John Stemberger
Hate group leader John Stemberger

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is being considered for the vacant Florida chief financial officer position. This has elicited a panicked email from the always odious John Stemberger of Florida Family Action titled: “URGENT ACTION ALERT: Contact Governor Scott and Tell Him that: Florida Does Not Want Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to Become Florida’s Next Statewide CFO.”

Stemberger has a list of grievances. Among them are:

Lenny cannot be trusted and betrayed local Jacksonville voters by promising several people he would veto any HRO but when the time came, he failed to deliver on this promise.

The Human Rights Ordinance wasn’t subject to veto. It passed by a super-majority of the city council.

By executive order, he created special rights for people claiming to be gay and transgendered in city government trampling on the rights of thousands of other employers and vendors associated with the City of Jacksonville.

Mayor Curry

“Special rights” is as hackneyed, meaningless and dishonest as “homosexual agenda” or “gays recruit.” Stemberger is saying that city contractors and the city itself have a “special right” (we can do it too) to discriminate against LGBT citizens and residents. What is the importance of a right to discriminate and what are the consequences of not being permitted to do so? Stemberger is just being his usual absurd Christianist self.

Lenny’s refusal to veto the deceptive and unconstitutional “Human Rights Ordinance” (HRO) in Jacksonville puts women and children in danger by allowing men to use women’s showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms in domestic violence shelters and in other non-profit charities with residential facilities.

Again, the HRO was not subject to veto. Florida is a Home Rule state and there is nothing unconstitutional about a nondiscrimination ordinance. There is nothing deceptive about adding sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes. The deception is coming from Mr. Stemberger who has a history of dishonest. The trope that trans women pose a danger to anyone else is not validated by any experience. It is based on the preposterous notion that people will pretend to be transgender. Please.

If politicians are not willing to fight for laws which defend our first and most fundamental liberty, religious freedom, and they are not willing to fight to protect the dignity, security, and safety of women and children, then we are not interested in them serving as elected officials.

Religious freedom does not include a right to discriminate against LGBT people — or Jews or African Americans or Muslims or anyone else for that matter. LGBT people present no threat to women and children. Suggesting otherwise is dishonest and hateful.

I am disappointed that Curry did not sign the HRO. It was not required but would have been a demonstration of good faith. GOPers do have their limitations and Curry was once the head of the Florida Republican Party. I have no idea how qualified he is for the position although his is a CPA and was with Price, Waterhouse. He is a tad more moderate than some of his peers in the GOP. He is also, unquestionably, an extraordinarily smart guy.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.