The cover of SFGN this week features an editorial cartoon by Andy Marlette, clearly satirizing Governor Rick Scott, who has won re-election. Please keep in mind that it is simply that- an editorial cartoon.
Caricatures of politicians are embedded in American journalism. Andy Marlette follows that rich history. He us himself following in the footsteps of his own dad, Doug, a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist. Rick Scott is mocked but don’t worry, his re-election won’t catapult the state into the 19th century. Heck, we never got out of it.
This newspaper actively supported the Charlie Crist candidacy. We saw him as evolving on social issues, particularly with the LGBT community. He welcomed us in. Rick Scott has shut us out. Despite that, and other adversities, including Attorney General Pam Bondi, the gay community has marched on. We have not been set back by the lack of progressive thinking in Tallahassee.
Importantly, Rick Scott said if the courts order the states to honor gay marriage, he would honor the law and obey their judicial directives, as he must. Similarly, while he said he opposed medical marijuana, he indicated he would follow the legal guidelines if the amendment had passed.
Our greater hope is that Governor Scott will come to think of LGBT families as a part of his community, rather than apart from it. Our duty and passion should be to marry his ideological stubbornness with the realities of present day life. Either way, we move forward.
Finally, no single election in any state will stop the forward progress of our equal rights. We have come too far and endured too much to be beaten back. We have achieved goals and fulfilled our aspirations despite politicians opposing us, people voting against us, and laws being passed against us. Ain’t nothing gonna stop us now. We will fight again on another day.
In the next week, we will gather in educational forums like the summit Our Fund is presenting at the Museum of Art next week, or in celebration at the annual Equality Florida dinner. But we are not going anywhere, and the LGBT community will continue to be heard. We have won a place at the table, and we are not giving it up.