This Wednesday, July 2nd, we finally get our day in court. Join us and the six plaintiff couples in our marriage equality lawsuit for the 4pm hearing at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse at 73 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130.
WE REALLY NEED YOU THERE!
Come show your support for our families and stand up for equality. Please arrive at 3pm or earlier. We will have signs available and a sign making station so we can offer positive messages. We also encourage you to bring large photos of your families and loved ones to hold up.
We know the opposition is marshaling protestors. The Christian Family Coalition and others are calling on their members to show up and rally against equality. In a recent email to their members, they call Florida "ground zero" in their war against marriage equality. And they are asking their members to tell Judge Zabel to dismiss the "homosexual marriage lawsuit."
We need to be united against such hatred.
Can you join us? We must be positive in our efforts. If an opponent confronts you or tries to engage you, just ignore them. They love to provoke us when there is a TV camera nearby. Remember, we have equality and justice on our side!
Equality Florida CEO
P.S. If you can’t make the hearing on July 2nd, remember we are having a Countdown to Marriage Rally this Saturday, June 28th at noon at the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach 33139. eqfl.org/rally
In a ruling that strikes down gay marriage ban in Oklahoma, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said today that the 14th Amendment protects same-sex couples’ right to marry.
The decision is in the Utah case, which was considered on a fast track with the Oklahoma case. In both cases, federal judges struck down state bans.
The Oklahoma case is still pending. However, the principle involved in the Utah case applies to Oklahoma and the other states in the circuit: Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico.
Here is a key passage:
“May a State of the Union constitutionally deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of th e State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry?
“Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so.
“We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union. For the reasons stated in this opinion, we affirm.”
In the 2-1 decision, the court dismissed arguments from the state of Utah that allowing same-sex marriages would have a destabilizing effect on opposite-sex marriages.
“We cannot imagine a scenario under which recognizing same-sex marriages would affect the decision of a member of an opposite-sex couple to have a child, to marry or stay married to a partner, or to make personal sacrifices for a child,” the court ruled.
UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes will appeal the 10th Circuit court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made it officially clear that she will in fact be fighting the Pareto/Ruvin case in Miami-Dade County as a steward of the state who wishes to see that gay marriage is summarily displaced despite the winds of change blowing the hair out of her blank eyes. We were cruising public records on the case and came across the latest filing, published directly beneath you. Sure, it may seem like it sucks, but it also means it is on. This story is developing and none of the principals can comment yet. We just thought you might like to know that your state is failing you.
"It is disappointing that at a time when attorneys general and governors across the country are refusing to defend these discriminatory marriage bans, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has decided to pour state resources into defending the indefensible. In decisions by judges appointed by both Democrats and Republicans, court after court has determined that barring loving same sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional, and we look forward to hearing from Florida's courts in the near future. This latest development shows just how out of touch Pam Bondi and the Rick Scott administration are with the majority of Florida voters.” - Nadine Smith, CEO Equality Florida
This is developing and we'll have more information here soon.
After making national news last month by claiming marriage equality would cause “,” Attorney General Pam Bondi has doubled down on her bigoted campaign against LGBT Floridians. Bondi has offered to join additional lawsuits — at taxpayer expense — in an effort to obstruct marriage equality. As the Associated Press's Gary Fineout reported, Pam Bondi seeks to intervene in two lawsuits filed against the Miami-Dade and Monroe County clerks.
Source Equality Florida, Florida Democratic Party
By Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Robert S. Adler
|Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz|
Summer has arrived and so have some of the tragic consequences that accompany outdoor fun: child drownings deaths and near-drownings. Already this year, we've seen too many gut-wrenching headlines of young lives taken too soon. We, as advocates for the safety of children, are deeply troubled by every story we read because these deaths are entirely avoidable.
In 2013, at least 41 of the 301 children under age 14 who drowned in a swimming pool or spa in the United States lived in Florida. This makes Florida second in the nation on a list that no state wants to lead. And in South Florida in particular, with our nearly year-round pool weather, we must be constantly vigilant against a split-second accident that can cause a lifetime of heartbreak.
In 2007, the prevention of drownings became a national priority when Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The namesake of the legislation, a beautiful little girl who went by the name "Graeme", was a strong swimmer at just 7-years-old, but the drain she was suctioned to entrapped her and was so powerful that not even grown adults could pull her free.
The VGB Act was the first federal pool and spa safety legislation signed into law in our nation's history. Its passage would not have been possible without a number of advocates including Graeme's parents, Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.
The law instructed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create a public education campaign to reduce child drownings, near-drownings, and drain entrapments in all pools. The result was the Pool Safely campaign, which advocates for multiple layers of protection, constant supervision of children in and around the water, ensuring that children learn how to swim and parents learn CPR, as well as the installation of safer drain covers in all public pools and spas.
The campaign encourages parents, children, pool owners, state and local governments, and safety organizations to act together as stakeholders in our mutual mission to save lives. This point cannot be underscored enough: there is no single solution to prevent drownings. But layers of protection, including CPR training, safer equipment, watchful eyes, and more public education, are a forceful combination of resources we can all utilize — together — in order to protect and save the precious lives of children.
One tangible step we can take is to ensure that more children learn how to swim. This is especially true within minority communities. According to USA Swimming, 70 percent of African-American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, and black children alone drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their white peers, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. This disparity is unacceptable and unnecessary.
