The latest news from SAVE

Keep shining brightly



This past Thursday evening, with the help of dedicated supporters like you, we welcomed over 200 guests to the Bacardi headquarters building to join SAVE in honoring four extraordinary young professionals lighting the way to LGBTQ equality in South Florida.

We were so proud to honor Father Grey MaggianoJessica Fernandez, AJ Blechner and Nadege Green as SAVE's 2015 Luminary Award winners...


...and we were so proud to celebrate the most successful Luminary Awards reception yet -- only made possible by support from people like you and amazing pro-equality businesses and organizations, like our presenting sponsor AIDS Healthcare Foundation:


Special thanks to Bacardí for donating the beautiful space, delicious food, and top-shelf cocktails that helped make the event such a great time.

It was a beautiful celebration of all the things that make our community strong, as well as those members of the next generation working to make our community even stronger.

From the entire staff here at SAVE, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support.


Tony, Aurelio, Justin, Charo, Devin, Alex and Emily -- the SAVE Staff

Last night was a huge success, but the fight for LGBTQ equality isn't over, and the fun never stops...


SAVE's 21st Annual Halloween Ball tries its luck on a NEW DAY this year -- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30 -- at Magic City Casino. Stay tuned! Ticket sales and giveaways coming soon!


Stay tuned -- ticket sales open soon! We hope to see you October 30th!

SAVE supported me. Now I'm supporting SAVE.


My name is Victor Diaz-Herman. You might recognize me as the Executive Director of Pridelines, a nonprofit community center historically serving local LGBTQ youth which recently broadened its focus to serve adults as well.

You might also recognize me as an honoree from SAVE's inaugural 2013 Luminary Awards reception. I was so proud to be recognized two years ago by SAVE for the progress that Pridelines, under my leadership, has helped foster for the local LGBTQ community.

Yet, with many anti-LGBTQ proposals in the Florida legislature, now is the time to push for that progress harder than ever -- and it's critical for SAVE to have our support in order to do so.

I'm joining SAVE again this year as a supporter at the 2015 Luminary Awards TOMORROW NIGHT at the Coral Gables Bacardí HQ. Will you join me? Buy your tickets here. >>

Here I am at the 2013 Luminary Awards reception with fellow 2013 honorees Tori Bertran and Hansel Tookes, as well as SAVE's Executive Director Tony Lima

Only with your help can we continue to support the next generation of LGBTQ and allied freedom fighters like SAVE supported me two years ago. Please join me tomorrow evening. Buy your tickets HERE. >>



Thanks for your support. I hope to see you tomorrow night!


Victor Diaz-Herman
Pridelines Executive Director &
2013 SAVE Luminary of Equality Honoree

Supporting the next generation


My name is Pamela Sweeney. It's hard to describe how amazing it felt to stand before our community last year as one of SAVE's 2014 Luminaries of Equality.

I was so proud to help make the 2014 Luminary Awards SAVE's most successful ever. Yet, with many anti-LGBTQ proposals in the Florida legislature, now is the time to fight harder than ever -- and SAVE needs our CONTINUING support to do so.

I'm joining SAVE again this year as a supporter at the 2015 Luminary Awards THIS THURSDAY at the Coral Gables Bacardí HQ. Will you join me? Buy your tickets here. >>


It's ME accepting the 2014 Luminary Award last year from my good friend and 2013 Luminary Tori Bertran and SAVE's Executive Director Tony Lima!

Only with YOUR support can we continue to sustain the next generation of LGBTQ and allied freedom fighters. Please join me this Thursday. Click HERE to buy your tickets. >>



Thanks for your support. I hope to see you Thursday!


Pamela Sweeney
2014 SAVE Luminary of Equality Honoree

On the murder of India Clarke:


India Clarke, 25, was found dead in a Tampa park on Tuesday after suffering blunt force trauma to her upper body, according to police. They are investigating the killing as a murder.

India is at least the ninth confirmed transgender woman of color lost to homicide this year in the United States. She is the second confirmed transgender woman of color murdered this year in Florida.

In the wake of her death, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and some press outlets have repeatedly misidentified India by her former name and misgendered her as a man, even after being corrected by members of the public and media.

