Sunday, June 5, 2022

President's Message - June 2022

 

June 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.
As we begin to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month nationwide, we are outraged with the anti-LGBTQ+ laws being enacted by the Florida legislature and signed into law by the governor for the past two years. That having been said, we need to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be living in Palm Beach County, where so much progress has been made for the LGBTQ+ community for more than three decades.
Since 1990, 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 height of the pandemic, elected officials throughout our county enacted several new LGBTQ+-inclusive municipal civil rights ordinances. For a list of the laws and policies enacted as the result of PBCHRC’s efforts, click here and select "Laws & Policies."
LGBTQ+ PRIDE MONTH
Happy Pride!

There is so much going on in June for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies to celebrate this month. We can not list everything, but we will highlight a few key events.

  • The celebrations kick off on Wednesday, June 1 at 8:00 p.m. with "Pride Lights" illuminating Nancy Graham Centennial Park at 150 N. Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. The celebration will feature performances by local cabaret stars Rob Russell and Avery Sommers. In addition, ensembles from the Palm Beach Symphony and Young Singers of the Palm Beaches have been invited to perform.

  • "Pride On The Block" returns to the 500 block of Clematis Street in West Palm from 1:00 p.m.-to midnight on Saturday, June 4. Subculture Coffee, Kapow!, Hullabaloo, Lost Weekend, O’Shea’s Irish Pub, Respectable Street, Alchemy Juice Co. and BRK Republic Tap House & Dog Park will providing drinks throught the event and drink bracelets are $30 in advance and $35 at the gate. For drink bracelts and further information, click here.

  • On Satruday, June 11, Delray Beach officials will host "The Pride Festival" at the recently restored Delray Beach LGBTQIA+ Pride Intersection Memorial, which was defaced during a hate crime last June. The street festival, which will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at NE 2nd Avenue from E. Atlantic Avenue to NE 2nd Street, will feature live entertainment, food trucks, vendors, games, and much more. In addition, there will be a pet costume contest sponsored by Wagpride Pet Boutique. At 8:30 p.m., the action will move to the city's historic Old School Square for a a free outdoor concert featuring "Almost Abba". Old School Square is located at 51 N Swinton Avenue.

  • PBCHRC will hold our annual Pride Happy Hour at Meat Market on Wednesday, June 15. (see below).

  • Finally, on Saturday June 25, Compass will host the 20th annual Stonewall Ball at the Cox Science Center and Aquarium, 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach. For information and tickets, click here.
PBCHRC'S 2022 PRIDE HAPPY HOUR
Please join PBCHRC on Wednesday, June 15 for our annual Pride Happy Hour at Meat Market Palm Beach191 Bradley Place in Palm Beach. The free event, which runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. , will feature complementary passed hors d'ouvres and happy hour price drinks. In addition, Meat Market will donate 10% of the dinner proceeds to PBCHRC,

While the event is free, you must register to attend.

To register, click here.
IMPORTANT ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD ON AUGUST 23
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.
Statewide races on the ballot for the August 23 Primary Election may include candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Attoreny General, Chief Finalial Office, Commssioner of Agriculture, and a host of state and local elections.

Members of the PBCHRC Voters Alliance will be interviewing candidates and making endorsements throughout the summer. For a complete list of endorsements made to date, click here.

To register to vote in Palm Beach County, click here.The last day to register to vote -- or change political party affiliation for the August 23, 2022 Primary Election is July 25, 2022!

Early voting will he held from August 8 through 21, 10:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. daily. There will be more than 20 voting locations throughout Palm Beach County. For more information about Early Voting, click here.

