LETTER: Celebrate MLK Day for all
This year’s celebration of Martin Luther King Day marks the 25th anniversary of a nationally recognized day of service that honors the civil rights leader’s life and legacy.
Dr. King famously said, "Everyone can be great because everybody can serve." This quote has guided my decades-long career in the fight against breast cancer; first at Susan G. Komen and now at the Promise Fund of Florida. It also fortified my involvement in public service and a desire to continue the fight to address health care disparities among at-risk and underserved populations in our state today.
Observing the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday through service is great way for everyone to begin the year with a commitment to making their community a more inclusive place. Sadly, this is a lesson lost on Republicans in the State Legislature, who recently introduced legislation that restricts the freedoms of Floridians to be who they want to be and love who they want to love. Should their recent actions become law, it will make this legislative session as one of the most hostile to LGBTQ Floridians in recent memory.
During the final hours of the final day to file bills for consideration in the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, eight lawmakers filed legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing necessary medical care, to a bill that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections.
During a national holiday in which we should be seeking to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and resolve social problems in an attempt to move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "beloved community," Florida Republicans are sending a clear message that directly targets the LGBTQ community. As a Floridian I believe this is a sad day for our state. As a proud, lifelong Republican, I’m outraged. As the mother of a gay son, this is personal.
It’s shameful that elected members of the party of Abraham Lincoln would seek to deny their fellow citizens the freedom to pursue happiness, be who they are and love who they love. If this is what the Republican Party of Florida sees as a priority in what is shaping up to be a critical election year, I won’t be the only voter and donor looking to make a change in November.
Nancy G. Brinker, Palm Beach