ANSWERING SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT MARRIAGE RIGHTS IN FLORIDA
Q: Can my partner and I get married the same day that we apply for a license?
A: If either partner is a Florida resident there is a three-day delay in the effective date of the marriage license. Couples can get the waiting period waived if they
participate in a premarital preparation course meeting the requirements specified in law and whose provider is registered with the Clerk.
Otherwise exceptions to the three day waiting period must be granted for individuals asserting hardship by a county court judge.
If only one member of the couple is a Florida resident, the couple must complete a premarital counseling course to waive the waiting period.
There is no waiting period for couples from out of state.
Q: How can we waive the waiting period for the issuance of a marriage license?
A: The waiting period will be waived if the couple completes a premarital counseling course of not less than 4 hours taught by a provider who has been approved by the
Clerk of the Circuit Court.
The course may be completed by personal instruction or by video/electronic instruction. Providers must furnish a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the
course, to be submitted to the Clerk's Office when applying for a marriage license. For those couples who voluntarily complete this premarital preparation course, the
state offers a reduced marriage license fee and no waiting period.
Some Counties have decided to waive this waiting period for same-sex couples who apply for marriage licenses, asserting that the delay these couples have had to
endure constitutes legal "hardship." A county judge can also waive this waiting period for good cause and by asserting hardship. For a list of all counties, their office
hours and locations, and whether your Clerk has waived the three-day waiting period for same-sex couples, visit your county page here.
For a list of premarital course providers across the state, click here.
NOTE: For additional information about the premarital preparation course and providers in your area, to view the family law handbook, or to confirm that a provider is
certified in your county, please contact the Clerk in your county.isit your County Clerk of Court’s page for specific information pertaining to your county, including office
locations, hours, and additional information specific to your county.
Q: We were married out of state but live in Florida. Do we need to marry again in Florida for the state to recognize our marriage?
A: No. If you were legally married in another state, you do not need to marry again in Florida. On January 6th, 2015, your marriage should be immediately recognized
and valid in Florida when the stay expires. To obtain certain benefits, however, such as applying for Social Security benefits or adding your spouse to your health
insurance plan, you will need to take action and submit paperwork, just as a different-sex couple would be required to do. The process for doing so will be the same as
for a different-sex couple.
For more information regarding the recognition of your out-of-state marriage, click here.
Q: Where is my County Clerk’s office?
For the address and phone number of Florida’s 67 County Clerks of Court, click here.
Q: Can I get a license in a different county than where I live?
Yes. A Florida marriage license can be issued by any county, regardless of where you or your partner reside.
Q: What forms of identification do I need?
You should bring two forms of identification. One form of identification required is an valid photo identification issued by the Federal or State government. The photo
identification must have the correct legal name, date of birth, and signature of the applicant.
The following valid proofs of photo identifications are accepted:
· Driver's License (U.S. State or Government)
· U.S. Military identification
· State Identification Card (U.S. State or Government)
· Alien Registration Card
All U.S. citizens and residents must provide their Social Security Number. Non-U.S. Citizens may provide one of the following valid Identifications: Alien Registration
Card, US State issued Driver's License, or Passport if they do not have a Social Security Number. Contact your clerk office for alternative options if you do not have the
Q: Do both persons have to appear in the county clerk’s office to obtain the license?
Generally the answer is yes. If one of the persons to be married is not able to go to the clerk’s office because of illness or other reason, he or she should contact the
clerk to see if special arrangements can be made.
Q: What is the county/state fee for obtaining a marriage license?
A: The marriage license fee is $93.50. There is a reduction for all couples who complete the premarital preparation course, making the marriage license cost $61.00
for these couples.
Q: What if I have been married before?
A: If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last divorce, death, or annulment must be provided. In some counties, proof of how the last
marriage terminated must be present e.g., divorce decree or death certificate.
Q: For how long are marriage licenses valid?
A: Marriage licenses can be used within the State for up to 60 days after they were issued. They must be returned to the Clerk's Office where they were issued within
10 days after the marriage is performed.
Q: Who can officiate my wedding?
A: According to Florida law, “All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers,
including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state” may perform a marriage. To find a regularly-updated list of officiants
available to perform weddings, click here.
Q: What if the clerk at my county turns me away or is not ready to issue licenses to same-sex couples as soon as the stay expires?
A: All clerks are legally obligated to stop enforcing the ban on marriage for same-sex couples that a federal court has held as unconstitutional. On January 1st, 2015,
Judge Hinkle confirmed his original ruling as binding statewide on all 67 Clerks in Florida.
If your county clerk will not provide you a license, you can go to another Florida County to get a license. Please contact us at email@example.com if you encounter a problem at
your County Clerk’s office on January 6th.
Q: If I so choose, how do I legally change my name?
A: The State of Florida should now honor the use of out-of-state marriage certificates and Florida marriage certificates in order to legally change your name on your
driver's license, so you can bring your marriage certificate to your local DMV office starting January 6th.
Q: Will my marriage impact my eligibility to receive social services based on income?
A: Possibly. You should take some time to consider what impact your new household income may have in the determination of eligibility for access to various social
service programs such as Medicaid, Ryan White, tax subsidies available through Affordable Care Act Marketplace health plans, and other programs. You should also
consider your liabilities as a couple: student loans, credit card debt, judgements, etc. For more specific information regarding your situation, you may want to consult a
lawyer or financial advisor.
Q: What are my rights with respect to my partner's children?
A: Being married doesn't automatically give you parental rights for your spouse's child. If your spouse has children already, and you and your spouse wish to exercise
co-parental rights over the children, you need a stepparent adoption to obtain those rights. If you are married and planning to have children, you will benefit from a legal
presumption that you are the legal parent of that child born into the marriage. However, the consensus among attorneys and activists doing legal work with LGBT
families is that this presumption could be challenged in court in the event the marriage is dissolved. It is prudent to take the legal steps necessary to obtain legal
recognition of the joint desire to co-parent the children born during the marriage and do a second parent adoption, which we also refer to as a confirmatory adoption
since it is confirming the parental rights which ought to exist.
Top 10 considerations for already married, now recognized LGBT couples
Do you live in Florida and are married to your same-sex spouse legally in another jurisdiction?
Our firm has advocated for your right to have your marriage recognized in Florida, and marriage equality is finally arriving as of January 6th, 2015! What does that mean
for you? You DO NOT need to remarry in Florida, which means you do not need a Florida marriage license or a ceremony. Your marriage validly entered into
elsewhere will be automatically valid in Florida without any further action by you.
If you are already married or have decided to get married and you own property, have or want to have children, file taxes, plan to retire, or have other financial issues,
here are our Top 10 considerations for you to discuss with your attorney and tax advisor. There are many new rights and benefits you can now take advantage of.