Another important component of the VGB Act was the creation of an incentive grant program to encourage states to adopt their own pool and spa safety laws. And we are thrilled that in January, President Obama signed into law a provision that expands this incentive program to municipalities, since Congress and CPSC quickly realized that local communities were better positioned to meet the program's minimum requirements. CPSC intends to create a new position responsible for operating the grant program and making sure grantees use the money for pool inspections and drowning prevention education.
Since 2000, Florida state law has required all pools and spas be equipped with safety equipment such as fences, self-closing and self-latching door mechanisms or door and window alarms that either block a child's access to the pool or sound an alarm when someone unexpectedly exits. We need more vigilant enforcement of these laws from our state and local governments because too many children drown in non-compliant pools. And pool owners need to keep their required safety equipment in place after inspectors leave because the bottom line is that, unfortunately, sometimes adult supervision lapses and when it does, an obstacle in the path of a young child can save their life.
We encourage readers to get in touch with their local leaders. Ask them to reach out to CPSC to get more information on available resources, minimum requirements, and application processes.
When we combine forces as concerned community members, our collective voice cannot be ignored.
We will never know how many lives we may save or how many near-drownings we prevent, but we do know that we can prevent the heartbreak of countless parents.
That alone is worth the effort.
Wasserman Schultz represents parts of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in Congress, and is the author of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Adler is the Acting Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Please Join Congresswoman Lois Frankel
For a conversation with the community on
National HIV Testing Day – A Call to Action
Hagen Park Community Center
2020 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL
To RSVP please contact Congresswoman Frankel’s office either via email at Felicia.Goldstein@mail.house.gov or call 561 998-9045
flyer depicts a negative blurb and selected pictures depicting what the Tea Party circulated at the June 23rd County Republican meeting in a vicious attempt to demean Log Cabin Republicans and friends who participated in this year's Wilton Manors PRIDE event
See Flier Below:
Click The Flier To Enlarge
Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick Will Serve as Chair of the IAC, Advise FCC on Important Telecommunications Issues
Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick has been selected to serve as Chair of the Federal Communication Commission's Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC) for 2014-2016.
Here is the Resolution
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, SUPPORTING MARRIAGE EQUALITY, URGING ENACTMENT OF A LAW THAT WOULD PROVIDE FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, AND PROVIDING FOR RESCISSION OF CONFLICTING PROVISIONS AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City of Fort Lauderdale strives to protect the equal rights of all its residents without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and
WHEREAS, the City of Fort Lauderdale derives great strength from the diversity of its residents, employees, and visitors; and
WHEREAS, the City of Fort Lauderdale extends employee health benefits to domestic partners regardless of sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS, the lack of access to marriage under the laws of the State of Florida deprives members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of more than 1,000 federal benefits and responsibilities afforded heterosexual couples, including spousal social security and pension benefits, tax equity, and medical decision-making authority; and
WHEREAS, domestic partnership and civil union laws bring welcome recognition to same-sex couples and their families, but marriage remains the most widely accepted and best legal mechanism for protecting these families; and
WHEREAS, denying access to marriage for same-sex couples discriminates against them, relegates them to second-class citizenship, and serves to institutionalize discrimination in violation of the United States Constitution,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA:
SECTION 1. That the City Commission supports equal access to legal marriage for same-sex couples, and opposes laws and constitutional amendments that deny equal access to legal marriage for same-sex couples.
SECTION 2. That the City Commission urges the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott to enact a law that would provide for marriage equality in the State of Florida.
SECTION 3. That the City Clerk is directed to forward a certified copy of this Resolution to the Broward County state legislative delegation and to Governor Rick Scott.
SECTION 4. That all resolutions or parts of resolutions in conflict herewith, be and the same are rescinded to the extent of such conflict.
SECTION 5. That this Resolution shall be in effect immediately upon its adoption.
ADOPTED this the _____ day of _________________, 2014.
JOHN P. “JACK” SEILER
.COUNTDOWN TO MARRIAGE!
RALLY TO CALL FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW!
On , a coalition of South Florida organizations will host “Countdown to Marriage,” a rally to call on the State of Florida to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The rally takes place at at the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.
Speaking with one voice, Equality Florida, SAVE ((Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, formerly SAVE Dade), ACLU of Florida, National Council of Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the LGBT Visitor Center will be joined by numerous other local agencies and organizations at the rally.
Following Attorney General Bondi’s inflammatory comments that marriage equality would cause “significant public harm,” the reaction from the LGBT community and its allies was swift and united. Organizers of the rally hope to leverage that enthusiasm into action.
With a whirlwind of favorable rulings throughout the country, the rally will also provide the community with an opportunity to hear about the status of some of the lawsuits presently in the Florida courts, as well as how to get involved in the fight for equality.
Two of the couples who are presently suing for marriage equality – Juan del Hierro & Thomas Gantt and Karla Arguello & Cathy Pareto– will be speaking at the rally, along with Michael Farmer, Equality Florida Statewide Field Director, Damian Pardo, SAVE board member and Daniel Tilley, ACLU staff attorney.
Countdown to Marriage takes place at behind the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. For further information, please call (305) 751-7283 or (954) 458-3639.