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Oakland Park Commissioner Jed Shank defends gay-pride proclamation no vote

June 7, 2011  update:

From Eric Romeo of Wedner & Friends, the event producer for Stonewall Street Festival & Parade:

Next year’s event “Stonewall Pride 2012” will be a weeklong celebration starting on June 4-10, 2012 and hope to get the word out early to the South Florida LGBT community.

Father's Day 2012 is June 12, two days after the Stonewall Street Festival is completed.


BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Broward gay activists Wednesday dressed down Oakland Park Commissioner Jed Shank for saying that a city proclamation honoring the Stonewall Street Festival on June 19 — Father’s Day — would be offensive to fathers.

“How is it disrespectful to fathers?’ said Jason Burns, major gifts officer at the Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors. “What about gay fathers? Or the fathers of LGBT people? You’re being disrespectful to them.”

Burns, an Oakland Park resident, admonished Shank at Wednesday's commission meeting, along with Pride Center program operations manager Linda Jain, Dolphin Democrats President Ron Mills and Broward gay/AIDS activist Michael Emanuel Rajner.

At the June 15 meeting, Commissioner John Adornato introduced the proclamation “recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Pride & Equality Month.”

Responded Shank: “This Sunday is Father’s Day and we haven’t recognized our fathers out there and put any proclamation out there for that. So I’m just concerned that we might be disrespecting some of our fathers out there as well by putting this on last minute.” The commission voted 4-1 for the proclamation, with Shank casting the only no vote.

Adornato, who is gay, said Wednesday that he “was certainly surprised Commissioner Shank was opposed to such an ordinance that had been passed numerous times in Oakland Park.”

“I didn’t understand the connection between what he was raising about fathers being upset,” Adornato told The Miami Herald on Wednesday. “It certainly calls into question why he would vote against it. I was disappointed he didn’t vote for it. I would certainly hope he would be supportive of LGBT issues, but that is not the case.”

Shank, who defeated Adornato in an August 2010 special election, told The Herald that he received “some emails” about his vote and that he “did not want to offend” the gay community or vote against the proclamation.

“It was the process to me,” Shank said. “The Stonewall event fell on the holiday and to recognize one and not the other, I felt it would be unfair to all the dads out there, including the GLBT fathers. Next year if the Stonewall Festival and Father’s Day are the same day, I probably will introduce a [Father’s Day] proclamation.”

Shank said he is fully supportive of the gay community, that he “voted for a civil service amendment that provided for gender expression protections,” as well as previous gay pride proclamations and “an anti-bullying proclamation intended for GLBT students.”


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Disrespectful to gay and trans-gender fathers? You gays rely on heteros to reproduce so it is time you showed us a little sensitivity. Tracy Morgan was right!

Gay people have MORE rights than anyone else. The commisoner is probobly raising his own children to be streight instead of being nuetral and letting them amke up their own minds.

Although the commissioner has every right to vote against the proclamation, his reasoning is extremely illogical. I don't think it necessarily means he's anti-gay, but it definitely reveals some type of bias.

There is no such thing as a gay father.

Hey Fudge Packer...

Name ONE right gay people have that straight people do not. ONE...JUST ONE and you would have proven your point.

Sorry "whiteguy" I know men married to women who have children that are GAY.. they choose to be married to a woman for career, inheritance purposes, etc.

Sure a lot of comments from stunning ignorant gay phobic fools. Hate and fear is their guide to addressing stupidity. True Christians do not fear gays Christ gave his life for all sins. Who is with out sin? A bunch of stone throwers need to move back Iran where there are no gays.

White Guy --- I promise you as a gay man I have know dozens of men who identify as gay who produced children while trying to conform to society.

Plus there are millions of bisexual men in the world with children.

You should not live in make believe world.

If this commissioner wanted to have a Father's Day proclamation he should have promoted issuance of one.
If he wanted to add Father's Day to the proclamation he should have asked to do so.

Instead he grandstanded.

"You gays rely on heteros to reproduce so it is time you showed us a little sensitivity."

A thinking person's soul has to weep a bit when they read this level of ignorance based on tribal mentality.

They do not get there is no us/them - it is just all of us.

Yes it was a conflict to schedule the event on June 18 BUT JUNE is gay pride month and there are only 4 weekends.

Hopefully the schedule can be addressed better in the future by the tiny group of people who planned this event.