There are also obligations that come with marriage. Many of these rights, benefits and obligations are not automatic and do require further steps on your part. Here
are some steps you should consider taking:
1. Marital and Estate planning
If you have your estate plan in place, you should make sure everything there still makes sense and represents your current intentions. If you die intestate (without a will
or trust in place), Florida law dictates how your estate will be distributed. Some spousal rights on inheritance are automatic and others are not, so you may wish to
create or modify your existing estate plan. It's critical for married and unmarried couples to have estate planning in place to be sure their wishes are clear and that
alternate fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and designates for health care surrogates and the like are named in case you are traveling and in a state or country that does not
recognize your marriage. Also, if you are not a fan of letting Florida legislators dictate how your income and assets would be divided in the event you should divorce or
die, we can change those automatic rights through a postnuptial agreement and an estate plan. It doesn't mean you're breaking up, only that you want to spell out
different intentions than the law would provide.
2. Income Tax filing
The federal government has recognized your marriage for tax purposes since 2013, so hopefully you've been filing your taxes together since then if you were married
already. If you haven't before, you'd better start doing so now. Your tax professional will run the numbers and see if it's advantageous to retroactively amend your
returns to reflect the marriage for up to the prior 3 years, depending on your date of marriage. For more information, see the Internal Revenue Service's FAQs on point
Being married doesn't automatically give you parental rights for your spouse's child. If your spouse has children already, and you and your spouse wish to exercise co-
parental rights over the children, you need a stepparent adoption to obtain those rights. If you are married and planning to have children, you will benefit from a legal
presumption that you are the legal parent of that child born into the marriage. However, the consensus among attorneys and activists doing legal work with LGBT
families is that this presumption could be challenged in court in the event the marriage is dissolved. It is prudent to take the legal steps necessary to obtain legal
recognition of the joint desire to co-parent the children born during the marriage and do a second parent adoption, which we also refer to as a confirmatory adoption
since it is confirming the parental rights which ought to exist.
4. Retirement accounts
Your spouse has automatic rights to your pension and all qualified retirement plans. Be sure s/he is listed as a spouse so that s/he can take advantage of rollover
benefits if you should pass away. Many who have worked with the State of Florida on any level have retirement benefits with the Florida Retirement System (FRS). FRS
did not allow you to designate your non-legal spouse prior to marriage recognition but now that Florida recognizes your marriage, you should be able to amend your
beneficiary designation form to include your spouse, if you so desire.
5. Retitling property
Before your marriage was recognized, if you wanted to own property jointly it would either be as tenants in common or joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Now you
can own as tenants by the entireties, a special category for Florida married joint owners of property. This special form of ownership provides greater creditor protection
and also cannot be severed without the consent of the other spouse. These benefits apply to real property (your home) and also to your investment accounts.
6. Social Security and other government benefits
If you're eligible to collect Social Security survivors benefits because your spouse passed away, go ahead and file for those benefits. You can now collect! If you are
receiving Social Security benefits based on your own age eligibility, your own work history and health, getting married will not affect those payments. For more
information on these benefits that are critical for so many of us, see the Social Security Administration's FAQ for same-sex couples here. There are other great benefits
you'll enjoy now like Family Medical Leave Act protection should you need to take time off work to care for your spouse, and COBRA guaranteed continuation of medical
coverage for your spouse. If you are military, whether active service or a veteran, you'll want to look into the myriad benefits now available to you as well.
7. Insurance Coverage
Most likely your private group employer health insurance plan is available for married employees so go ahead and enroll! You can allege that the recognition of your
marriage is a triggering event such that you need not wait for the open enrollment period to make the change. Also, homeowners and auto insurance policies
sometimes provide for benefits to married couples so it's worthwhile to call up and advise them of your marital status and see if any discounts or better policies are
8. Name Changes
Depending on where you got married, you might have checked off a box indicating you want to change your last name. The State of Florida should now honor that
request so head over to the local DMV office with your marriage certificate and change your name on your driver's license, if you so choose.
9. Financial Aid
If you are applying for student aid and you're married, or you have a child who is applying for aid, your household income is joined so be sure you include both incomes.
No list about what is now available to you as a married couple would be complete without touching on one of the most important benefits of marriage: namely, divorce!
If you wish to move on to solemnize another relationship, it's critical that you formally terminate the prior one so that you do not risk bigamy charges, which would also
make your new marriage void and not eligible for recognition in the State of Florida. If you can't agree on the division of your assets and debts, the court will impose its
own vision of what constitutes equitable distribution, so it's best to try to work it out between you. To save money and heartache on a prolonged adversarial divorce,
consider using a lawyer trained in the collaborative divorce process, which you can learn more about here. Our firm is trained in the collaborative divorce process.
This is only intended to be a basic outline of some of the issues that might arise. This is not a substitute for legal advice. If you would like to schedule a meeting to
discuss your situation and how our firm can assist you, call the office at 305.674.9222 or email to arrange a consultation with Elizabeth Schwartz.
- COURTESY of Equality Florida.
The Whispering Angels Scholarship & Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida
team up to offer So. Florida LGBT Students seeking a College
Scholarship for Design and the Arts: Applications now being accepted.
Miami, Florida- Established in 2007 in memory of her later partner, renowned Interior
Designer Anita Priest, the “Whispering Angels” Memorial Scholarship program founded
by Sandra Holiday is a legacy program that provides a scholarship for the LGBT community
to advance their education in the area of Design and or the Arts.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida (UC|CU), the first & only organization for the Latino|
Hispanic|LGBTQ Community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) -
advancing Equality since 2002, is proud to partner with the Whispering Angels Foundation
for 2013, and nominated its founder SANDRA HOLIDAY for our Legends Honors, for her
years of tireless and unselfish work on behalf of the LGBT, Youth, Design and Arts
Past recipients JOVAN KALA HANNAH, ALBERTO PARRA and others have gone on to
study with the help of this foundation generosity.
The Whispering Angels Foundation, under the guidance of Sandra and in memory of
Anita, is essential to our community. It allows a young LGBT student who otherwise
might not get to go to college, fulfill his/ her dreams and go on and make a difference.
We are proud to support their work and partner in this important community project.
– Herb Sosa, UC|CU president
- You must be a resident of South Florida.
- Completed and signed application
- Recent photo or digital photo in jpg, gif, or bmp format
- Most recent academic transcript to be sent by the school by e-mail or by mail
- At least two and no more than three letters of recommendation (At least one of these must
be from an individual familiar with your work in South Florida (no family members)
- A scan of Driver’s License / State Issued ID
- I authorize the Anita Priest Scholarship Committee to review and discuss my grades and other records concerning me that are maintained by my school or
submitted by me for consideration. This authorization is being granted to this Committee as it pertains to my being considered for a Scholarship Award.
