Social issues have not been a driving force in local Miami-Dade politics for some time, with most voters more concerned with pressing issues like property taxes and budget problems. Today, however, the Christian Family Coalition of South Florida injected a big dose of social conservatism into the race by endorsing former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina for his anti-gay, pro-life and anti-arts views.
Robaina agrees with much of the CFC's extremely conservative agenda:
- Robaina signed a pledge stating that he will not support gay marriage, nor will he support even civil unions or domestic partnerships.
- Robaina will not support laws protecting the GLBT community from discrimination even in matters of finding a job or place to live.
- Robaina does not believe in a woman's right to chose, and as Hialeah mayor once issued a "'Sanctity of Human Life Day' proclamation, in remembrance of the women and children who have died in the tragedy of abortion."
- Robaina has promised to defund the Cultural Arts Council.
- Robaina, however, will institute a Countywide "Faith-based advisory council."
Interestingly, an earlier voters guide from Equality Florida had listed Robaina as in favor of domestic partnership and some protections for the GLBT community. Apparently, he's decided to flip-flop.
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Carlos Gimenez, who now leads Robaina in polls, did not agree or refused to respond to many of the CFC's questions. He did not answer questions about gay marriage and refused to sign a pledge promising to defund the Cultural Arts Council. Gimenez has already picked up endorsements from many gay groups, including Save Dade, though the CFC has characterized these groups as "anti-marriage, extremist homosexual hate groups."
Social issues rarely come up in county politics, but Robaina is an ambitious politician heavily involved in Republican circles. It would be interesting to see if he tries to push a socially conservative agenda as a way to further his prospects in his party.