In an exchange with Buzzfeed, police said they “don’t have any indication” that Clarke’s gender identity was a factor in her murder. Asked why not, a police spokesman said:

Because of his prior prostitution and drug activity, we feel this may be more related. There were other circumstance around the crime scene that I am not at liberty to discuss that leads us to believe this is more related to drugs or prostitution. There is absolutely nothing to indicate any other motive at this time.

Due to the pervasive discrimination that they face in their everyday lives, transgender women, and especially transgender women of color, suffer from disproportionately high rates of unemployment, social isolation, mental illness, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and physical violence.

Much of the discrimination stems from the refusal of many to honor transgender and gender nonconforming identities. In light of these facts, it is unconscionable to SAVE that investigators would refuse to consider India's identity in life as a potential factor in her murder. Furthermore, the persistence in misgendering India despite the reality is inexcusable.

The murder of transgender Americans needs to stop. The refusal to acknowledge and respect their identities needs to end -- and the only way it will happen is by engaging our neighbors one-on-one to change hearts and minds in favor of equality and acceptance.

This Saturday, SAVE continues its effort to reduce transgender prejudice in South Florida with a door-to-door community engagement canvass at Barry University.

Will you join us? The only way to end the violence against transgender Americans is to get involved NOW. Click here to sign up. >>

Transgender Prejudice Reduction Canvass
Barry University, Thompson Hall, Room #230
11300 NE 2nd Ave


India's murder is the latest in the string of heartbreaking tragedies for the transgender community in Florida and nationwide.

NOW is the time to take action to END the violence, and we need people like you to help spread the message. Thank you for your support. SAVE sends our deepest condolences to the friends and family of India Clarke.

Announcing: SAVE's 2015 Luminaries of Equality!


On the evening of Thursday, August 20, SAVE will honor four of South Florida's brightest young professionals working towards a more equal future for South Florida's LGBT community.

The Young Guardians' Luminary Awards, to be held this year at the Bacardí headquarters building in Coral Gables, were created to recognize the important work of young activists, as well as to provide an opportunity for the next generation of LGBT trailblazers to meet those who came before them.

It’s been such an amazing year for equality, with huge victories for transgender rights and the freedom to marry. None of these advances would have been possible without young leaders like our 2015 Luminaries fighting the good fight at the front lines of the battle for equality.

We're proud to announce that SAVE's 2015 Luminaries of Equality are:

A.J. Blechner, for his tireless dedication and long-term commitment to SAVE’s transgender prejudice reduction initiative as a volunteer canvass leader and advocate for transgender justice.

Father Grey Maggiano, for his unwavering commitment to LGBTQ equality as a value of the faithful in his role as Associate Rector at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Miami. In his short time at the Cathedral, Father Grey has worked with the Cathedral leadership and the Bishop’s Office to expand efforts around equality inside and outside the church walls.

Jessica Fernandez, for her innovative efforts to grow support for LGBTQ equality in South Florida by engaging constituencies traditionally overlooked by the movement in her position as President of the Miami-Dade Young Republicans and co-owner of the Miami public affairs consultancy AI Advisory.

Nadege Green, for her highly accessible and carefully-sourced coverage of developments in the local LGBTQ equality movement, as well as her reporting on the plight of queer Americans in general, as an award-winning journalist and producer for the Miami Herald and WLRN.

It would be our pleasure if you would join SAVE on August 20 as we honor these trailblazers lighting the way to equality for LGBTQ South Floridians.

CLICK HERE to buy your $60 pre-sale tickets now. >>

You don't want to miss this elegant event! With an exclusive penthouse event space overlooking downtown Coral Gables AND open bar all night long provided by Bacardí, it's sure to be our best ceremony yet!

Nothing we've achieved in recent months has been possible without supporters like you. We hope you will join the SAVE family on August 20th as we celebrate the young professional LGBTQ equality activists working at the forefront of the movement to make the world a better place for everyone.

Buy your 2015 Luminary Awards tickets today. >>

Thanks for your support!


What's next:

On June 26, we made history.


This past Friday evening, we gathered at SAVE HQ to celebrate the Supreme Court's momentous ruling making the freedom to marry the law of the land. The sight of all of our beautiful LGBTQ and allied friends, family, and community leaders gathered together was truly one to behold.

Please take a moment to savor this win -- because the fight for equality is just getting started.

Unfortunately, for many Floridians, celebrating this ruling means taking a risk: LGBTQ people can still be fired in many parts of Florida just because of who they are. Despite the ruling on the freedom to marry, there are still no explicit federal or statewide laws that protect LGBTQ Floridians from discrimination.

