Michael Emanuel Rajner

Florida's Tin Man: Charlie Crist's Heart

Filed By Michael Emanuel Rajner | March 09, 2013 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Amendment 2, amicus brief, Charlie Crist, Democrats, DOMA, Florida, Florida Democratic Party, governor, lgbt delegate, marriage equality, Marriage Protection Amendment, Miami Herald, Morgan Morgan, republican, same-sex marriage, Steve Rothaus, Supreme Court, Tampa Bay Times

Last December, Florida's former Republican Governor, Charlie Crist, told a group of reporters asking if he regretted signing a petition to ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution:Crist.jpg

"I think the best way to judge where my heart is, is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor..."

Since last September's Democratic National Convention, I've been eagerly awaiting for Charlie Crist to prove he has a compassionate heart and clearly argue his position on marriage equality. I have also been waiting on the Democratic National Committee and President Obama to make right with LGBT convention delegates and facilitate a meaningful dialogue with Crist on issues important to LGBT Floridians. Both the DNC and President Obama have fallen flat on their face and failed miserably to ensure such opportunities existed between Crist and LGBT activists.

In the days leading up to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, I publicly raised the issue as the only openly gay elected delegate of 8 delegates representing the DNC Chairwoman's congressional district to the Convention. Officials from the DNC shamefully berated me when Steve Rothaus at the Miami Herald published a blog post entitled Gay Democratic delegate: Convention speaker Charlie Crist 'the ultimate political whore'.

On March 27, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act. LGBT activists have been applauding the leadership of many Democrats and Republicans who signed on to amicus briefs arguing DOMA's unconstitutionality.

Remarkably, no amicus brief was submitted by Charlie Crist - who is reported to be employed by the Orlando-based mega law firm of Morgan & Morgan. Crist is said to be earning an annual salary of $1,000,000 and I find it mind boggling that given all the resources of that law firm, Crist decided to take on a hybrid role of the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. He has chosen to remain silent on the upcoming DOMA arguments before the United States Supreme Court.

It was a missed opportunity for Crist to prove he has a compassionate heart as well as an opportunity for the DNC and President Obama to make amends for their insensitivity over Crist's speech last year at the Democratic National Convention.

Throughout Crist's political career, he always hid in the closet or pandered to religious conservatives when a controversial issue demanded a real leader to step forward.

Charlie Crist, I'm following your advice. I'm judging you on your past action for supporting a constitution amendment to ban same sex marriage in Florida and your absent leadership arguing the unconstitutional nature of DOMA.


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