One applicant will be awarded a $2,500. scholarship for tuition expenses related to Design and the Arts
FOR INFO on the Anita Priest Whispering Angels Foundation and Scholarship Application, visit: www.whisperingangelsfoundation.com
Senators reach agreement on immigration reform
January 28, 2013... WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles for a sweeping
overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
The deal, to be announced at a news conference Monday, also covers border security, non-citizen or "guest" workers and employer verification of
Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain — the legislation could run into trouble in the Republican-
controlled House — the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation's
inefficient patchwork of immigration laws.
President Barack Obama also is committed to enacting comprehensive immigration legislation and will travel to Nevada on Tuesday to lay out his
vision, which is expected to overlap in important ways with the Senate effort.
The eight senators expected to endorse the new principles Monday are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert
Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco
Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
Several of these lawmakers have worked for years on the issue. McCain collaborated with the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on
comprehensive immigration legislation pushed by then-President George W. Bush in 2007, only to see it collapse in the Senate when it couldn't
get enough GOP support.
Now, with some Republicans chastened by the November elections which demonstrated the importance of Latino voters and their increasing
commitment to Democrats, some in the GOP say this time will be different.
"What's changed, honestly, is that there is a new, I think, appreciation on both sides of the aisle — including maybe more importantly on the
Republican side of the aisle — that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill," McCain said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
"I think the time is right," McCain said.
The group claims a notable newcomer in Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate whose conservative bona fides may help smooth the way
for support among conservatives wary of anything that smacks of amnesty. In an opinion piece published Sunday in the Las Vegas Review-
Journal, Rubio wrote that the existing system amounts to "de facto amnesty," and he called for "commonsense reform."
According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the senators will call for accomplishing four goals:
—Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here
—Reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math,
technology or engineering from an American university.
—Creating an effective employment verification system to ensure that employers do not hire illegal immigrants.
—Allowing more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn't recruit a
U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program.
The principles being released Monday are outlined on just over four pages, leaving plenty of details left to fill in. What the senators do call for is
similar to Obama's goals and some past efforts by Democrats and Republicans, since there's wide agreement in identifying problems with the
current immigration system. The most difficult disagreement is likely to arise over how to accomplish the path to citizenship.
In order to satisfy the concerns of Rubio and other Republicans, the senators are calling for the completion of steps on border security and
oversight of those here on visas before taking major steps forward on the path to citizenship.
Even then, those here illegally would have to qualify for a "probationary legal status" that would allow them to live and work here — but not qualify
for federal benefits — before being able to apply for permanent residency. Once they are allowed to apply they would do so behind everyone else
already in line for a green card within the current immigration system.
That could be a highly cumbersome process, but how to make it more workable is being left to future negotiations. The senators envision a more
streamlined process toward citizenship for immigrants brought here as children by their parents, and for agricultural workers.
The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement that the framework agreed on by the senators could provide important protections for
illegal immigrants who are exploited by employers and live in "constant fear" over their immigration status.
But the ACLU took issue with the proposal to require employers to use an electronic employment-verification system, calling it "a thinly disguised
national ID requirement" that would undermine employees' privacy and lead to discrimination against those "who look or sound 'foreign.'"
Such legislation could also face long odds in the House, which is dominated by conservative Republicans and which has shown little interest in
The debate will play out at the start of Obama's second term, as he aims to spend the political capital afforded him by his re-election victory on an
issue that has eluded past presidents and stymied him during his first term despite his promises to the Latino community to act.
"As the president has made clear for some time, immigration reform is an important priority and he is pleased that progress is being made with
bipartisan support," a White House spokesman, Clark Stevens, said in a statement. "At the same time, he will not be satisfied until there is
meaningful reform and he will continue to urge Congress to act until that is achieved."
For Republicans, the November elections were a stark schooling on the importance of Latino voters, who voted for Obama over Republican Mitt
Romney 71 percent to 27 percent, helping ensure Obama's victory. That led some Republican leaders to conclude that supporting immigration
reform with a path to citizenship has become a political imperative.
Obama Will Include Same-Sex Couples In Immigration Plan
The Senate is silent on bi-national couples divided by law
WASHINGTON — Same-sex couples will be a part of the proposal for addressing immigration reform that President Obama is scheduled to
unveil Tuesday in Las Vegas, BuzzFeed has confirmed with multiple sources familiar with the White House plan.
A Democratic source said: "Same-sex couples will be part of his proposal." A second source confirmed that, unlike the Senate framework
released Monday, same-sex bi-national couples — those with one American and one foreign partner — will be included in the White House
The decision by Obama seeks to remedy what advocates for same-sex couples view as one of the most searing inequalities under the existing
federal limit on marriage to one man and one woman: LGBT American citizens simply have no way to confer citizenship on their romantic partners,
something that is automatic — if not always simple — for straight couples.
Under current law, such same-sex couples, even when married under state law, are not eligible for the green cards that opposite-sex couples can
receive. Foreign partners of same-sex couples have in the past found their green card applications denied — often forcing couples to separate or
Although Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have taken steps to examine the issue and, in some
cases, prevent deportation of the foreign same-sex partners of Americans, the Defense of Marriage Act continues to prevent the granting of green
cards for such individuals.
White House officials did not respond to requests for comment about the issue Monday night.
When the Senate framework was unveiled Monday, same-sex couples were not included. BuzzFeed has learned that three of the Democratic
senators involved in the bipartisan framework reached out to LGBT advocates on Sunday to let them know in advance that same-sex couples'
immigration issues would not be addressed in the Senate framework.
An LGBT advocate on the call said that the call, which was led by Sen. Chuck Schumer and included Sens. Richard Durbin and Bob Menendez,
included the news from Schumer that same-sex couples would not be addressed in the Senate framework to be unveiled Monday in order to
maintain its bipartisan support.
The advocate also said that Schumer told the advocates that although there would be attempts to include same-sex couples at a later point in the
process — up to and including during committee amendments — there were no guarantees that same-sex couples would be included the
An email seeking comment from Schumer's office was not immediately returned on Monday night.
Alex Conant, press secretary for Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the Republicans who announced the Senate framework Monday, told BuzzFeed shortly
after publication of this story Monday night, "White House officials have talked to BuzzFeed more than they've talked to Marco Rubio about what they
plan to say tomorrow."
"The issue of same-sex couples and immigration are details that still need to be worked out in Senate," Rubio press secretary Alex Conant added.
Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to say whether Obama would sign the senate proposal if it passed as is, nor
would he comment on a key Democratic concession to Republicans to make granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
dependent on first securing the border.
The Democratic source said the White House is displeased by the proposal and his plan would not link the two.
This article has been updated to include the lack of comment from White House officials and the comments from Conant.
