I'm celebrating Rosh Hashona again today by having to read in The East Valley Tribune about my alleged Nazi sympathies due to lies and mischaracterizations of me by Arizona Green Party attorneys in federal court yesterday. I would like to wish all Muslims a wonderful Eid al-Fitr as well. L'shanah tovah! Eid mubarak!
Nobody is currently sure what will happen tomorrow, the ninth anniversary of 9/11 - which I thought a lot about yesterday - in Gainesville, Florida, where I lived for six years from 1991 to 1997 as a law student and staff attorney in social policy at the University of Florida College of Law and as a teacher at Santa Fe Community College - and where a hateful pastor is planning a book burning redolent of the repulsive Nazis.
While in Gainesville, I got involved in 1994 working against anti-gay referenda and in support of gay rights. I later served on the board of directors of the North Central Florida Human Rights Council alongside many people, including my friend Craig Lowe, currently doing a great job as Mayor of Gainesville.
In the light of the current controversy, I'd like to reprint part of Craig's letter to the people of Gainesville, a wonderful city I will always love:
As I have stated on numerous occasions, I condemn the offensive behavior that has been directedat our Muslim neighbors and those of the Islamic faith worldwide. The Dove World OutreachCenter is a tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community. They are opposed to Gainesville’s true character.
We may be of different religions, sexual orientations, races, genders, national origins or ages, butall are welcome here in our efforts to build a better community both locally and globally. There will be those who seek to create anger instead of reason, but Gainesville values a sense of community that is inclusive rather than exclusive and thrives on the contributions of people ofgood will from a myriad of backgrounds.
I hope that every citizen of our city will join me in continuing to assert our community’s truecharacter.