Miami-Dade School District Publicly Acknowledges
Free Speech Rights After CFC Intervenes
CFC's “Rally for your rights” at Miami-Dade school board meeting
fills auditorium to capacity!
MIAMI, FL - The Christian Family Coalition (CFC), Florida’s premier human rights and social justice advocacy organization, praised Miami-Dade County school officials today for publicly acknowledging the right of Christians to teach biblical values on human sexuality and Marriage as the union of one man, one woman.
On July 15th, a local television station reported that a pastor who rents Miami-Dade County School District facilities on Sundays had preached biblical sexuality reaffirming Marriage as the union of one man, one woman, as overwhelmingly ratified in Florida's Constitution by more than 4 million voters in 2008.
In the report, Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho threatened free speech by stating: “We appreciate Channel 10 notifying us of these allegations, which appear to be contrary to School Board policy, as well as the basic principles of humanity, and I have asked for immediate legal review to seek the termination of the contract that is involved. Notwithstanding legal challenges, I cannot allow the circumstances to trump common sense and decency. I am making this decision not on the basis of policy or politics but as a rejection of prejudice and intolerance."
As a direct result of these troubling, intolerant and discriminatory threats, CFC immediately went into action. We met personally with key school board members, and informed them of the offensive nature of Superintendent Carvalho's remarks as well as of the constitutionality of the pastor’s statements. Subsequently, on July 30th, after an unprecedented two-hour long meeting with CFC directors and leaders of other prominent civic and political organizations, Superintendent Carvalho issued the attached memo publicly acknowledging the free speech rights for all who lease school district facilities.
Finally, this Wednesday, September 5th, CFC hosted an extraordinary educational “Rally for your rights” during the Miami-Dade County School Board meeting where Superintendent Carvalho backed down from his previous statements on longstanding Christian teaching on human sexuality and openly acknowledged that the free speech rights of everyone, including those who lease Miami-Dade school facilities must be protected, even when it may be perceived as offensive to some.
“People of Faith everywhere are pleased that Miami-Dade County school officials acted responsibly and publicly acknowledged the rights of Christians to uphold Biblical moral values and traditional Christian teachings, said Anthony Verdugo, CFC Founder and Executive Director. “While the outcome is a victory for people of Faith, it is unfortunate that this fundamental human right was attacked and threatened in the first place.”