Republicans: Campaigning Against Marriage is a Losing Strategy
May 10, 2012...Washington, DC– In the wake of President Obama’s personal announcement in support of the freedom to marry, Republicans
should recognize the changed political climate on the issue in favor of equality.
“Marriage equality has captured the nation’s attention, and the response to President Obama’s announcement is evidence of the tide turning in
favor of equality for all. Log Cabin Republicans have long believed that supporting the freedom to marry is the right thing to do and the President’
s joining this effort is in the nation’s best interest. That said, Americans can be certain that the President would not have made this decision at
this time if it were not in his best political interests. In addition to energizing his base and distracting attention from a failed economic record, the
trap is laid for any Republican who responds with intolerance,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “Already
some in the GOP are taking the bait with former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie bringing up the twice-failed Federal Marriage Amendment and the
unfortunate vote on Representative Heulskamp’s (R-KS) amendment re-affirming DOMA last night. Democrats are eager to fundraise off of this
issue. It is in the best interests of Republican candidates to be measured and disciplined in response, recognizing that a generational shift has
“Governor Mitt Romney’s statement in opposition to not just marriage but civil unions jeopardizes his ability to win moderates, women and
younger voters, especially as a large majority of Americans favor some form of relationship recognition for their LGBT friends and neighbors.
Ultimately, the response of the Republican candidates this election cycle will determine not just endorsements by Log Cabin Republicans, but
the votes of millions of Americans who are simply tired of the culture wars.”
August 3, 2001
Re: Comments about the LGBT Community
Mrs. Diana Cardenas,
On behalf of Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida, a Florida non profit dedicated to the Leadership,
Protection & Promotion of Latino|Hispanic LGBTQ rights (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
questioning) - the only organization of its kind in South Florida since 2002, we join the many
voices outraged by your insensitive and irresponsible statements, and call on you to
immediately retract and apologize for your public comments regarding the GLBT community.
The LGBT community if filled with loving, caring, happy & respectable individuals - families,
couples, mother, fathers, sons & daughters – much like yourself & your family. Unlike you,
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans are respectful & protective of others rights,
and will fight for equality and fairness for all. We are patriotic, honest, hard working, tax paying
Americans that deserve and demand the same rights this great country offers us, as it did to
& your husband when you came to its shores.
Your comments placed in a public forum like Facebook are hurtful, disrespectful, misleading
and simply unacceptable. We ask you to retract your comments and apologize. Hate and
bigotry of this sort is why our LGBT youth suicide rate is 4 times that of heterosexuals, and
hate crimes & bullying plague our society. Your words only propagate these horrible
We may agree to disagree on many issues & policies, but to attack an entire group of
Americans based on ill-informed stereotypes and your own misguided references is counter-
productive. You should know the pain and suffering this type of action has caused Americans
historically, Catholics, Cubans, Jews…the List goes on. One would hope your personal
experiences and that of your loved ones and fellow Americans would have hade you a more
tolerant and accepting individual, but not to worry, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida is always
willing and available to work with you in better understanding the LGBT community, our
similarities, hopes, dreams and expectations. Our doors are open to you, in the spirit of unity,
understanding & love.
UC|CU offers many community workshops, including our STATE OF HATE Workshop coming
up on September 10th – We believe you would greatly benefit by attending, opening up your
mind & heart and be better informed on a topic you seem very confused and greatly
Whether you accept our invitation or not, we hope you do understand the real harm you have
caused and prejudice you have displayed and call on you to do the right thing and apologize
Director, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida - www.unitycoalition.org
MIAMI HERALD –
Al Cardenas' wife, Diana: Gays 'are in our faces with public display of
affection, gay parades, gay rallies, non-stop bombardment!!!'
The American Conservative Union -- now led by Miami attorney Al Cardenas -- has barred the
conservative gay Republican group, GOProud, from sponsoring and fully participating at its
next national convention.
This week, Cardenas' wife Diana (Chief Operating Officer (COO) at The Cardenas
Household," according to her Facebook profile) engaged in an interesting public exchange
on the social network about gays and lesbians after GOP activist Ana Navarro posted
comments concerning Texas Gov. Rick Perry's flip-flop last week on gay marriage:
"I want a candidate w/strong informed opinions & beliefs & courage to stick by them even
when not politically convenient. Is that too much to ask these days?" Navarro posted.
Here's Diana Cardenas' initial response to Navarro:
I would be very disappointed if Perry did not favor amending the Const to ban gay marriage.
These gay marriage laws are destructive .... Marriage is a vital social institution between two
members of the OPPOSITE sex. It goes way beyond just an emotional relationship---it serves
a vital role in the stability and continuity of our society, something which homosexual
marriages cannot provide. Unfortunately, the biggest victory of the gay movement has been to
shift the debate from a 'behavior' to identity, whereby those that oppose homosexuality are
considered bigoted or hateful. They have equated it to the Civil Rights Movement, seeking to
obtain the rights granted under the constitution to all races or religions. Sexual behavior does
not fall into either category!!!!It is not about homosexuals wanting to enter into a 'marriage' so
much as it is about them wanting to gain acceptance into mainstream society by redefining
the traditional definition of the institution. Because a few liberal judges decide to sign it into
law, does not mean the public is in favor of it. Whenever it has been put on the ballot (as in
California), it has failed.
A few hours later, Cardenas responded to Rena Doty Fraser, who asked why gay marriage
"is such a threat":
Rena, it IS a threat to society. It is not nature's way. They can't procreate, can they?....You hvae
them in your family? Well, there is no reason not to like them or love them, the same way you
would love one who has a disability, or an illness, etc. I just DO NOT want them pushing their
agenda on the majority who are not. This is just about sexual preference--keep it in the
bedroom!!!! It is not about being denied any constitutional rights.....Ana, I got your point.....I am
just tired of this topic being shoved in our face continually by all these gay activists and I have
to ventilate my feelings.... You know I always wondered why homosexuals are referred to as
'gay', kind of an oxymoron? Nothing really 'gay' about them or their movement......I am all for
intellectual honesty too!!
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA DISAPPOINTED IN GOVERNOR SCOTTS POSITION ON ADOPTIONS IN FLORIDA -
Miami, Florida…January 20, 2011- Just days into his inauguration as Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott has already taken positions and
decisions that are not in the best interest of thousands of children currently in Florida’s state foster care, and clearly are in opposition of the recent
court ruling filed and won by the ACLU of Florida, allowing gay and lesbian adoption in Florida.
Since 2002, Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida -dedicated to the Leadership, Protection & Promotion of Latino|Hispanic LGBT rights (lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender), the only organization of its kind in South Florida - has been meeting with elected leaders & bringing volunteer contingents
to Tallahassee to speak on behalf of the over 5,000 children currently in the states system, and until recently, had no chance of being adopted by a
loving, caring and capable household, if they happen to be gay or lesbian. Florida was the only State in the Union that had this archaic and
discriminatory law until recently.
