The Christian Family Coalition, a Miami-based group with strong anti-gay and anti-abortion views, is urging support for Jed Shank, an Oakland Park commissioner who's under fire because of his opposition to a proclamation "recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Pride & Equality Month."
He said it could be disrespectful to fathers because there was no June proclamation to honor Father's Day.
Details of the controversy here.
Now the Christian Family Coalition is weighing in. On Friday, the organization sent out an e-mail blast proclaiming that Shank was being "Shamelessly Attacked for Defending Father's Day!"
The group -- which has said in the past it has en e-mail list of 150,000 -- is urging its supporters to e-mail Shank with messages of support.
It also slams homosexuality as "biologically aberrant sexual behavior."
"These bigoted extremists owe Commissioner Jed Shank, and everyone else a public apology. Of course, they won't do it, thus showing their true agenda of hate, bigotry, intolerance and discrimination," the group's executive director, Anthony Verdugo, said in the e-mail.
Update: Ron Mills, president of the Dolphin Democrats gay and lesbian political club, was one of the people who went to last week’s Oakland Park commission meeting with concerns about Shank.
He said Verdugo’s e-mail is designed to stir the political pot and help his organization raise money. “Anything that stirs controversy and separates people is one of their causes.
“Their letter is full of intolerance and hate,” Mills said. “They’re the ones who are in the minority. The majority of Floridians believe in equal rights for all.”
Update two: Oakland Park resident Jason Burns also went to the commission meeting. Here's what he said via e-mail Friday about the Christian Family Coalition and Shank:
I have a great deal of respect for my Christian brothers and sisters and for that matter people of any faith. However, I find it deeply disturbing to have been characterized as an intolerant and hate filled individual. Their characterization does not accurately describe the tone of those that spoke at the commission meeting and will only serve to perpetuate the “them” against the “us” mentality. We should all afford one another the respect to find a common ground to unite Oakland Park as a diverse community. I am having lunch with the Commissioner next week and am looking forward to an open and honest discussion that will yield positive results for the city we both care so deeply about.
Jason Burn's column July 13, 2011 - LGBT Pride No Vote by Oakland Park Commissioner Jed Shank