But again this comment is tribe against entire tribe.

Father's is an honorable day and should not be smeared by a deviant lifestyle.

No offense, but don't you think an article on a quick proclamation vote at a Commission meeting is massively blowing this out of proportion? I mean is their meaningless proclamation really going to have any effect on anyone (gay or straight)?

As someone who was born and raised in Oakland Park, I haven't seen much/any bitterness towards the gay community. If anything, Oakland Park's gov/business people are doing everything they can to ingratiate themselves to the gay community so that the economic revival of Wilton Manors will move slightly up north to Oakland Park.

Shank is right, if you're going to issue proclamations, then you need to recognize EVERY resident or better yet, stop wasting government time on such things.

You would think he would just introduce a similar vote for fathers, rather than come up with a sham excuse to vote against it...

I agree with Mike... Commissioner Shank is Right! I was also born and raised in Oakland Park( NEHS - Go Canes!) and there should either be a proclamation for "Fathers Day" and the "Natural Family" each year also, or none at all. The commission has spent far too much time concerning itself with its own personal agendas of social validation, rather than focusing on the multiple city functions that are in dire need of attention. Don't dismiss the majority by way of exclusion, while appeasing activists’ agendas! Let’s get back to City Business or we will choose accordingly during the next election cycle! Thank you Steve Rothaus for awaking the Families of Oakland Park to the underlying position of the City of Oakland Park Commission, and its social agenda.

Why do gays need a formal, city-wide declaration for a park party celebrating their gayness? Shouldn't we then have a declaration when Armenians get together to celebrate their community? Would you support having a Jewish Torah Day in the park?

Gays can have a festival if they want. Get a permit and hold it in the park. But to ask for a governmental declaration of support, and then, when one member of the governmental body says that's not something he wants to support as a formal declaration, he's a target for retribution? Epithets? Scorn? Is that what this is all about? Compelling everyone to notice you? Legitimize by intimidation?

It's a little suspicious that this year's gay pride festival was scheduled for traditional Fathers Day, which just happens to be a holiday associated almost entirely with heterosexual families.

Enjoy your festival guys and girls, but don't expect or demand that everyone else pay homage and honor to what you do. That is the kind of thing that further alienates straight people from gays. Most of us straights don't fear gays, and are therefore not 'phobic', but a lot of what gays do in public causes many of us great annoyance and sometimes revulsion.

Some things just don't belong out in the street within public view. I've been to gay pride festivals. Some of what goes on is disturbing. Gays want that kind of stuff legitimized by a city-wide proclamation of support? I don't think so.

gay people are trying to force others to except who they choose to be that isnt fair at all...if person doesnt agree they bash you...I find gay women aggressive and disrespectful...I am not gay at all..I had one female stalker for min...I had to keep repeating myself to her I am not gay dam!!!!!!!! do you I am strictly dickley woman...

RJ - You say my comment about gays requiring heteros to reproduce is so ignorant it requires weeping? Except for a tiny number of instances, I am completely correct. By definition, a factually correct statement is not ignorance. Another poster spoke of gay men getting married to women and having children. The women in these situations is obviously straight in a vast majority of cases so all that proves is that the gay men to whom he/she referred committed fraud on another human being.

Brian -

So much confused thought in your head.
I do feel bad for you. For that any kind soul weeps.

We all know how human reproduce. It is your thought process that is so dark, scared and full of dislike.

You however do not seem to have an understanding on human sexuality which is different than reproduction - and how it is far from "black or white".

Many people think they are bi when they get married but turn out to be gay. Some people are gay and fighting in and get married. Some people are bi and have kids early then live differently later in life.

There is a vast rainbow of differences out there.
You will go to your grave frustrated and angry if you think efforts to make everyone the same will work.

To try to simplify the concept - THE RAINBOW FLAG was created.

Alana -

You are the reason this type of public proclamation if needed.

All you see are the most obvious stereotypes.

Many like to limit the freedom of gay people and believe they are superior to gay and bisexual people.

Proclamations help make sure civil freedom and equality increases and it is made clear to you that you are not superior to gay people in the mind of the Government.


Alana T,
father's day is not necessarily a heterosexual day, gay children celebrate their heterosexual fathers too...

It is amazing how many straight people are so in-tune to this blog.

Sounds like their latent issues are being vented in this space.

Thanks for the laugh "STR8" people

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