Just this week, the governor said "Adoption should be by a married couple", as reported by the Associated Press. His statement and position is
clearly ignoring the court ruling on gay and lesbian inclusive adoption and it could remove millions of Floridians from the adoption process and
leave tens of thousands of children in state foster care who could otherwise be adopted by loving families.
On Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott named David Wilkins as Secretary of the Department of Children and Families – the state agency
responsible for implementing adoptions in Florida. David Wilkins serves as Finance Chairman for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes – an
“organization dedicated to providing Christ-centered services to children and families…” Among its missions, the Florida Baptists Children’s
Homes provides adoption services. To adopt through them, they, “require that you be a professing Christian, be active in a local Christian church,
and follow a lifestyle that is consistent with the Christian faith.”
Such a narrow view of adoption is well outside the mainstream in Florida, leaves millions of Americans out of the process and disregards what is
in the best interests of the child. It is, in a word, dangerous to have a man with these narrow values setting adoption policy for all of us.
These positions being taken by elected officials & appointed representatives of the People clearly go against the will of Floridians, the court
rulings we abide by, and jeopardize the civil rights and ability of millions of Floridians from the adoption process and leave tens of thousands of
children in state foster care who could otherwise be adopted by loving families.
With this appointment and Governor Scott’s statements, we are profoundly disappointed but not surprised. In real terms it means the showdown
on adoption may be just starting instead of nearing an end. Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida remains unified and in solidarity with the hundreds of
like-minded leaders & organizations across the state, and vows to keep Governor Scott focused on respecting, adhering to and upholding the
laws & will of our state.
Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida urges Governor Scott to respect the court rulings in Florida, keep personal beliefs & religion out of government, not
violate the civil rights of all our citizens and allow Florida’s children in foster care, a real chance at a stable, loving & enriching home.
January 4, 2010... US lifts HIV/Aids
The US has lifted a 22-year
immigration ban which has stopped
anyone with HIV/Aids from entering the
December 22, 2010... President Obama
SIGNS REPEAL of DADT
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA was
Proud to have been a part of the Miami-
Dade HATE CRIMES SUMMIT...
Representing, Fighting for & Protecting LGBT Issues &
Rights in our community -
The Miami-Dade Community Relations Board SUMMIT
ON HATE CRIMES AND HATE SPEECH: Creating a
Roadmap to Prevention and Response, at the Board of
County Commission Chambers Stephen P. Clark
Government Center, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami.
January 26, 2011 -
FEATURED DISCUSSION: WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE
NEED TO GO - Moderator: Ms. Joy-Ann Reid, Editorial
Contributor, The Miami Herald
PANELISTS, HATE CRIMES:
Mr. David Barkey, Southern Area Council, Anti-Defamation
League, Ms. Breezye Telfair, Assistant State Attorney, Miami-Dade
Hate Crimes Unit
PANELISTS, HATE SPEECH:
Dr. D. Marvin Jones, Professor of Law, University of Miami
Ms. Suzy Berrios, Director, Mental Health and Crisis Management
Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
PANELISTS, MEDIA RESPONSIBILITY:
Ms. Tsitsi Wakhisi, Associate Professor of Journalism,
University of Miami School of Communication
Mr. David Lawrence Jr., President, The Children’s Movement of
Florida and former Publisher, The Miami Herald
Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida members present: Eddie Sierra, Herb Sosa, Ile
Morales & Cathy Toruno.
Rep. Gutierrez Draws Nation's Attention to Civil Rights Violations in Puerto Rico
February 17, 2011... (Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) draws attention today on the floor of the
U.S. House of Representatives to the civil rights violations in Puerto Rico, against students of the
University of Puerto Rico and against the Puerto Rico Bar Association -Colegio de Abogados de
Puerto Rico- including its President Osvaldo Toledo who was recently arrested and jailed for
informing lawyers of their right to opt out of a class action suit against the Bar Association
(trying to dismantle the Bar Association) in which all lawyers were automatically included as
plaintiffs. Congressman Gutierrez was a key ally in the struggle to get the U.S. Navy out of Vieques
and was arrested for civil disobedience. The Puerto Rico Bar Association was also a key organization
in that struggle and in defending those arrested for acts of civil disobedience and acting as human
shields in defense of Vieques)
(Link to Text and Video):
ELVIS CRESPO, Int’l. Latin Singing Sensation, Speaks Out on LGBT HATE CRIMES, Exclusively for Unity
Miami, Florida – July 19, 2011… Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida is thrilled to be developing a new program - NO ESTA SOLO|YOU ARE NOT
ALONE - A series of videos featuring community & entertainment leaders, to deal with issues of LGBT Hate Crimes & Teen Suicide. The first in this
series is International Latin Singing Sensation, ELVIS CRESPO.
The focus is a bilingual audience, with emphasis on stopping hate crimes, discrimination and bullying within our own communities. When we
reached out to music producer Joe Granda of Granda Entertainment, he immediately offered to help out and to work with his team of talent to make
this important project a reality. “There is too much hate, misinformation & crimes directed towards the LGBT community. Whatever we can do to
help stop this, educate & inform the community, we are in!” said Granda.
In unison with this video project, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida (UC|CU) is committed to ongoing training & workshops throughout the community,
including the STATE OF HATE Workshops offered in Spanish & English, where Crime & Discrimination, Sexual Orientation, Labels & Perception
and how to improve community relations & reduce attacks to our community are discussed openly &
honestly. The June 2011 workshop featured a special appearance & testimonial from TV & Broadway star Jai Rodriguez. The next State of Hate
workshop will be held in Miami Beach on September 10, 2011.
Why is this type of work necessary?
- THERE IS ONE LGBT MURDER EVERY 9 DAYS IN AMERICA.
- THERE WAS 1 LGBT MURDER EVERY 9 DAYS IN THE US IN 2008.
- THE FBI REPORTED 1,482 HATE CRIMES BASED ON SEXUAL
ORIENTATION IN 2009.
- FLORIDA: HATE CRIMES REPORTED AGAINST LGBT’S INCREASED
IN 2007 TO 1,265 –HIGHEST IN 5 YEARS.
- SOUTH FLORIDA LEADS THE STATE ON REPORTED HATE CRIMES
“We look forward to eradicating Hate Crimes towards the LGBT
community, and hope that through our programming & education, we
can chip away at this horrible attack on our community” said UC|CU
board member Moses Stein.
Additional videos & testimonials are being developed for the UC|CU
series, and will appear regularly on various Social Media outlets,
Ambiente Magazine & Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida’s website.
CRESPO for Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, as well as support &
community outreach resources for the LGBT Youth & community.
