Homelessness seminar set for Orlando Homelessness seminar set for Orlando November 1, 2005 Regular News National experts on homelessness are coming to Florida to share what they know in a free CLE called “Turning the Tide: Effective Legal Techniques for Addressing the Plight of Homeless Children, Youth & Adults.”Sponsored jointly by the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and The Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section Homeless Committee, the day-long seminar begins November 17, at 9 a.m., at the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando.“This is really a great honor for us that the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty wants to come to Florida to spend time with Florida advocates,” said PILS Homeless Committee Chair Lisa DeVitto.“It’s an opportunity to not only share what ABA commissioners are doing in places all over the country, but their chair, Steve Binder, visited us last year and was very impressed with people he met in Tampa. They also want to learn from Florida advocates on what we are doing.”There is plenty to learn.In years past, Florida has ranked among the top five most punitive states toward its homeless population, and several Florida cities have ranked among the top 20 most punitive cities in the United States, according to DeVitto.She said legal services lawyers, public defenders, attorneys who volunteer their time and deal with homeless people, attorneys interested in housing issues and helping the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled will all benefit from the CLE in which 5 hours has been applied for. Lawyers who are new to the area of dealing with homeless clients are welcome, as well as those with plenty of experience, DeVitto said.“My hope is whatever your level of experience—whether you do it as a volunteer or full-time—you will come away with a better understanding of legal techniques available for either preventing homelessness occurring, or helping a client who is homeless. Whatever your level, we hope to increase your expertise and skills and increase your enthusiasm for this work.”The day’s agenda includes:• A discussion of the criminalization of homelessness by Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, and Tulin Ozdeger, civil rights staff attorney for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, moderated by Shelbi Day, attorney/Equal Justice Works fellow for Southern Legal Counsel.• A discussion about diversion models for dealing with routine misdemeanor charges received by homeless people, by Binder, Judge Steve Leifman, founder of the 11th Judicial Circuit’s Criminal Mental Health Project, and Sixth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Bob Dillinger, who founded a Homeless Outreach Program, moderated by Joe Jackson, vice chair of the PILS Homeless Committee and a legal skills professor at the University of Florida.• A luncheon keynote speech by Maria Foscarinis, founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.• A discussion on advocating for children and youth by Karen Nyquist, director of advocacy at Covenant House Alaska, a homeless shelter for teens; Casey Trupin, attorney with Columbia Legal Services in Seattle, where he heads a legal advocacy program for at-risk and homeless youth; and Peter Sabonis, staff attorney at KIDS Legal Aid of Maine.• The final event is a Q-and-A session with Amy Horton-Newell, staff director of the ABA commission, moderated by Binder. “I’ll tell you very simply why I care about homelessness,” DeVitto said. “In a civilized country that values human life, the poorest, the mentally ill, and the disabled do not live on the streets. We should not be a third world country.”For more information and how to register (by November 14), contact DeVitto at [email protected] mindspring.com or call her at 813-259-9744For directions to the seminar at the FAMU law school, 201 Beggs Avenue, Orlando, see www.famu.edu/acad/colleges/law.
BACOLOD City – Charged with usurpationof authority, a man was nabbed in Barangay San Juan, San Carlos City, NegrosOccidental. The 25-year-old Jessie Hubahib ofBarangay Rizal, San Carlos City was caught on the strength of an arrest warrantaround 5:20 p.m. on Feb. 28, police said. Officers of the San Carlos City policestation served the warrant issued by Judge Jose Meno Ruiz of the Regional TrialCourt Branch 57 in San Carlos City. The suspect was detained in the lockupcell of the San Carlos City police station./PN
Students on campus voiced their opinions on United States Supreme Court oral arguments regarding California Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage, and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.A recent ABC News-Washington Post poll reported that 58 percent of Americans support the legalization of same-sex marriage and that more than 81 percent of American adults under the age of 30 support same-sex marriage.David Cruz, a professor of law at the Gould School of Law, attended the hearings in Washington, D.C. this week as a member of the Supreme Court Bar. He said the youngest generation of voters is more supportive of same-sex marriage because of more frequent portrayals of homosexuality in the media and the greater number of openly gay Americans.“Familiarity breeds comfort,” Cruz said. “More people who are young now grew up being aware of gay people and knowing gay people. [Also], greater visibility in media, whether in news or popular entertainment, contributes to a social climate where there’s less prejudice towards LGBT people.”Cruz said that the same-sex marriage debate is different from other social issues in the United States’ past and points to the Washington, D.C. hearings as a pivotal moment in our history.“The Supreme Court has never decided just how skeptical courts should be when government discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and has never decided how protective the courts should be against anti-gay discrimination,” Cruz said. “So, there are a lot of open issues here.”Cruz said the Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA will particularly affect USC students moving into the future.“Often, people meet the person that they fall in love with and want to marry in college,” Cruz said. “If the court agrees that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, then that option, which same-sex couples don’t currently have in California, would be restored.”Vincent Vigil, director of the LGBT Resource Center at USC, was on campus when Prop 8 passed in 2008, banning same-sex marriage in California.“[Many USC students] were shocked because they believed that everyone was very supportive of gay and bisexual people,” Vigil said. “But when you step outside the gates of USC, there are people that hate you because you’re gay.”Some students are aware of the many possible outcomes that the case can take and hope the Supreme Court will make changes to current policies.“I am for gay marriage to be legalized,” said Samantha Close, a first-year doctorate student in communication. “Although it sounds like the Supreme Court is more likely to throw out the case due to lack of standing rather than rule on it, which I think is sad since they took all the time to hear it.”Giuseppe Robalino, a freshman majoring in business administration, said he is against the legalization of same-sex marriage but thinks civil unions should be equal legally.“The law needs to be fully representative of the population as a whole, and you’re not doing that when you are trying to redefine marriage as it has already been defined in federal code,” Robalino said. “We need to step back and realize that there are two sides to the story and both should be represented. What we do not have room for is hatred on both sides.”To Lisa O’Kane, a first-year student in the pre-medical post-baccalaureate program, the Court’s decision will have a lasting personal impact.“I’m gay, and I’d like to get married someday,” O’Kane said. “I think DOMA and Proposition 8 are important cases that need to be heard and reheard. If [the Supreme Court] hears them and goes along with the Constitution, it’ll be a very big day for everyone in America, gay or straight. “The Supreme Court is not expected to make a ruling on either issue until June.