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If Jack Seiler runs statewide in future, expect tonight's Fort Laud commission vote on gay marriage to resurface

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission is expected to vote tonight on a resolution asking the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to enact a law allowing same-sex marriage.

The resolution is sponsored by City Commissioner Dean Trantalis, the city’s first openly gay commissioner.

The vote is purely symbolic -- the city can’t force the state to allow same-sex marriage. However the vote could become a flashpoint in future campaigns if Democratic Mayor Jack Seiler decides to run for statewide office in the future (he took a pass this year but hasn’t ruled out a future bid).

It appears that Seiler will oppose the resolution tonight.

“I still support civil unions with full benefits. I have been a supporter of domestic partnership benefits for City employees for almost 20 years, and I signed such benefits into law as Mayor of two different cities," he said in an emailed statement today, referring to Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors. "I am proud of my record on promoting equal rights for all, and I will continue to provide equal benefits on issues that fall under the City's governance and jurisdiction.  As you know, the City of Fort Lauderdale does not regulate marriage and has no authority to make laws impacting marriages in the State of Florida.”

Seiler has been viewed as a longtime supporter of gay rights beginning in the 1990s when he was on the Wilton Manors city council and later as a state representative. A Catholic married father of four children, Seiler told the Miami Herald last year that he had no position on same sex marriage but supported civil unions. That position for a high-profile elected Democrat in liberal Broward is unusual and puts him at odds with other notable Democrats who have become supporters of same sex marriage in recent years.

Though his views on same-sex marriage could resurface during Seiler's re-election race next year, that race will largely focus on issues such as city spending and services. Seiler has never lost a campaign. 

The text of the resolution states that the commission supports “equal access to legal marriage for same-sex couples” and opposes laws that prevent that access. The vote tonight could be close, according to gay activist Michael Rajner.

Fort Lauderdale -- and Broward County -- has one of the state’s most visible gay resident and tourist populations. The city drew nationwide attention in 2007 when then-Mayor Jim Naugle made comments about gay sex in public bathrooms leading to the “Flush Naugle’’ protests.  

 

 

Comments

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ed jenkins

The readers are disgusted that this hometown paper that could be viewed by children and families continues to run stories on perverts and demand that stories on this most offensive topic stop and article writers responsible for these stories be terminated.

Marc Paige

I believe that Jack Seiler, in voting NO tonight on a resolution tonight supporting marriage equality, has ended any chance for him to succeed in any statewide race. His vote against marriage equality in 2004 would have been forgiven; not in 2014! By the way, the resolution passed, 3 - 2.

Wayne Arnold

Leroy Collins one of Florida's greatest Governor's, spoke about another issue of importance relating to the rights of Black persons eating at a Lunch Counter while Florida Law at that time restricted the rights of African Americans to sit and be served food where Whites ate. Then Governor Collins went on statewide television and addressed the issue head-on. He said (if my memory serves me correctly words to the effect) "While Florida statute did not give colored people the right to sit at a lunch counter I feel it is morally wrong." Another time another great issue and it is morally wrong to not allow marriage equality in Florida and in this Nation. Mayor Jack Seiler is an outstanding leader and is one of Florida's
greatest. He has much courage and conviction and I believe he is so well respected by the folks in all Florida that supporting this one issue for marriage equality would not even in "pork country" North of Orlando affect any future statewide campaign. While the Resolution passed by the Fort Lauderdale Commission does not change Florida Law but, it does show that the Commission is on the right side of history.

ed jenkins

This Seiler is a man all democrat primary voters can be proud of for upholding what should never been questioned before but Floridians proved once again that they overwhelmingly do not want these perverted activities going on in their state. This democrat primary voter would be pleased to support Mr. Seiler for higher office as a man who can win over the family friendly voters of florida.

Retired Lt Col Roger Davis USMC

Obviously Mr. Jenkins is a bigot and a homophob. I suggest perhaps you crawl back under the rock from where you came.

Eugene Wade

Mr. Seiler who already refused to support marriage equality on the national website "Mayors for the freedom to marry" refused to support the city's resolution. Mr. seiler voted out the Gay community and the gay community should vote him out too. I will not set foot in Fort Lauderdale as long as this individual will be mayor. Boggles the mind this guy is a Democrat in a city living for a good part from gay tourism.

ed jenkins

There should be no surprise why this man is such a popular political leader within the democrat party since he has the same family friendly view as other democrat primary voters. The citizens do not want these perverts hanging around their city engaging in all of their illegal and immoral conduct so they would be happy to have these perverts head elsewhere to participate in their activities.

pdub

the way that he oversees the discriminatory abuse of homeless people should be indicative enough of his character. there may be a lot of progressive special interests out against him by next year.

Truth Be Told

Ed Jenkins, readers are also disgusted with individuals such as yourself. If your minister doesn't want to be officiating, s/he doesn't have to. But let the ones that want to, do it.


This is 2014. We don't have to sit in the back of a bus, drink out of a different fountain, marry our own religion or race, or accept any other discriminating way of life by you or any one like you.

It's happening, and I guess you'll all just have to crawl back under your rock!

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