Immigration Judge Closes
Deportation Case Against Married Gay
August 20, 2011... Attorney Lavi Soloway writes,
"San Francisco Immigration Judge Marilyn Teeter
has granted [Immigrations and Customs
Enforcement] Motion to Administratively Close
Deportation of gay Venezuelan Alex Benshimol,
ending the nightmare faced by Alex and his
American husband, Doug Gentry."
In July, Teeter had put off a decision on the case
until 2013, but had given the U.S. government 60
days to decide whether it was going to continue
with Benshimol's deportation.
Soloway writes, "According to the documents
received today, ICE moved quickly to notify the
court by the beginning of August requesting that
the case be dropped. A few days later, the Judge
granted the government's motion and closed
This is at least the second time ICE has taken
such an action in a case. Earlier this year, in a
case involving another Venezuelan, Henry
Velandia, and his husband, Josh Vandiver, the
ICE office in Newark, N.J., took a similar action,
noting that Velandia's case "is not an
enforcement priority at this time."
The move appears to be in line with the plan laid
out earlier this week by Department of Homeland
Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for focusing
on the "highest priority" deportation cases.
Obama Administration To Stop Deporting Younger Undocumented Immigrants
And Grant Work Permits
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL AND JIM KUHNHENN, AP
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger undocumented immigrants who
came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino
electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.
The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have
lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never
enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States without documents but who have attended
college or served in the military.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was to announce the new policy Friday, one week before President Barack Obama plans to
address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger
Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday.
Under the administration plan, undocumented immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they
turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high
school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many
times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official
The policy will not lead toward citizenship but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants
able to remain in the United States for extended periods.
"Many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways," Napolitano wrote in a memorandum describing the
administration's action. "Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here."
The extraordinary move comes in an election year in which the Hispanic vote could be critical in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida.
While Obama enjoys support from a majority of Hispanic voters, Latino enthusiasm for the president has been tempered by the slow economic
recovery, his inability to win congressional support for a broad overhaul of immigration laws and by his administration's aggressive deportation
policy. Activists opposing his deportation policies last week mounted a hunger strike at an Obama campaign office in Denver, and other protests
were planned for this weekend.
The change is likely to cause an outcry from congressional Republicans, who are sure to perceive Obama's actions as an end run around them.
Republicans already have complained that previous administration uses of prosecutorial discretion in deportations amount to back-door
amnesty. Romney and many Republican lawmakers want tighter border security measures before considering changes in immigration law.
Romney opposes offering legal status to undocumented immigrants who attend college but has said he would do so for those who serve in the
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month found Obama leading Romney among Hispanic voters 61 percent to 27 percent. But his
administration's deportation policies have come under fire, and Latino leaders have raised the subject in private meetings with the president. In
2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported a record 396,906 people and is expected to deport about 400,000 this year.
A December poll by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that 59 percent of Latinos disapproved of the president's handling of deportations.
public safety and national security, and serious immigration law violators.
One of the officials said the latest policy change is just another step in the administration's evolving approach to immigration.
Under the plan, immigrants whose deportation cases are pending in immigration court will have to prove their eligibility for a reprieve to ICE, which
will begin dealing with such cases in 60 days. Any immigrant who already has a deportation order and those who never have been encountered
by immigration authorities will deal with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The exact details of how the program will work, including how much immigrants will have to pay to apply and what proof they will need, still are
being worked out.
In making it harder to deport, the Obama administration is in essence employing the same eligibility requirements spelled out in the proposed
The administration officials stopped short of calling the change an administrative DREAM Act – the name is an acronym for Development, Relief
and Education for Alien Minors – but the qualifications meet those laid out in a 2010 version that failed in the Senate after passing in the House.
They said the DREAM Act, in some form, and comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system remained an administration priority.
Undocumented immigrant children won't be eligible to apply for the deportation waiver until they turn 16, but the officials said younger children
won't be deported either.
Last year, Napolitano announced plans to review about 300,000 pending deportation cases and indefinitely suspend those that didn't meet
department priorities. So far, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reviewed more than 232,000 cases and decided to stop working on
about 20,000. About 4,000 of those 20,000 have opted to keep fighting in court to stay in the United States legally. For the people who opted to
close their cases, work permits are not guaranteed.
"Families First" Bill Moves Domestic Partnership Forward
Posted on April 1, 2013
(TALLAHASSEE) Moments ago the Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs passed the “Families First” bill (SB 196).
By a margin of 5 to 4, the Senate committee voted to move closer to creating a statewide domestic partnership registry (DPR) that would provide
essential legal protections for unmarried couples including hospital visitation, correctional facility visitation, end of life decision making and burial
A majority of Floridians already live in a local community that has a domestic partnership registry. Places like Pinellas County, Volusia County,
Orange County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Key West, Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville, Tavares, Clearwater and North Miami already have
registries. The Families First bill would eliminate the patchwork of policies and allow people to have important legal protections for their family, no
matter where they live.
"The bill passed with support from both Democrats and Republicans and its success combined with the strong bipartisan sponsorship of the
Florida Competitive Workforce Act signals a new day in Florida," said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. "This is a reflection of the
change in public opinion favoring legal equality for all Florida couples. Our political leaders are finally listening to the pain inflicted on couples who
are treated as legal strangers. And they are listening to the growing voice of business leaders who are calling for statewide protections that will
help them attract and retain a diverse workforce."
Local Domestic Partnership Registries now protect roughly 50% of Florida's population. The protections are vital especially since the state has a
constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.
Senator Sobel has championed this bill and told her fellow committee members "Today we made history." The bill now moves on to the next
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Family Medical Leave Act
HOW DOES IT
Congress Has Historic Opportunity to Take Action on Employment Discrimination
April 25, 2013 by Paul Guequierre - HRC
Moments ago the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. The bill would address
discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual
orientation or gender identity. Currently there is no federal law against sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination and it is perfectly legal to
fire lesbian, gay and bisexual people under the laws of 29 states and transgender people are not protected by the laws of 34 states.
“Discrimination is just plain wrong. It is shocking that there is still anywhere in America where it is legal to fire someone for their sexual
orientation or gender identity,” Sen. Merkley, the lead sponsor of the bill said. “Americans understand that it’s time to make sure our LGBT friends
and family are treated fairly and have the same opportunities as all Americans. Now it’s time for our laws to catch up. People should be judged at
work on their ability to do the job, period.”
HRC has been advocating for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act since it was first introduced in 1994 and its passage is a top organizational
priority. The last time a Senate committee considered ENDA was 2002 when Sen. Kennedy was the HELP Committee Chairman, and this is the
first time a gender identity inclusive bill is set to see action. Current committee Chairman Tom Harkin has pledged a committee mark-up and
Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he wants to bring the bill to the floor and HRC urges them to take these critical steps.
Americans support ENDA. A November 2011 poll by HRC showed that 77 percent of voters support protecting LGBT people from discrimination in
employment. This includes 70 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of seniors. Voters are also unaware that current federal law does not
prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation with 87 percent believing that kind of discrimination to be illegal and only 5 percent
correctly knowing that it remains legal.
Among Fortune 500 companies, 88 percent have sexual orientation non-discrimination policies and 57 percent have gender identity non-
discrimination policies. Additionally, more than 90 companies have joined the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, a group of leading U.S.
employers that support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Mormon Church Supports Openly Gay Scouts Joining BSA
April 26, 2013 - HRC
Yesterday the Mormon Church offered their stamp of approval to the Boy Scouts of America’s proposed resolution to lift the ban on openly gay
While HRC last week called out the resolution for its continued discrimination against openly gay Scout leaders, the support from the Church of
Latter Day Saints marks a big moment for a religion that previous stood adamantly against LGBT equality.
“This is a clear move in the right direction and we applaud the change the LDS church for taking this important step," said HRC Religion and Faith
Director Sharon Groves. "There are many LGBT youth within the Mormon faith who today feel a little more supported by the Church."
"As the largest sponsor of Scout troops in the nation, the LDS church has the power to transform the lives of young men everywhere," said Groves.
"We ask that they follow the example of their forebearers and exercise true leadership."
HRC is calling on Boy Scouts to open the proud tradition of scouting to not just gay scouts, but leaders and staff as well.
Representatives from the more than 300 local Boy Scout councils will soon vote on the ban on gay scouts and leaders. Send a letter to your local
What is the current federal policy on gay and bisexual men donating blood?
Current federal regulations require any man who has had sex since 1977 with another man, even once, to be deferred from donating blood. Blood centers nationwide
screen potential donors by asking a set of questions written to determine risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease, such as HIV or
hepatitis. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this pre-screening eliminates up to 90 percent of donors who may be carrying a blood-borne disease.
Who writes the policy?
The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research regulates and establishes standards for the collection of blood and blood products. The center receives advise
on this issue by the Blood Products Advisory Council, which meets regularly to consider issues such as altering the pool of potential blood donors.
If officials can test for HIV in blood, why don’t they allow anyone to donate and then destroy tainted units?
Every donated unit of blood undergoes a rigorous series of tests to determine any possible presence of HIV, hepatitis, syphilis and other blood-borne disease. None of
these tests, however, are 100 percent accurate, and they can produce faulty results. For instance, despite current restrictions and testing of approximately 12 million units
donated each year, 10 HIV-infected units have slipped through. To ensure the safety of blood and other tissues for donation, the FDA uses scientific data to automatically
defer certain populations. Because gay and bisexual men have higher incidence of disease, they are eliminated from the donor pool immediately.
What should the federal policy be?
The current policy does not treat persons with like risks in a similar way. It also believes that donors are deferred based on their membership in a group — in this case, all
men who have sex with men — rather than engagement in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex. For example, a man who has had protected oral sex with another man
once in 1977 and has not engaged in sex since that time is currently barred from donating blood. Yet a woman who has had unprotected sex with multiple partners over
the past year with no knowledge of their personal histories remains in the donor pool.
Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, City of Miami Beach Mayor & Commissioners, Physician Consultants, Miami Beach Gay Pride, Pridelines Youth Services, along with
dozens of local & national organizations, believes that the integrity and safety of the blood supply in this country should be preserved, strengthened and maintained.
Any change or alteration in the regulations governing donor suitability must be based in sound science. The federal government must invest in new research to
study risk behavior. It also must consider revising the donor questionnaires so that they focus on more refined and specific behavioral criteria, like recent sexual
histories that include unprotected sex or significant numbers of sexual partners over the previous year.
Equality Forums decision to Award Mariela Castro - An opinion from your LGBTQ Colleagues at Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida
May 5, 2013
Esteemed Directors & board of Equality Forum- Philadelphia,
I am writing you as the director of the Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, the first & only non-profit whose focus is the Leadership, Protection & Promotion of
Latino|Hispanic LGBTQ rights (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) - Advancing Equality since 2002… as well as a first-generation American of
Your recent decision to award Mariela Castro for her efforts and advancement on behalf of Cuba’s LGBT community - although totally with your rights as a group to
do so - was, respectfully, short sighted, insensitive and simply with lack of merit or accuracy.
To reward any element of the decades-old dictatorship, especially for positive efforts on human rights - was an unfortunate and ill-informed decision. The daughter
and niece of the Castro dictators all have blood on their hands. Her marches and public spectacles are nothing more than photo opps for a willing and enabling
media that does not seem to want to ask too many questions...Like why are dozens of LGBT leaders within Cuba routinely arrested, beaten and not heard of for
weeks - and often killed - EVERY TIME she presents herself and her hand-picked "supporters"? If in fact Cuba's LGBT community is improving under her direction,
then why are these and thousands of other voices silenced every day in Cuba?
If you think my statements are inaccurate or exaggerated, I simply ask you how many LGBT dissidents within the island do you communicate with regularly? How
many do you have contact with and monitor the realities they live with there? How many of your friends or relatives have jumped into an unforgiving ocean because
they can no longer live under the Castro's oppression?
We have and maintain these relationships, and do so regularly - with dozens of true Cuban LGBT heroes- risking their lives each day for simply standing up to the
Castro dictatorship. Mariela is just as responsible for their realities and deserves to be tried for crimes against the Cuban people - NOT rewarded for a P.R.
creation of her doing and paraded around. There is a reason Miami's Cuban community is as impassioned and enraged at Cuba's daily abuses against ALL its
people…We stay connected, informed and involved with people within this island.
It is unfortunate that Equality Forum chose to not inform themselves or reach out to other LGBT organizations that DO KNOW what's going on in the island, before
taking this ignorant and disappointing position. Equality Forum has all the RIGHT to award whomever the wish - that's why we live here in the U.S.... But make no
mistake, it is a sad reflection on your lack of understanding and sensitivity towards LGBT Cubans and THEIR REALITY.
I and my organization stand ready, willing and able to work with you in the future to inform and avoid something as unfortunate and hurtful as this from occurring
WASHINGTON BLADE ARTICLE:
Tell Senator Rubio: We're not killing the
Rubio continues his back-tracking from CIR and uses the
vulnerable members of our community as his scapegoat.
He's made the choice to play party politics over committing to
our families...he needs to be held accountable!
Senator Marco Rubio says our families will "kill" immigration
reform. What will really kill the bill, though, is Senator Rubio's
growing list of excuses for withdrawing his support. Pick up
the phone and let him know we're not caving to his threats
and our families will not be scapegoated. Then, share this
graphic and ask your friends to do the same.
