Gay activist says gay mayor isn't champion of LGBT community

Sun Sentinel

Michael Rajner, the outspoken gay rights activist, is going after Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick, the longest-serving openly the longest-serving openly gay official in Florida.

Rajner launched a broadside against Resnick – calling the mayor’s performance “pathetic” – in the Wednesday edition of the Florida Agenda gay newspaper. He’s also running his dog, Gidget, for mayor of Wilton Manors.


“I am fed up with Mayor Gary Resnick’s need to be spotlighted as the gay mayor and yet provide little, if any, leadership in the advancement of pro-equality measures for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Resnick may very well excel in other areas, but this certainly is not one. Just because you are an openly gay elected official, doesn’t inherently make you a pro-equality champion. Aside from the presentation of some non-binding proclamations demonstrating good and welfare, I don’t recall any notable initiatives during his long tenure in elected office.

“It truly is pathetic for him to have served in office for such a lengthy time and have so little to show in terms of success in the advancement of pro-equality public policy initiatives when more mainstream communities unanimously adopt pro-equality initiatives….

“Just because Resnick is an openly-gay elected official, he doesn’t get a free pass from criticism. In fact, Resnick should have a greater duty and responsibility to lead on the issue of economic and social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

Read the full Rajner interview here.

Rajner criticized a column Resnick penned on the Aug. 6 Sun Sentinel opinion page.

Excerpts from Resnick’s column:

“The City Commission of Wilton Manors has adopted a new policy of providing a tax equity benefit for employees with domestic partners. As an early supporter of domestic partner benefits, I pushed for the city to offer employees domestic partner benefits, since first elected in 1998. After all, it has long been illegal for gays and lesbians to marry in Florida, and we wanted to do what we could to allow the partners of our employees (and such partners' children) to have access to health insurance.

“Such benefits mean that an employee's domestic partner and children of his/her domestic partner can obtain the same health insurance the city offers to married spouses of employees. Wilton Manors pays currently 50 percent of the cost of insurance for an employee's spouse/domestic partner and his/her children. Ever since creating this benefit, we have always offered such domestic partner health insurance benefits to same-sex as well as opposite-sex domestic partners.”

Read Resnick’s full piece here.

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