Dear Jason Parsley,
I am writing to you in response to the article SFGN recently published regarding Representative Bobby DuBose, not as an AHF employee, but as a constituent, who has worked with the representative on a number of issues. As always, I thank SFGN for its in-depth reporting.
However, I am sorely disappointed in my fellow LGBTAs at the Dolphin Democrats who chose to unfairly chastise Rep. DuBose of District 94. Bobby has always been a steadfast supporter of the LGBT community, especially around health disparities like HIV/AIDS that severely impact gay men and transgender women.
As Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner, he voted in support of a resolution that called on Florida's leaders to pursue marriage equality despite facing fierce opposition among a strident anti-LGBT segment of his constituency because he knew it was the right thing to do. During his time as commissioner, he also supported a resolution calling on Florida’s congressional delegation to lead the charge on Ryan White reauthorization. He is my representative in the House, and I have had lengthy discussions with him about his frustration with conservatives and bigots who disparage and aim to oppress LGBTs. Bobby continues to have LGBTs at heart in every decision he makes as a Florida leader. He is unequivocally an ally of the LGBT community.
It is very troublesome that certain members of the Dolphins would so quickly question Bobby's character and suggest he is not committed to his constituents all over a simple communication error that caused him to miss a meeting. It is also shameful that Mr. Basmajian, quoted in the SFGN article, would resort to a veiled threat to pressure Bobby into supporting an event he would have undoubtedly supported anyway.
We LGBTAs should not be alienating our supporters by being militant and unforgiving. Instead, we ought to be focusing our attention and energy by combating actual opponents, like Republican Representative Julio Gonzalez, who recently filed a religious freedom bill, which would, among other things, allow healthcare facilities and providers to deny service to anyone based on religious reasons. He is the type of official we should be going after. That legislation is the kind of activity that LGBTAs should be criticizing.
I laud the Dolphins for their good work, but they really got it wrong this time.