As always, we are encouraging our supporters to Vote-By-Mail. Palm Beach County residents may request Vote-By-Mail ballots by clicking here. The deadline to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot is 5:00 p.m. on August 13, 2022

On Election Day, August 23, 2022, the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is also the last day to return your Vote-By-Mail ballot.
THE 2022 DANIEL S. HALL SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARDS
The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation awarded has presented the 2022 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards to Calvin Brown. Emma Kutcher, and Tatiana Venero. The awards are presented annually to college-bound graduating seniors who have demonstrated an interest in advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Each of the recipients will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
 
The Social Justice Awards are named after Daniel S. Hall, a local attorney who manages a financial counseling company. Hall, Treasurer of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council since 1990, is the Council's longest serving board member. As the father of three grown children, Hall has always had a strong interest in education.Over the years, has mentored several LGBTQ+ students. 
As an Ambassador of the Legacy Project through Compass and as a participant in the National LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change conference, Jupiter resident Calvin Brown has developed skills to provide a much needed voice to help implement changes not only in Jupiter High School, but also throughout the School District of Palm Beach County. Calvin's efforts have significantly uplifted the LGBTQ+ community, Following graduation, Calvin plans to attend college to major in Film and Art Studies.
Boca Raton resident Emma Kutcher studies communications at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, where she serves as President of the school's Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). With close to 100 members, the school's GSA is one of the largest in Palm Beach County. As Editor-in-Chief of the school's Marquee Yearbook, Emma has included coverage providing LGBTQ+ and minority students with a voice to tell their stories. Emma has also volunteered and written contentfor PRISM, a non-profit organization advocating for LGBTQ+ youth. In the fall, Emma will begin her Public Policy studies at Carleton College, where she willl continue to work towards achieving social equality.
Tatiana Venero, a West Palm Beach resident, attends privte school at the Coastal Middle and High School. She has been active in the youth program at Compass and completed 1more than 100 hours of community service, helping protest against anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
Tatania also creates personal stories which discuss the trauma and joy of being LGBTQ+ and plans to publish the stories as comics, using the visual aspect of the medium to its fullest. Tatania will be attending Palm Beach State College college to earn a degree in the arts..
Created in 2015, the Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards are administered by PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin K. Lewis, Chair of the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation's scholarship program.  

To review the biographies of the 17 other Daniel S. Hall Public Social Justice Award recipients and to learn more about the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation, click here.
DELRAY BEACH LGBTQ+ PRIDE STREETSCAPE
VANDAL GETS NO JAIL TIME -- 
ONLY PROBATION AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
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.

In April, PBCHRC and the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation filed a Victim Impact Statement to assist the court in determining an appropriate sentence ofr Jerich, a first-time offender. At an initial hearing on April 21, PBCHRC requested the court to require Jerich to spend time behind bars, as part of his sentence. PBCHRC stated that if Jerich received a light sentence such as house arrest in his gated community, justice would not be served for the LGBTQ community, as 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 jail time.

However, at the final sentencing hearing on June 7, Circuit Court Judge Scott Suskauer refused to sentence Jerich to any jail time. Instead, Suskauer sentenced Jerich to two years of probation, withholding adjudication, This means Jerich is not being convicted of the felony and the misdemeanor he committed when he used his truck to defaced the memorial, creating “burnouts” which left a set of fifteen-foot black skidmarks. Judge Suskauer also ordered Jerich to perform 100 hours of community service, undergo a mental health evaluation, and pay court costs of $774.00.

To view a 16 second video of Jerich's crimes, click here,

PBCHRC informed the media that this sentence was an outrage to the LGBTQ+ community,and that the message being sent was "Come on down to Palm Beach County where you can vanalize cultural memorials all you want with no consequences.'"

CONVERSION THERAPY BAN COURT CHALLENGE
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.

PBCHRC'S SUMMER SOIRÉE
PBCHRC's Board of Directors cordially invites you to for our biennial Summer Soirée, which will be held on Saturday evening, July 16, 2022, Sandy James Fine Food & Productions will be catering and the event will feature passed heavy hors d'oeuvres and a premium open bar. The event will be held at the National Croquet Club in West Palm Beach.

Individual tickets are $125 per person. We are also seeking donors to join the Host Committee for $1,000. It is our hope that there will be enough members of the Host Committee to allow 100% of the proceeds from individual ticket sales to go directly to fund PBCHRC's programs and initiatives.

