This legislative session has set the record as one of the most hostile and dangerous sessions in our history as we are now facing eight anti-LGBTQ bills. These laws cause outright harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and threaten our local community’s ability to self-govern.
COMMITTEE HEARINGS TO REPEAL EXISTING PROTECTIONS
A committee hearing is being held today in the House’s Workforce Development & Tourism Subcommittee for House Bill 305 sponsored by Rep. Bob Rommel of Naples and Senate Bill 1126 sponsored by Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota. This bill aims to repeal employment protections currently covered by local ordinances. These bills threaten city and county nondiscrimination ordinances that protect more than 13 million Floridians from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
UPCOMING DANGEROUS BILLS WITH NO HEARING SET YET IN EITHER CHAMBER
Lawmakers will also consider additional ways to allow the dangerous practice of conversion therapy within the home setting. House Bill 537 sponsored by Rep. Byron Donalds of Naples and Senate Bill 778 sponsored by Sen. Keith Perry of Sarasota supports conversion therapy in a home setting regardless of the current bans enacted by cities and counties that have already instituted protections.
Lastly, House Bill 1365 sponsored by Rep. Anthony Sabatini of Howey-in-the-Hills and Senate Bill 1864 sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley of Lady Lake makes providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender youth a second-degree felony for doctors who provide these lifesaving treatments to transgender youth.
WHAT’S AT STAKE IN 2020
With the 2020 legislative session being most dangerous yet, just two days in, to the LGBT community it is clear the stakes are high in 2020. SAVE remains committed to protecting LGBT people from discrimination and dangerous laws. Throughout 2020, we will continue to focus on electing pro-equality leaders by increasing turn-out from pro-equality voters. This is the only way to ensure we no longer have to endure dangerous legislation like we are seeing this year in Tallahassee.
Elections matter. Elections have consequences. SAVE will work hard over the next few years to ensure we elect pro-equality legislators to ensure that the LGBT community is protected.
Freidin Brown, P.A. & SAVE Launch Social Justice Scholarships
The law firm of Freidin Brown, P.A. and SAVE are proud to launch the Freidin Brown, P.A. & SAVE Social Justice Scholarships, which will award $25,000 in scholarships to four (4) LGBTQ and allied students in South Florida who strive to lead in a field of Social Justice. After receiving a number of extremely impressive applications, four scholarship recipients have been selected and will be honored at SAVE’s Luminary Awards on September 18, 2019. Each recipient has a proven record of leadership and contributions to the LGBTQ community and has demonstrated a commitment to a field of Social Justice in their professional futures.
Our $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to Ariana Aboulafia, a third-year law student at the University of Miami School of Law. Ms. Aboulafia is the Senior Articles Editor of the Race and Social Justice Law Review, and previously served as the Vice Present of OUTLaw, where she was instrumental in ensuring that a new gender-neutral bathroom was installed on Miami Law’s campus. This summer, a paper that she authored on LGBT homelessness was honored by the National LGBT Bar Association. Upon her graduation, she hopes to work full time at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office and contribute to their mission of fighting for social justice on behalf of indigent clients.
Gonzales previously served as board chairman for the SAVE Foundation
MIAMI, FL (September 10, 2019) - Safeguarding American Values for Everyone (SAVE) has named Orlando Gonzales as its new Executive Director, effective September 16, 2019. As South Florida’s leading organization for policy advocacy and community engagement for the LGBTQ+ population, Mr. Gonzales will work to expand the organization’s reach and voice throughout South Florida to address the threats and challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the region.
“We feel very fortunate and proud to have Orlando back at SAVE as the organization’s executive director. His background, vision, unique experience, and passion for advocacy work are emblematic of the work SAVE has led for the South Florida LGBTQ+ community for more than 25 years,” said SAVE board of directors chair Elizabeth Regalado.
Mr. Gonzales will relocate to Miami from Washington D.C., where he was working in real estate as well as with various non-profit organizations leading their fundraising, grant writing, and programming efforts. As a longtime ally and leader of SAVE, Mr. Gonzales served as the chairman of SAVE from 2009-10 and as chairman of the SAVE Foundation from 2008-2012, during which time he helped to significantly increase the organization’s donor contributions and political footprint.
“The conversation and climate around LGBTQ+ issues has evolved greatly in recent years, but there is still a lot of work to be done, at home and nationwide. Orlando’s vast experience in working with diverse LGBTQ+ communities throughout the country will bring a new and fresh perspective to SAVE and the work that it does in South Florida and statewide,” said Regalado.
Mr. Gonzales was selected from more than a dozen well-qualified candidates through a rigorous and competitive two-month interview process, which included a selection committee of SAVE board members and community leaders at large from the LGBTQ+ and non-profit space.
A formal introduction of SAVE’s new executive director will be made during the organization’s annual Luminaries Awards taking place on September 18, 2019 at Bacardi Headquarters in Coral Gables at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and information, please visit www.LuminaryAwards.org.
SAVE is recognized as South Florida’s longest-serving organization dedicated to protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) against discrimination. Since 1993, SAVE has advocated for equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions by focusing on civic engagement and community outreach. SAVE’s vision is a community where people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer have full equality in all facets of life.
Safeguarding American Values for Everyone’s (SAVE) mission is to promote, protect, and defend equality in Miami-Dade County for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ). Established in 1993, SAVE strives to accomplish this mission through community education, grassroots organizing, mobilization and advocacy.
Pardo will lead the search for new leadership while supporting the organization’s signature programs and policy outreach initiatives
SAVE has named Damian Pardo as interim executive director, effective immediately. As interim ED, Pardo will oversee the non-profit’s signature programs, donor engagement, and policy outreach, as well as form part of the executive director candidate search committee, to be led by SAVE Board of Directors Vice-Chair Helena Castro.
“As the founding chair of SAVE and one of the LGBTQ community’s most respected and accomplished advocates and leaders, we are thrilled about having Damian take the helm of the organization during this transition period,” said SAVE Chairman of the Board Elizabeth Regalado. “Damian not only understands the South Florida LGBTQ population intrinsically, his deep involvement with the organization and understanding of its work over the years will serve as the driving force for SAVE’s continued success as we move forward.”
In a historic victory today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act 236 to 173.
SAVE is proud of the overwhelming support the bill received from the South Florida delegation including Rep. Hastings, Rep. Frankel, Rep. Deutch, Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Wilson, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, and our Champion Congresswoman Donna Shalala.
Over in Miami Shores, we made history by helping elect Miami Shores Village’s first African American, female Mayor! Congratulations Mayor-elect Crystal Wagar. We are very excited to work with you! SAVE Action PAC endorsed Candidate (and former SAVE Board Chair) Christian Ulvert is headed to a runoff election on April 30th pending a recount.
Congratulations to Mayor Raul J. Valdes-Fauli for his win in Coral Gables. We look forward to working with you Mr. Mayor! SAVE Action PAC endorsed candidate for Coral Gables City Commission Ralph Cabrera, is headed to a runoff election on April 23rd. We will keep you posted on the final results.