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FL gay teen scolds City Council for inaction on expanding civil rights

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The Sun Sentinel
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January 9, 2013

In front of the Boca Raton City Council Tuesday night, 17-year-old Tyler Morrison evoked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for a similar reason he had recalled President Abraham Lincoln's words two months earlier in the same spot. The message was that Boca Raton needs to include gender, gender identity and sexual orientation its nondiscrimination clause just like the rest of Palm Beach County. "Remove the stain of bigotry from Boca Raton," said Morrison, who is in his senior year at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. For opting out of Palm Beach's County's more inclusive anti-discrimination policy, Morrison said: "You should be ashamed ... (it's) contrary to everything Dr. King stood for." The reply: We're working on it. Vice Mayor Susan Haynie asked City Manager Leif Ahnell to explain how soon the City Council might have some information to allow the City Council to proceed with this issue. Staff expected to be "wrapping up their information gathering by the end of the week," Ahnell said. But that did not appear to satisfy Morrison, who became the newest member of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council over the weekend.