Host Committee Members will be entitled to two tickets to the Summer Soirée, listings in all event-related publicity, and two tickets to the VIP Pre-Party tentatively scheduled for the evening of Thursday, July 14, at The Library at Frenchman's Reserve in Palm Beach Gardens.

To join the Host Committee
or purchase individual tickets,
please click here.
HOST COMMITTEE (in formation)

Alexandria Ayala and Rob Long
Paul Bernabeo and David Cohen
Pamela Buchmeyer and Shellie Crandall
Ric Bradshaw
Karen Brill
Sean Cherry and Vincent Ruisi
Peter Conn, Jr. and Oscar Garza
Cornerstone Solutions
David Crespo and Nicholas Coppola
Charlie Crist
Joseph Paul Davis
Echo
Christy Fox
Nikki Fried
Dan Hall
Rand Hoch
Keith James and Lorna James
Gerald Jarosinski, Jr.
Wood Kinnard and Alberto Arias
Christina and Monte Lambert
Gregg Lerman
Wendy Sartory Link
Katrina Long Robinson
Michelle Oyola McGovern and John McGovern
Joseph Marino, Jr. and Anthony Sibilia 
Mittleman Eye
Dr. David Mittleman and Michael Duquette Fowler
Jared Moskowitz
National Croquet Center
Joe and Erin Peduzzi
Ty Penserga
Bobby and Whitney Powell
SandyJames Fine Food & Productions
David Silvers
W. Trent Steele and Douglas B. Andrews
Andy Thomson
Don Todorich
Scott Velozo and Stephen Mooney
Katherine Waldron
Cathleen Ward
Shalonda Warren
Gregg and Rebecca Weiss
Erica Whitfield
Matt Willhite

IMPLEMENTATION OF "DON'T SAY GAY"
AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

As a result of the unfortunate enatcment of the repressive "Parental Rights in Education" bill which goes into effect on July 1, 2022, the following three books have been"identified for review": by the School District of Palm Beach County:
● "Call Me Max" by Kyle Lukoff - (When Max starts school, the teacher hesitates to call out the name on the attendance sheet. Something doesn't seem to fit. Max lets her know the name he wants to be called by--a boy's name. This begins Max's journey as he makes new friends and reveals his feelings about his identity to his parents. Written with warmth and sensitivity by trans writer Kyle Lukoff, this book is a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender.)
● "I am Jazz" by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings (From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.)
● "Flamer" by Mike Curato (It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes―but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.)
Palm Beach County Superintendent of Schools Mike Burke has reached out to PBCHRC, Compass, and other community organizations to see how best to provide information and services to LGBTQ+ public school students in light of the enactment of the repressive "Don't Say Gay" law.
  CURRENT INITIATIVES
 
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
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PBCHRC'S Registration Number is CH46486. To obtain registration information, you may consult the website or call 800-435-7352.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
RAND HOCH
President and Founder

MEREDITH OCKMAN
Vice President

DANIEL S. HALL
Treasurer

RAE FRANKS
Secretary
SEAN CONKLIN
JANIECE N. DAVIS
MICHAEL DUQUETTE FOWLER
G. JOSEPH GARCIA
CHAUNCEY GRAHAM
JASMIN LEWIS
TAMARA SAGER
J.P. SASSER
GEMMA TORCIVIA
RHONDA WILLIAMS


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, gender identity and gender expression. 

We promote equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach. Over the years, PBCHRC has been responsible for the implementation of more than 160 laws and policies providing equal protections, rights, and benefits for the LGBTQ community.  


Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
Post Office Box 267
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402
(561) 358-0105


Please follow "PBCHRC" on Facebook and Twitter
and sign up for the PBCHRC blog - pbchrc.blogspot.com/

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PBCHRC'S Registration Number is CH46486. To obtain registration information, you may consult the website or call 800-435-7352.
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council | P. O. Box 267West Palm Beach, FL 33402

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