PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE – POST-PRIMARY ELECTION UPDATE – AUGUST 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 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."
PBCHRC VOTERS ALLIANCE
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.
Throughout the year, PBCHRCVA supporters worked to identify more LGBTQ-supportive residents and get them registered to vote. We also worked on early voting, vote-by-mail and get-out-the-vote campaigns. So, it came as no surprise that LGBTQ and allied voters in Palm Beach County turned out in record numbers in the Primary Elections, while general turnout was less than 25%. Our supporters continue to be "super-voters," as we have been for decades.
While most of the candidates endorsed by PBCHRCVA did exceptionally well in our county, others were not elected because of election results in other parts of the state.
Thanks to your votes, the following PBCHRCVA-endorsed candidates won their primary elections on August 23:
School Board Members Karen Brill and Erica Whitfield
County Court Judge Paul Damico
Circuit Court Judge-Elect Caryn Siperstein
In addition, the following PBCHRCVA-endorsed candidates moved forward in the Primary Elections, but face opposition in the November 8, 2022, General Election.
Val Demings, candidate for U.S. Senate
U.S. Representatives Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
Jared Moskowitz, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives
Aramis Ayala, candidate for Attorney General
State Representative Kelly Skidmore
Katherine Waldron, Candidate for State Representative
Deandre Poole, candidate for Port of Palm Beach Commissioner
School Board Member Marcia Andrews
Corey Smith, candidate for School Board
To view a list of all of the candidates endorsed by PBCHRCVA in the General election, click here.
DELRAY BEACH LGBTQ PRIDE
STRIKES AGAIN (AND AGAIN)
On June 13, 2022, Judge Scott Suskauer ordered two years of probation for Alexander Jerich, the man who used his truck to deface the Delray Beach LGBTQ Pride Steetscape in June 2021. As part of the Order of Probation, Jerich was ordered to “live without violating any law. A conviction in a court of law is not necessary for such a violation of law to constitute a violation of your probation...”
Apparently, Jerich did not respect the Order.
Within weeks following the sentencing hearing, residents in unincorporated Lake Worth filed complaints with PBSO, reporting Jerich revving up his vehicle, damaging the field adjacent to their homes. After the first incident on July 4, Jerich returned to the same location on July 11, and did it again, this time, damaging both the grass and a small pine tree.
The homeowners provided PBSO with photos and videos taken by security cameras of Jerich and the damage he caused.
Despite the clear photo of Jerich and the identification of his vehicle, Jerich denied being involved when PBSO went to his home to question him. Although PBSO informed Jerich’s Probation Officer of the incident, the probation officer did not find the offense significant enough to report te incident to Judge Suskauer. Therefore PBCHRC sent a letter to Judge Suskauer seeking an investigation regarding Jerich’s possible violation of probation.
Unless Judge Suskauer takes action, it appears that once again, the justice system will fail to hold accountable a man who shows no respect for the property of others — or Judge Suskauer’s admonition and Order of Probation.
CONVERSION THERAPY BAN UPDATE
In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a ruling refusing to reconsider a three-judge panel decision that struck down the conversion therapy bans enacted in Palm Beach County and Boca Raton.
As a result of the ruling, young LGBTQ+ people throughout Florida, Alabama and Georgia are at risk from the psychological abuse caused by conversion therapy.
In order to prevent this case from proceeding to the U.S. Supreme Court, PBCHRC has asked Palm Beach County Commissioners and Boca Raton City Commissioners to repeal their bans, which they have done, thus making the legal issue moot. (We also have requested seven other municipalities throughout the county to repeal their bans as well.)
PBCHRC'S SUMMER SOIREE
PBCHRC supporters had a great time at our biennial Summer Soirée at the National Croquet Center. Thanks go out to the Host Committee for making this event a fabulous success
Alexandria Ayala and Rob Long
Paul Bernabeo and David Cohen
Pamela Buchmeyer and Shellie Crandall
Shawn Cherry and Vincent Ruisi
Peter Conn, Jr. and Oscar Garza
David Crespo and Nicholas Coppola
Joseph Paul Davis
Keith James and Lorna James
Gerald Jarosinski, Jr.
Wood Kinnard and Alberto Arias
Christina and Monte Lambert
Wendy Sartory Link
Katrina Long Robinson
Michelle Oyola McGovern and John McGovern
Joseph Marino, Jr. and Anthony Sibilia
Dr. David Mittleman and Michael Duquette Fowler
National Croquet Center
Joe and Erin Peduzzi
Bobby and Whitney Powell
SandyJames Fine Food & Productions
W. Trent Steele and Douglas B. Andrews
Scott Velozo and Stephen Mooney
Gregg and Rebecca Weiss
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.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Inc. is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Council promotes equality, through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach.