|EXCLUSIVE! ACLU agrees with CFC...|
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Agrees with
Christian Family Coalition (CFC)
2012 LEGISLATIVE INVOCATION (OPENING PRAYER)
RESTORATION ORDINANCE IS CONSTITUTIONAL!
ACLU letter to Miami-Dade Mayor and County Commission states, "proposed ordinance is not an open invitation to litigation"
MIAMI, FL - Today, the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), Florida’s premiere human rights and social justice advocacy organization, announced a major breakthrough in the fight to restore the legislative invocation (opening prayer) to all County Commission and County Committee meetings.
In a letter from the ACLU to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and County Commissioners, dated Wednesday, November 28, 2012, they state their opposition to the proposed Ordinance is "not because it is an open invitation to litigation, but because the proposed ordinance is inconsistent with the richly diverse community that we celebrate in Miami-Dade County."
In making this statement, the ACLU agrees with the CFC that the 2012 Legislative Invocation (Opening Prayer) Restoration Ordinance is clearly CONSTITUTIONAL. Nevertheless, it claims the ordinance is supposedly "inconsistent" with what the ACLU calls "the richly diverse community that we celebrate in Miami-Dade County." Yet, nothing could be further from the truth since the ordinance is supported by citizens of all ethnic, racial, social and religious groups. All the county's minority commissioners, among them, Barbara J. Jordan, Audrey Edmonson, District 3, Rebeca Sosa, District 6, Xavier L. Suarez, District 7, Lynda Bell, District 8, Javier D. Souto, District 10 and Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. District 13 support it.
Furthermore, it is also backed by major human rights and social justice organizations, including the Florida Democratic League (FDL), African-American Council of Christian Clergy (AACCC), American-Israeli Friendship Council (AIFC), U.S. Hispanic Publishers Federation (USHPF), Cuban-American Publishers Association (CAPA), Republican National Forum (RNF), and the Catholic Cultural Fund (CCF).
Most importantly, the ordinance corrects an unconscionable discrimination against religious speech. All forms of civil speech, whether secular or sacred, should be treated equally. Currently, only religious or sacred speech, in the form of an invocation or solemnizing message, is targeted for unfair, discriminatory treatment. Ordinance No. 122043 eliminates this unconstitutional practice and guarantees speech equality in County Commission sessions.
Miami-Dade County is a World-Class destination with a broad, diverse and inclusive community. All forms of speech, whether secular or sacred, should be treated equally. Censoring, silencing or banning invocations or prayers is not just wrong, it's plainly un-American.