SAVE announced today that in its first major move of the 2014 election cycle, SAVE Action PAC will endorse State Representative David Richardson in his re-election bid for Florida's 113th State House District.
It was an easy choice to endorse Representative Richardson in his bid for re-election this year. David has been a shining light for equality in the legislature and has been a breath of fresh air in our state capital.
As Florida's first elected openly gay state legislator, David Richardson fought for funding for initiatives to tackle the problem of homelessness among LGBT youth. He also spearheaded changes that have added protections for LGBT children and teenagers in the state foster care system.
SAVE Action PAC's endorsement of David Richardson is the first of what are sure to be many to be issued by us on behalf of pro-equality candidates during the 2014 election season.
We plan to kick off our campaign efforts in an all-inclusive volunteer canvass event on Saturday, March 29th. An army of volunteers will come together in South Dade to engage the community on LGBT issues and demonstrate the public's commitment to equality.
We'll need all hands on deck to re-elect Representative Richardson!
Sign up to volunteer today!
Today, SAVE is pleased to announce that Christian Ulvert, president and founder of the consulting firm EDGE Communications, will assume the chairmanship of the organization's Board of Directors. Christian had this to say about the announcement:
"I'm humbled by the vote of confidence by my colleagues on the Board and excited about the work ahead. We have celebrated many great victories over the last couple of years, but we have much work to do to ensure that we achieve full equal rights and marriage recognition in Florida."
Christian will bring with him to the helm of SAVE a diverse background in strategic communications, media management, campaign management, and public affairs. We look forward to implementing his vision over the coming election cycle.
Simultaneously, our departing chairman Brian Adler, of the law firm Bilzin Sumberg, will continue to serve the local LGBT community by assuming the chairmanship of the Board of Directors of SAVE Foundation, our educational arm. He's eager to put his new ideas for SAVE Foundation to work in the months ahead.
"I believe the change in leadership will start a new era here at SAVE," said Executive Director Tony Lima. "With our new chairman Christian and Foundation chairman Brian, and with the kickoff of our 2014 effort on the horizon, I couldn't be more optimistic for the future of equality for our local LGBT community."
Statement from SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima on news concerning an NFL investigation report surrounding bullying and harassment within the Miami Dolphins:
"This weekend's report from an NFL investigator about the Miami Dolphins' pattern of bullying and harassment is deeply concerning and alarming. While we cannot erase the past, we must work to ensure that these types of behavior are eradicated in all forms and in every profession. SAVE hopes to partner with the Miami Dolphins to engage in a series of trainings and open dialogue on ways that we, as a community, can stand together to end discrimination and hate where ever we see it."
For more information on this story, please refer to initial reporting from ESPN by clicking here.
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