Fort Lauderdale Mayor’s Political Future Cloudy After Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

Jack Seiler

Jack Seiler: On the wrong side of history 

 

 

Until this week, a large group of Fort Lauderdale residents believed their Mayor Jack Seiler could do no wrong.

Then he voted this week against a same-sex marriage resolution.

It passed 3-2 despite his “no” vote.

Usually a forward-thinker, Seiler is on the wrong side of history on this one.  He voted against equality, which is hard to satisfactorily explain.

And Seiler suddenly has become a Democrat with a big stain on his political resume.

Whether Seiler irreversibly harmed his hope for higher office by opposing same-sex marriage remains to be seen. It surely didn’t help among Democrats.

Same-sex marriage is a bedrock Democratic position. It is overwhelmingly supported by the vast majority of Democratic voters.

ABC/Washington Post poll taken May 29-June 1 found that 67 percent of Democrats supported same-sex marriage, while only 28 percent opposed it.

(57 percent of independents supported it, while only 37 percent of Republicans supported it.)

That’s a national poll. No doubt the support in Fort Lauderdale, a same-sex friendly community, would be higher.

 

Trouble In Future Democratic Primaries

 

The mayor’s race in Fort Lauderdale is non-partisan so there is no party primary.

If Seiler moves almost anyplace on the political ladder, he would have a Democratic primary and that would be a problem for him.  Seiler opposed a basic belief of the party!

Could this cost him the race? It depends on who else is running, of course, and a lot of other factors.

Seiler’s problem is magnified if he runs countywide in liberal Broward.

For instance, there is a conversation going on in the downtown Fort Lauderdale business community. Some believe Seiler would be a “perfect” candidate for any countywide mayor position…if that post were someday created in a referendum.

Seiler may be “perfect” to business types because of his pro-development positions. But he suddenly is not so “perfect” among a significant chunk of Democratic voters – the LGBT community and their supporters.

(The mayor could not be reached for comment.)

25 thoughts on “Fort Lauderdale Mayor’s Political Future Cloudy After Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage”

  1. Jack should just keep working at being a good mayor. Return every phone call. Be a good listener. work to protect quality of life and keep the city safe. Don’t waste tax dollars and keep the ego in check. If he does these things, he will be judged a good mayor by most and forgiven by most gays for abiding by his faith. Many gays just want a good mayor. Only the most militant (and the loudest) will work for his defeat.

  2. Opposing equal rights for all is politically wise to Jack Seiler. He wants us not to have the right to marry like everybody else. Shame on you, bigot Jack Seiler.

  3. Charlotte, if it was your civil rights at issue, you wouldn’t think it was a relatively trivial matter. If Seiler had cast a resolution against saying Jewish women like you should have equal rights like Christian males, you would be complaining too.

    And, as a Fort Lauderdale resident, Seiler isn’t a “good mayor” … he’s a mediocre mayor. He only looks good when compared to his predecessor.

    Do I ever vote for Seiler again (and I have done so every time he has run before), I’m not sure I will. His dinosaur thinking relegates him to the ashcan of history.

  4. Your statement “Only the most militant (and the loudest) will work for his defeat.
    ” That is the majority of the LBGT community. They will quickly label him homophobic and the rest is downhill after that happens.

  5. I disagree. First off the Mayor did not vote against gay marriage. The vote passed right? Can two men wed in Ft Lauderdale now as a result? No, they cannot.

    Why not? Because the resolution was bogus. A feel good political stunt by an elitist commissioner with an agenda.

    Jack Seiler held elected office in Wilton Manors from 1993-2000. I am not sure if you recall but Wilton Manors was not the gay haven in 1993 that it was in 2000. Jack Seiler was “at the helm” during the height of the transition.

    Employees in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors both enjoyed equal benefits for gay partners under Seiler’s watch.

    So what happened? Seiler voted no on something that didn’t matter anyway.

    This was not a vote on the house or senate floor.

    I wonder what these “activists” were doing 21 years when Seiler was in Wilton Manors helping make that city a welcoming home to the gay community?