Being fired for marrying the person you love -- can you imagine?

At SAVE, #TeamEquality is gearing up for the next phase in the fight for equality -- protecting our newly-won rights from those who would wish to take them away.

This includes securing passage of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (which would protect LGBTQ Floridians from employment discrimination) and defeating several mean-spirited proposals to criminalize the transgender community.

Click here to read SAVE's #TeamEquality Game Plan to learn more about the work that remains to secure comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Floridians.

From securing workplace nondiscrimination protections for all Floridians to defending the human rights of the transgender community -- the way forward is clear.

I hope you will join #TeamEquality as we redouble our efforts towards achieving full equality for LGBTQ Floridians.

Thank you for your support!

Want to help put #TeamEquality's plan into action? We need funds to do it!

Help SAVE's #TeamEquality secure a win for ALL Floridians by donating now! >>


Breaking: Love wins at the Supreme Court. Join us tonight.

It's VICTORY at long last:

the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage equality is now the LAW OF THE LAND!


Please join the LGBTQ leaders and organizations from across our South Florida community TONIGHT at SAVE HQ as we celebrate this momentous ruling in favor of LOVE and EQUALITY for ALL AMERICANS!

Click here to RSVP. >>

Myself and other LGBTQ leaders from South Florida will deliver remarks on what the future holds for our movement. Join the conversation by attending our Day of Decision gathering tonight!

The Atrium at 4500 Biscayne (SAVE HQ)
4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33137



Thank you for your everything you do -- it's only with supporters like you that we've been able to achieve this amazing victory for all Americans.

I hope to see you tonight.

Tony Lima

Executive Director, SAVE

SAVE condemns Gov. Scott’s line-item veto of LGBTQ youth homelessness initiative


Yesterday, Florida Governor Rick Scott released an extensive list of unilateral cuts made possible by his use of line-item veto power. The Governor’s cuts target millions of dollars for programs that tackle critical issues for South Florida communities.

Governor Scott’s cuts focus a particular level of animus on some of the most vulnerable Floridians -- our state’s homeless population. It's clear that more resources than ever are needed to deal with the issue of homelessness, but I'm sad to report that Scott’s cuts eliminate hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for homelessness programs in Miami-Dade County alone.

Yesterday, with a stroke of his veto pen, Governor Scott eliminated $100,000 in funding for the critical LGBTQ youth homelessness program administered in South Florida by Citrus Health.

Scott’s withdrawal of the funding, which was first added to the state budget in 2013 after the efforts of State Representative and SAVE ally David Richardson, will devastate South Florida’s capacity to provide desperately needed help to its homeless youth population, of which as much as 40% or more is believed to identify as LGBTQ.

Experience tells us -- and the statistics show -- that among homeless kids, so many don’t have a home because they’ve been kicked out for being LGBTQ. The same statistics also show that once these kids don’t have a roof over their heads, their risk of mental health problems, sexual violence, drug abuse, unsafe sexual behavior and suicide is many times higher than their non-LGBTQ peers.

I can only shake my head at the Governor’s unilateral decision to withdraw funding for such a vulnerable group of Floridians like homeless LGBTQ youth.

For his part, State Representative Richardson is disappointed in the Governor’s action. He rightly points out that the cut's damage is magnified not only by the fact that the program has come to be relied on by homeless LGBTQ youth over the past two years, but also by the fact that the program’s funding commitment from the state helped unlock matching funds offered by local entities.

“This was a great project because it multiplied its own impact by matching the state funding I helped to secure with available funding from local sources," Richardson told SAVE, in response to the news of the cut.

“With SAVE’s help, I was able to review bids from three different organizations to take on the task of managing the housing portion of the initiative," said Richardson, "and we were proud to select Citrus Health to support this project. It was the type of accountable, efficient, results-based program that we should be funding more of at all levels of government, and I promise to fight during the upcoming legislative session to restore funding for this critical service."

We've got Rep. Richardson's back! Do you? Help us continue to support him as he works to restore funding for homeless LGBTQ youth by making a donation here. >>

Only with help from supporters like you can we protect critical programs like this one that help protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Thank you for your support.

In community,

Aurelio Hurtado de Mendoza
Deputy Director, SAVE

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