Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Carlos Gimenez got the endorsement Thursday from the SAVE Dade political action committee and all Ladra could do was yawn.
Gimenez "has a close family member who is lesbian and understands the difficulties that people who are LGBT face on a regular basis," the SAVE Dade press release says, adding that he has always been friendly to the LGBT community. He got the organization's Champion of Equality Award in 2009. (And if you look at the photos from this year's event, where he went with his wife Lourdes, he already looks like the mayor.) As a county commissioner, he has voted consistently in favor of human rights ordinances that fight discrimination and in 2008 voted for the partnership ordinance that allows domestic partners to register with the county for insurance purposes. He also publicly advocated against Amendment 2 that year.
In his interview with SAVE Dade, Gimenez committed to a new human rights ordinance that includes the transgender community and establishing a countywide LGBT advisory board (which Ladra thinks is long overdue and has to happen no matter who is elected). He also vowed to ensure and strengthen partnership laws and fight to keep adoption legal for gay and lesbian parents.
But even if he had done none of that, it would behoove this organization -- which Ladra thinks has lost its direction in different ways -- to endorse him. The only other candidate in the runoff, Julio Robaina, is endorsed by the rightwing Christian organizations which fight equality and he may be downright homophobic.
When Robaina was interviewed by the Christian Family Coalition in April, he "gladly volunteered to sign, for the second time in six years, the Marriage Protection Pledge committing to defend marriage as one man, one woman, and to NOT surrender to so-called 'civil unions' and/or 'sexual partnerships'," says their press release. He also "re-affiremd his opposition to deceptively re-defining and discriminatorily treating both homosexualism and transsexualism (so-called “gender identity or sexual expression) as if they were somehow 'civil rights' issues."
Yet, he is friends with Gloria Ruiz and Cecith Londono, a happy Miramar couple with a janitorial supply company who have had him on the cover of their Imagen Hialeah magazine and campaign for him like crazy. Is this a case of telling the Christians one thing and the lesbians another so you can get their support?
This was a no-brainer for SAVE Dade.
Hopefully, the organization will now put its membership's money to work and get out the gay vote to close that 10,000-vote gap we saw on May 24 by June 28.
"The race for Miami-Dade Mayor will be difficult and will require the strength of our community to secure a pro-equality candidate," the group's email, which we suppose was written by Executive Director CJ Ortuño, says. "Only 10,000 votes separated Carlos from his opponent in the special election. I don’t need to remind you of what can happen if we do not have an LGBT friendly Mayor of Miami-Dade."