  6. I am a straight Democrat who believes gays should have the right to be married. Overall I tend to lean conservative on fiscal issues then most Democrats.

    I believe I make up a good portion of Democrats see things as I do.

    In the end would I choose a candidate solely because of the gay marriage issue, no. Is Seiler going to lose uber liberals and some gay voters. Heck, Seiler probably gets crossover votes for this.

    A Democrat will never win statewide being the darling of uber liberals and gays. Don’t believe me? Ask every Dem nominee since Lawton Chiles.

  7. Dean is a genius minipulator. He proposes a resolution that means nothing so he can make nice with LGBT community after screwing them over. A total political play and for someone that isn’t very bright it was a genius move on his part. Now he can run for Mayor and use this as his crutch as we all know he would never win without something.

  8. The gay mafia and the hard left fanatics are teaming up to smear Seiler, both on this issue and opposing the School Board Bond fiasco. Seiler is solid Democrat centrist and as long as he does a good job as mayor he has a political future. Most Dems (including gays) just want good governance.

  9. Bruce Roberts has more dignity than any other politician I have met in Broward. He is a selfless public servant who is responsive and respectful. He should be Fort Lauderdale’s next mayor. Kudos for his vote. Romney and Jack need to stop placating the good ole boy network. Politicians in this age need to realize it is not just a job to represent the privileged few, many more are paying attention. Do your job Jacks, for everyone.

  10. While I spoke in favor of the redo as marriage and divorce are civil matters that must be open to all equally and we have to have separation of church and state. That being said bringing in charlottes religion up in this blog is a great example of the snide anti-Semitism of the MSNBC, new York times guardian Chris platten oxford liberal demo left milieu.

  11. I doubt if the gay community will ever forgive Seiler. This was a watershed moment. While it is true that Seiler has long supported other gay issues, you cannot forever rely on having turned a Piggly Wiggly into a gay bar as your credentials. Society has moved on and you did not. Seiler’s current position is basically separate but equal and has the traction in the gay community that it has in the black community. It’s a non-starter today. No, he won’t lose his re-election in 2015 for mayor. But it will haunt him in future office where he will need the Democratic base. The archbishop of Miami and North Florida would have been more forgiving of a yes vote than the gay community will be of a no vote.

  12. Voting against same sex marriage is not viting against equality. I’m sure seiler supports rights for gay people. Equal rights and one’s thoughts on marriage are two different things. Good job Mayor Seiler!

  13. @Observer

    …I wonder what these “activists” were doing 21 years when Seiler was in Wilton Manors helping make that city a welcoming home to the gay community?…
    EXACTLY. From 1993-2000 seiler was a resident, property owner and elected in Wilton Manors. Then he went to Tally, still a WM res, until term limits sent him looking for his next gig in late 2008

    he surveyed the political landscape and with naugle term limited decided to be a fort lauderdale resident

    he bought he house in march 2009 within days of the election
    so for the first time since maybe 1980 when he graduated high school jack siler is now a fort lauderdale resident

    he is not one of us since 2009
    he bamboozled so many thinking he is and has the city interests at heart. after being a resident for 5 years

    don’t be so naive and silly
    he is a carpetbagger and if he could ride charlie crists coattails to Tallahassee he would

  14. The LGBT groups are all bark and no bite.

    Charlie Crist was elected Governor in 2006 after promising to support civil unions. After he was elected he supported a state constitutional amendment banning civil unions.

    Despite these actions, Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign endorsed him last week.

  15. Gee. The legal team that works in Jack’s office building sure are putting in long hours to defend him and his nouveau anti-gayness. They seem really afraid of dean Trantalis or at least they enjoy diverting attention from Jack’s plantation mentality to what Dean’s future is. It’s hard to smear lipstick on a pig and call it a beauty queen like they have to do with Seiler’s stand.

  16. http://www.abetterftlauderdale.com/?p=3056

    Top ten ways to make Fort Lauderdale a better place to live, work and play.

