Homosexuality is the only issue addressed in a two-question survey of Miami-Dade judicial candidates by the Christian Family Coalition, a strident anti-gay rights group.
The organization asked whether judicial canons should be amended to ban judges from membership in groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and whether judges should receive domestic partner benefits.
Candidates against the canon change were Marcia Caballero, Mario Garcia, Lisa Victoria Lesperance, Denise Martinez-Scanziani, Stephen T. Millan, Migna Sanchez-Llorens, Manny Segarra and Jose Perez Velis.
Patricia Kopco expressed support for a change in the canons.
Jorge Cueto, Yvonne Colodny, Stacy Glick, Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Douglas Chumbley and Bernard Shapiro and Miami-Dade County Court Judge Norma S. Lindsey did not respond.
On domestic partnership benefits, Perez Velis, Sanchez-Llorens, Millan, Garcia, Caballero, Martinez-Scanziani and Lesperance oppose the idea of spousal benefits for judges in same sex relationships. Only Segarra endorsed domestic partner benefits, and the rest did not respond.
Based on those results, the coalition endorsed Caballero, Garcia, Lesperance, Millan, Martinez-Scanziani, Perez Velis and Segarra.
It left two races off its survey — the one pitting Ricardo Corona against Abby Cynamon and the race between Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen and Abbie Cuellar.
Even with no survey results listed, the coalition endorsed Corona over Cynamon.
It was silent on the Cohen-Cuellar race.
“They’re fine candidates but they didn’t meet our standards to merit a recommendation at this point,” said Anthony Verdugo, the coalition’s executive director.
He said the endorsement in the Corona-Cynamon race was based on qualifications.
Asked whether religious beliefs play a role in the group’s endorsements, Verdugo replied: “Absolutely not. That has never been and never will be a factor.”
— Billy Shields