On Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will recognize straight and same-sex marriages equally when it comes to the federal justice system.
The decision will ensure that gay Americans in same-sex marriages have the same rights as opposite-sex couples when filing bankruptcy, testifying in court or visiting partners in prison.
The new policy takes effect today and will also recognize same-sex marriages for important benefit programs such as the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
“In every courthouse...where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages,” said Holder. He pointed to last year's momentous Supreme Court decision overturning DOMA as the reason for the new policy.
We have the opportunity this year to elect leaders who will work to put in place pro-equality policies at the statewide and local levels as well.
From the recently-filed Florida marriage equality case to policies like tax equity for gay and lesbian employees of the City of Miami Beach, we need leaders who will make sure all levels of government comply with pro-equality directives.
SAVE will monitor this story as it develops. We'll continue to keep you updated on any new developments in the fight for equality.
Yesterday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told reporters that, if asked, she will intervene on behalf of the opposition to the same-sex marriage lawsuit brought by six Miami-Dade gay and lesbian couples.
We discourage any attempt by leaders in state government to intervene in the lawsuit in order to delay the arrival of marriage equality in Florida.
Elections have consequences. Luckily, 2014 is an election year, so we'll have the opportunity to hold Attorney General Bondi accountable for her anti-equality stance as we approach Election Day.
Recent opinion polls have shown support for full marriage equality steadily increasing. The most recent poll, issued by the firm Public Policy Polling, found that more Floridians support legalization of same-sex marriage than oppose it.
SAVE congratulates the six Florida couples that have decided to take a courageous stand in court to bring marriage equality to the Sunshine State.
We remain committed to achieving equality for South Florida’s LGBT community, and we will closely monitor developments surrounding this litigation as they unfold. We stand with the plaintiffs and their legal teams and wish them the best in their endeavors.
The results of the 2014 election cycle will prove pivotal to the outcome of this litigation. This year, SAVE will continue to do its part in South Florida by helping to elect a pro-equality governor and attorney general who will potentially be closely involved in selecting judges who will hear this case.
SAVE will also continue to work to elect a slate of pro-equality officials, like our own local State Representative David Richardson, who make sure LGBT perspectives are considered in Tallahassee, in county and city halls, and before state courts.
It’s always been my dream to work towards social justice like I have the opportunity to do here in my position at SAVE. As a gay man, I’ve seen the struggle firsthand. But what I’ve seen in my time here at SAVE is that when we come together to fight for what’s right, we accomplish great things. As a member of the community I might benefit in the end, but it’s just not my campaign. It’s your movement.
Together we’ve racked up an impressive list of achievements over the past year. Nationally, we overturned discriminatory laws like the DOMA and Prop 8. At the local level we passed tax equity for benefits for Miami Beach employees in domestic partnerships and brought together the faith community for a groundbreaking rally in support of human rights.
It wouldn’t have been possible without your volunteer hours and donations. However, there’s still lots of work to be done. As you may know, in the months ahead SAVE has vowed to pass an all-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance that protects everyone, including the transgender community.
We’ll need your help to cement another 20 years of progress on behalf of equality. Please consider making a commitment to SAVE today.
Tony Lima, Executive Director, SAVE Dade
Speakers at the memorial included Alliance for GLBTQ Youth executive director Carla Silva, Aryah Lester of Trans-Miami, LJ Woolston, also of the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, Jack Jordan of the Yes! Institute, and Ashley Austin, Mark Smith and Phyllis Scott of the School of Social Work.
Thank you to everyone who attended!
This Sunday, SAVE Dade held its Young Gaurdians' Reception at the lovely home of Darryl Fox. The event, attended by over one hundred guests, was a huge success, with dozens of members pledging sustaining monthly donations added to the Young Guardians' Society.
Thanks to everyone who attended for making the event such a success! A special thanks to Darryl for being our gracious host and Sushi Samba for supplying the hors d'oeuvres.
Thanks to you, when all is said and done, we will have raised over $30,000 in one day, including The Miami Foundation's matching funds. Out of more than 400 participating organizations, 147 of you chose to give to SAVE, helping put us in the top six fundraisers for the day.
Scroll down to view our accomplishments on Give Miami Day!