SAVE condemned comments at Monday night's Kendall Federation candidates' forum from District 8 County Commissioner Lynda Bell that the proposal to protect Miami-Dade County residents from discrimination is about "lawsuits."
"The ordinance that was brought up...was sexual orientation and sexual preference, and that went way beyond anything that already exists on the books," claimed Bell, referring to her 2013 vote against the proposal. "We would have a problem and I was worried more about lawsuits than anything else."
Of course, Bell's claim was wrong, referencing two phrases, "sexual orientation" and "sexual preference," which didn't appear in the proposal. If opposing protections on the basis of sexual orientation was bad enough, she also claims that transgender protections exist, which is simply false.
What's most troubling is that Lynda Bell says she is more concerned with lawsuits than achieving full equal protections for Miami-Dade residents. It's why SAVE continues to work with Bell's fellow Miami-Dade leaders to achieve full protections, and it's yet another example of why District 8 residents deserves a pro-equality commissioner.
Earlier this year, SAVE Action PAC endorsed Bell's opponent Daniella Levine Cava in the election for the District 8 seat, which takes place on August 26.
Levine Cava is a local community activist and longtime Miami-Dade resident who has come out strongly in support of the nondiscrimination proposal Bell opposed in 2013, in addition to her support for the lawsuits aimed at overturning discriminatory measures banning same-sex marriage.
Daniella will need everyone's help to win on August 26!
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Today, we found out that the challenger to 2014 SAVE Action PAC endorsee and Champion of Equality, State Representative David Richardson, has dropped out of been disqualified from the race.
This means that Richardson will run unopposed for re-election as the representative of Florida's 113th State House district this year. Effectively, Rep. Richardson has already won his race!
SAVE is proud to congratulate Rep. Richardson, who the organization endorsed in 2012 and went on to win election as Florida's first elected openly LGBT legislator in Tallahassee.
In its endorsement of Richardson earlier this year, SAVE pointed to Richardson's success in securing funding for LGBTQ homeless youth programs, as well as his support for changes that added protections for LGBT children and teenagers in the state foster care system.
By standing with Rep. Richardson, we sent the naysayers the message that TOGETHER the LGBT community will make its voice heard. Help SAVE support more pro-equality candidates like Rep. Richardson -- give $20 today.
SAVE Action PAC's endorsement of David Richardson was the first of what will be many issued by SAVE during the 2014 election season. To find out more about our 2014 effort and to see a list of endorsed candidates, visit savedade.org/2014.
This Saturday, SAVE, Equality Florida, the ACLU of Florida, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights gathered with about 100 supporters of equality for a Countdown to Marriage Rally at Miami Beach's LGBT Visitor Center.
At the rally, plaintiff and former SAVE board member Juan del Hierro spoke about why he decided to sue the state of Florida for recognition of his marriage to his husband Tom Gantt, which was performed in Washington, DC:
SAVE board member and co-founder Damian Pardo also spoke at the rally, touching on the need for volunteers to help work towards change, issues of intersectionality between social justice movements, and the history of the fight for LGBT equality:
In a symbolic move Tuesday evening, the Ft. Lauderdale City Commission approved by a vote of 3-2 a marriage equality resolution supporting statewide action to legalize same-sex marriage.
"If we're truly going to be an All-America city, we have to be a city for all Americans," said Commissioner Dean Trantalis, referring to an award the city recently won.
The measure wasn't without its opponents. Notably, on the record against the measure were Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler and Vice Mayor Romney Rogers, who as voting members of the Commission cast the two 'no' votes.
Speaking before the vote, Vice Mayor Rogers claimed that he didn't serve as vice-mayor "to be on the right side of history." Other speakers claimed that the nonbinding resolution would lead to polygamy and incest.
In the end, supporters outnumbered opponents of equality on the commission. SAVE is proud to thank Commissioners Roberts, Trantalis, and DuBose for their votes in favor of marriage equality for South Floridians this Pride Month.
Today the U.S. Senate confirmed Darrin Gayles as a judge for the Southern District of Florida, the first time an openly gay African American will serve on the federal bench.
One of SAVE’s missions is to place pro-equality leaders in all levels and branches of government. You might remember that SAVE had been pushing for a confirmation vote after a failure by Florida's Senator Marco Rubio to file procedural paperwork stopped the nomination of William Thomas, another gay African-American judge.
Judge Gayles’ confirmation is a huge step forward not only for our mission in South Florida but also for our nation as a whole. I commend the President for his selection of such a qualified jurist like Judge Gayles, and I also commend the U.S. Senate for ratifying his nomination.
Today, the Obama administration issued an Executive Order banning employment discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender expression.
This order will protect more than a million LGBT Americans employed by companies doing work for the federal government.
SAVE strongly agrees with the President's position that "all Americans, LGBT or not, should be treated with dignity and respect." However, while it's a huge step, in the 29 states like Florida with no workplace protections for LGBT workers, only those working for businesses doing work for the federal government will benefit from the order.
Until all South Floridian workers are protected, we will continue to advocate for all-inclusive anti-discrimination policies like the proposed update to Miami-Dade County’s Human Rights Ordinance, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act under consideration in the state legislature, and the Employee Non-Discrimination Act currently before the U.S. Congress.
The President’s action serves as an example to the states and municipalities where discrimination remains legal. In those places, like Miami-Dade County, the reality will persist that L, G, B, or T employees of businesses not contracting with the federal government will continue to have no legal recourse against discrimination.
That's what Florida's Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi say will happen when we achieve marriage equality in Florida.
We need your help now more than ever to double down our efforts to win the battle this year.
SAVE and the ACLU of Florida have challenged Florida’s refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed out of state. We'll need all the help we can get to win the rights we deserve. For more information, go to savedade.org/savemarriage.
When my husband Tom and I sued alongside SAVE for recognition of our marriage from our home state of Florida, we also did it for our son Lucas.
That's why it hurt to hear that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wrote that her and Governor Rick Scott's opposition to marriage equality is about making sure kids are "raised by...mothers and fathers" in "stable and enduring family units."
Attorney General Bondi: the right way to raise a family is with love. Same sex parents are equally capable of raising families. And after 6 years together, we are a stable family unit.
SAVE stands at the forefront of securing the rights we deserve. Click here to read more about their #SAVEMarriage initiative.
Thank you for your support,
Juan del Hierro,
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida has filed a response to the state of Florida’s motion to dismiss the ACLU and SAVE's lawsuit challenging Florida’s ban on the recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples.
The lawsuit, filed in March 2014, challenges the state’s refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed out of state. It names Florida Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and two other state officials as defendants.
“Florida's discriminatory laws cause serious harm to real families across the state,” said ACLU of Florida staff attorney Daniel Tilley, who is lead counsel in the case. “Despite the state's assertion that the harms to same-sex married couples aren't significant enough to warrant relief, the families living every day being treated like legal strangers by their home state know better.”
"As the voice of South Florida's LGBT community, we at SAVE know this issue affects many loving, committed same-sex couples married elsewhere but currently living in Florida," explained SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima, "and that's why we're confident the state will fail before the court in its motion to avoid the issue by having the case dismissed."
The ACLU of Florida’s response, filed with the Court on May 27th, says that the state’s motion to dismiss largely ignores the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion last year in U.S. v. Windsor, the ACLU case in which the Supreme Court struck down the federal “Defense of Marriage Act.”
A copy of the response is available here: http://aclufl.org/resources/grimsley-v-scott-response-to-motion-to-dismiss/
For more information about the case, including ways to get involved, go to: www.savedade.org/savemarriage.