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ACLU and SAVE Dade 'slam' mayoral candidate Julio Robaina for 'conflicting statements'

News release from Howard Simon of the ACLU of Florida and C.J. Ortuño SAVE Dade:

Leaders of Gay Rights and Civil Liberties Organizations Slam Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate Julio Robaina for Conflicting Statements

Miami – Leaders of two gay rights and civil rights organizations blasted Mayoral Candidate Julio Robaina for announcing a position on domestic partner health and visitation rights that conflicts with signed statements he submitted just two months ago when he was seeking endorsement from the County’s principal gay rights organization.

On April 26, 2011, Candidate Julio Robaina – then seeking the endorsement of SAVE Dade – submitted a questionnaire to the SAVE Dade Action PAC supporting a statewide domestic partner registry, visitation rights and “other basic rights” for gay and unmarried opposite sex couples.

SAVE Dade is Miami-Dade County’s leading organization dedicated to protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) against discrimination.

In the signed statement, Robaina stated: ”I support and believe that it is right for there to be a register (sic) of domestic partner relationships with the county to provide visitation rights and basic rights to domestic partners. I would support a measure at the state level that recognizes visitation rights and other basic rights. As to health coverage, I would need additional information regarding its fiscal impact.”

According to The Miami Herald, in the final face-to-face debate before Tuesday’s election, Robaina announced that “he would likely support any move by county commissioners to repeal benefits currently offered by the county, which allows its unmarried employees to buy health insurance for their partners, and for the couples to visit each other in jail and in the hospital.”

The debate was taped Friday morning, June 24, for WFOR’s News & Views with Eliott Rodriguez.

The following is a statement issued jointly by C.J. Ortuno, Executive Director, SAVE Dade and Howard Simon, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union on Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate Julio Robaina’s conflicting policy statements and newly-announced support for repeal of domestic partner benefits for Miami-Dade County gay and unmarried opposite sex couples and their families and children.

It is sad to see a politician willing to play politics with essential health insurance coverage and even visitation rights for gay and unmarried non-gay county workers and their families in a desperate effort to scrape up a few votes before Tuesday’s election.

In light of Robaina’s statement that he supports visitation rights and domestic partner benefits for state workers that he signed and submitted to SAVE Dade Action PAC when he was seeking the group’s endorsement, his latest statement reflects poorly on his integrity -- demonstrating his willingness to say anything to anyone to win votes.

Copies of Candidate’s Robaina’s signed statement of his position submitted to SAVE Dade is available upon request.


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