    1. Change Marijuana Laws.
    End the practice of arresting people who have small amounts of marijuana (cannabis) on their person. Work with Broward County and the State of Florida to make the possession of small amounts of marijuana a ticket-able only (not an arrest-able) offense in Fort Lauderdale. Arresting people for small amounts of marijuana simply clogs up the local law enforcement and judicial systems. [...]
    4. Enact non-discrimination policies.
    Include “Non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” wording in all contracts that the City has with outside entities. Fort Lauderdale still allows discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in City contracts! Also, in a City as diverse as ours, Fort Lauderdale must publicly endorse “marriage equality”. Why it won’t happen under Seiler: Pursuing this would hinder his chances of running for statewide office. (That’s the only reason he wanted to be Mayor in the first place.) The more conservative North Florida voters and lobbyists would not approve of thiis. [...]
    8. Do a better job of managing Developers.
    Under Seiler, there has been no change in allowing developers to continue to build what they want, where they want. The beach and the Riverfront continue to be over-developed; South Andrews, Middle River Terrace, NE 4th Ave, and the Sistrunk are under-developed. Main thoroughfares like Oakland Park, Sunrise and Broward Blvd. continue to look like third world countries with their proliferation of cheap strip malls. Fort Lauderdale should establish “tax-free zones” to encourage developers and business owners to build in those areas that need it. We should do a better job of communicating where WE want development to occur, rather than to react every time a builder wants to build another high-rise along the New River or the Beach. Encourage new “mixed use projects”. Why it won’t happen under Seiler: Seiler’s big contributors (and friends of the Seiler family) are wealthy developers, many of whom work with Seiler behind the scenes to insure that their pet project gets approved before it even goes before the Commission. The Marina Lofts project last year is a prime example; the Developer quickly and “voluntarily” agreed to lop off 104 units from the project during the Commission meeting, with no analysis or review. Anyone who thinks this didn’t happen behind the scenes is naïve. Collusion? Definitely. Corruption? Probably, but will we ever know for sure?

  17. @tell it like it says

    I am in an interracial marriage. It once was illegal. It took the Supreme Court to overturn the ban in the late 60′s. Plenty of southern Democratic “Centrists” like Seiler were against interracial marriage back then and used their religion as justification : unequally yoked and other biblical justifications. Almost all became Republicans later. The others became Reagan Dems and never voted Democrat again.

    Seiler will be okay as long as he stays where he is. Plenty of Conservatives in Broward with Ds by their name just to get elected. The Rodstroms made an art of it. But he is dead for what he really wants which is the Governorship.

    Too bad. He is a really good Public Servant.

  18. Sam the Sham you have it half right. Dean couldnt figure out a rubik cube if all sides were one color. Look to Judy Stern.

    Jack is of no use to her now. One more term and he moves on to something else or nothing else. Either way, he provides no benefit to her. With Stern you are only as good as you are useful.

    Seiler, is the new one in the line of those Stern screwed over when they were longer of no use to her anymore…Israel, Mosley, Castillo, Jenne, Rodstrom, Lieberman etc etc etc.

  19. Did Jack explain his vote during the discussion that led up to the vote?

    FROM BUDDY:

    He said he has always been for civil unions and his position hasn’t changed.

  20. @21 – Romney Rogers also voted against. From Sun-Sentinel:

    The commission voted 3-2 to approve the resolution. Commissioners Trantalis, Bobby DuBose and Bruce Roberts supported the resolution, while Mayor Jack Seiler and Vice Mayor Romney Rogers opposed it.

    Rogers, whose voice cracked as he spoke, said he didn’t run for office “to be on the right side of history,” but because of his love for the community.

    “Certainly I’m in favor of equality. But I believe marriage is a sacred covenant,” Rogers said.

    Seiler said he was an early supporter of domestic partnerships and civil unions for the LGBT community.

    “On this issue I have not changed my position. I remain committed to civil unions with full benefits,” Seiler said.

    But those concepts are nothing more than “separate but equal,” one speaker said, something that “doesn’t fly” anymore.

  21. This GAY man votes in EVERY election. I won’t be voting for Jack OR Dean. Give me someone WORTHY.

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