. David Mittleman and Michael Duquette Fowler
Scott Rixford and Jose Mena

Alexandria Ayala and Rob Long
State Senator Lori Berman
County Commissioner Mack and Shawn Bernard
James Bonfiglio
School Board Member Karen and Stuart Brill
Mauricio Busa and Barry Hayes
Sean Cherry and Vincent Ruisi
David Cohen and Paul Bernabeo
Gil Cohen and Paul Gervais
Nicholas Coppola and David Crespo
Cornerstone Solutions
Palm Beach Town Council Member Lew Crampton
Shellie Crandall and Pamela Buchmeyer
Joseph Paul Davis
Arlen Dominek and A.J. Young
William Eberhardt and Todd Hase
David Edmonds
Lee Felty and Eric Lemonides
Florida Sugar Cane League
Frank Forestieri
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christy Fox
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried,
Edith Hall Friedheim and Peter Cruise
Jeffrey P. Ganek
Constitutional Tax Collector Anne Gannon
H.G. Roosters/A.J. Wasson & Randy Christensen
Hierromat Development
Tom Holton
West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James and Lorna James
Gerald Jarosinski, Jr.
Bill Jones and Rey Hernandez
Richard Katzenberg and John Betz
Charles Kidd
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christina and Monte Lambert
Gregg S. Lerman
Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link
James McAdam and Nathan Flowers
Wellington Vice-Mayor John McGovern
Michelle McGovern, Candidate for County Commission
Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Sarah Malega
Palm Beach Gardens Councilmember Dr. Mark Marciano and Dr. Brandee Marciano
David Markarian
Ross Meltzer
David Miller and Ray Wakefield
Rebecca Miller
Mittleman Eye / Dr. David Mittleman and Michael Duquette Fowler
Frank Morgan and Brent Feigenbaum
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Joseph Peduzzi and Erin Peduzzi
Boynton Beach City Commissioner Ty Penserga
Steve Potanovic
Lake Worth Beach Mayor Betty Resch
Michael Rubin and David Kamp
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kelly Shoaf
Anthony Sibilia and Joseph Marino, Jr.
State Representative David Silvers
Caryn Siperstein and Isaac Klein
Michael Judd and Ben Small
Sutka Visual Design
Ilya Tatarov
Eric Telchin and Logan Nolting
Don Todorich -- Corcoran Group R.E
Gemma Torcivia and Kate McMahon
Scott Velozo and Stephen Mooney
Cathleen Ward and Paul Skaar
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shalonda Warren
Don Watren and Tony Jaggi
James Watson
Mayor Robert and Mrs. Pamela Weinroth
Palm Beach County Commissioner Gregg and Rebecca Weiss
State Representative Matt Willhite
Charles Williams

Sushi Sponsor: Echo
Vodka Sponsor: Pernod Ricard USA
Wine Sponsor: Table 26
Music by DJ Ilya Tatarov
Afterparty Host: Almond Palm Beach

  • PBCHRC was featured in On The Town in The Palm Beaches with Frank Licari 
  • The Palm Beach County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Michael Burke sent a joint letter to the Florida Legislature condemning proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation. The letter was initiated by Emmy Kenny, who represents PBCHRC on the School District's Diversity and Equity Committee.
  • Emmy Kenny testified before the Florida House of Representatives Education Committee agan the enactment of the "Stop Woke" legislation.
  • Emmy Kenny helped organize the tremendously successful "Stand up for our Rights" Rally on March 1 in West Palm Beach to draw attention to three dangerous bills being considered by the Florida Legislature: the "Don't Say Gay" bill, the "Stop Woke" bill and the 15-week abortion ban.
  • I presented a history of pro-LGBTQ legislation at the South Palm Beach County Bar Association's "Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation Protections in the Workplace" roundtable. 
  • The Boynton Beach City Commission adopted a resolution authorizing the installation of a plaque at the Boynton Beach memorial LGBTQ Pride Intersection.
  • State Senator Tina Polsky and State Representative Emily Slosberg filed legislation to extend hate crimes protections to include those committed against government-owned properties.
  • PBCHRC joined the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, where PBCHRC Board Member Joseph Garcia serves as Membership Development Manager.
  • PBCHRC Board Member Sean Conklin was appointed to the Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks Board.
  • The Village of Wellington and the City of West Palm Beach earned perfect scores on the annual Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Municipal Equality Index.
  • The Village of Royal Palm Beach designates all single-occupancy restrooms in the soon to be constructed Village Hall as Gender Neutral.
PBCHRC is currently working to persuade:
  • The Health Care District of Palm Beach County to provide trans-specific healthcare services to indigent patients.
  • The School District of Palm Beach County to adopt a resolution opposing conversion therapy on students.
  • The School District of Palm Beach County to cease doing business with Chick-fil-A and other companies that discriminate against LGBTQ people and other minorities.
For more than three decades, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has worked diligently on behalf of the LGBTQ community. With your support, we will continue to do so in the years to come. As always, we will keep you posted on our progress.

Judge Rand Hoch (retired),
President and Founder

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