SUPREME COURT RULINGS STRIKE DOWN DOMA AND PREVENT ENFORCEMENT OF CALIFORNIA’S PROPOSITION 8
Marriage rulings make federal protections available for up to 114,000 legally married same-sex couples nationwide and
open marriage to CA’s estimated 1.1 million LGBT adults
June 26, 2013... The Supreme Court’s rulings regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor and regarding California’s Proposition 8 in
Hollingsworth v. Perry have important social, economic and legal consequences for the nation’s approximately 650,000 same-sex couples living in shared households, of
which an estimated 114,100 are legally married. Federal recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages may affect how same-sex couples are treated in relation to a range
of federal policies, including immigration, taxation and benefits. Further, the Williams Institute estimates that, over the next three years, 37,000 California same-sex
couples are likely to marry and the state economy will gain approximately $492 million in new business revenue from same-sex couples’ weddings.
“In striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court recognized that DOMA ‘writes inequality into the entire U.S. Code’,” said Brad Sears, Executive Director of
the Williams Institute and Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law and Policy. “It acknowledged that DOMA materially harms same-sex couples and their children by depriving
them of over 1,000 protections and benefits under federal law and by relegating these families to a ‘second-class’ status.”
“By lifting the legal, economic and social burdens previously imposed on same-sex couples by DOMA, the Court’s ruling provides same-sex couples with access to the
federal benefits that are designed to strengthen families,” said M.V. Lee Badgett, Williams Institute Research Director and Professor of Economics at University of
For couples who have entered into legal marriages that are recognized by the federal government, the Windsor ruling could have important consequences across a range
• IMMIGRATION: An estimated 24,700 same-sex couples are bi-national (one US citizen and one non-citizen) along with 11,700 same-sex couples comprised of two
non-citizens. The Windsor DOMA ruling has opened the door for a citizen to obtain permanent residence for a non-citizen, same-sex spouse, and expedited citizenship for
a resident, same-sex spouse.
• SOCIAL SECURITY: Surviving spouses of same-sex couples could gain access to spousal social security benefits, which could add up to more than $5,700 to the
monthly income of the surviving spouse.
• HEALTH CARE: Same-sex couples working in the private sector pay, on average, $1,000 more than different-sex couples in taxes for employer-sponsored
healthcare. Same-sex spouses in federally recognized marriages might no longer be subject to this additional tax burden.
• FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: Same-sex spouses of federal employees could be eligible for employee benefits that are currently provided to employees with different-sex
• ESTATE TAX: In situations similar to that of plaintiff Edith Windsor in the DOMA case, same-sex spouses who are affected by the estate tax would no longer be
subject to a greater federal estate tax burden upon the death of a spouse than similarly-situated different-sex married couples face.
“The Court’s rulings establish the unconstitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and ensure that same-sex couples can marry in California, but do not clarify
how courts should address other laws that discriminate against LGBT persons,” said David Codell, Visiting Legal Director of the Williams Institute. “The rulings thus
continue to leave open the fate of many federal and state laws and policies that discriminate against LGBT persons in relationship recognition, employment, adoption and
foster care, health care, housing, and other areas.”
The ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry will open marriage to a same-sex spouse for California’s estimated 1.1 million LGBT adults and nearly 200,000 individuals who are
already part of a same-sex couple, but leave 5.5 million LGBT Americans, including more than 800,000 who are part of a same-sex couple, living in states without
“As a result of the court’s ruling, more people are living in states where same-sex couples can marry than ever before,” said Gary Gates, Williams Institute Distinguished
Prior to today’s ruling, 18 percent of the entire U.S. population and 22 percent of same-sex couples lived in the 12 states, and the District of Columbia, where same-sex
couples can legally marry. By adding California, 30 percent of the entire U.S. population and 37 percent of same-sex couples will now live in states that extend marriage to
As has been true in other states, allowing same-sex couples to marry will also have positive economic consequences for California. Institute research suggests that
California will gain approximately $46 million in tax and fee revenue from the weddings of same-sex couples, and the state’s economy will gain $492 million in business
revenue over the next three years.
PRESIDENT OBAMA STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE DOMA DECISION:
....."So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this
decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly."
CONTACT THE FDA : Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002
or by telephone:
1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)—main FDA Phone Number
(for general inquiries)
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA recognized by HONOR41 as one of Top LGBTQ Organizations in the U.S.
– The only one in Florida
contribute to the well being of the Latina/o LGBTQ by providing services, support and a sense of belonging.
“It was incredibly inspiring to learn about the work these organizations are doing locally and nationally and really demonstrates how the overlapping issues that
affects us as Latinos and LGBTQ individuals really can unite us” said Alberto B. Mendoza, Founder of Honor 41 “The toughest part to compiling this list was
narrowing it down to just 41”
Honor 41 produces The 41 List, an annual listing honoring 41 Latina/o LGBTQ Role Models. The 41 List: Organizations is a special edition celebrating
organizations that support the Latina/o LGBTQ community directly and indirectly.
Honor 41's name originates from a hate crime in Mexico City in which 41 men were beaten, arrested, and eventually disappeared for their sexual orientation. Since
the incident in 1901, the number 41 has been used as slang in Mexico to refer to a person of different sexual orientation. Honor 41 confronts the terrible history
behind the number and reclaims it to honor inspirational individuals and organizations in the LGBTQ community and proudly remember the arduous path toward
acceptance and equality.
Honor 41 is a national online, non-profit organization that promotes positive images of the Latina/o LGBTQ community, creates awareness about issues that
impact us and builds an online social and professional online network for us and our allies.
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA is the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latino|Hispanic|LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning)
Community - advancing Equality since 2002.
“We are thrilled, honored and humbled by this national recognition” said Herb Sosa, founder & director of Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida. The Honor 41 list
includes the Best of the LGBT leadership across the U.S. This is a huge recognition that we accept with pride on behalf of our community”
COMPLETE LIST of HONOR 41.org’s TOP LGBTQ ORGANIZATIONS
#1 Latino GLBT History Project
#2 Trans Latina Coalition
#3 QUIP-Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project
#4 MALDEF-Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
#5 National Latino AIDS Action Network
#6 Honor PAC
#8 Lambda Legal
#9 Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida-Florida
#10 Unidos: The National Latin@ LGBT Human Rights Org
#11 CIRCLE Project
#12 The Wall Las Memorias (LA)
#13 National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
#16 Entre Hermanos-Seattle, WA
#17 Queers for Economic Justice- NY
#18 GLEH-Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing
#19 Transgender Law Center
#20 NCLA-National Center For Lesbian Rights
#21 LEA: Latino Equality Alliance (LA)
#22 GALAEI: Positivo (Phil)
#24 Bienestar Human Services (So. CA)
#25 NCLR: National Council of La Raza
#26 Latino Commission on AIDS (NYC)
#27 Victory Fund and Institute
#28 EQCA: Equality California
#29 The Trevor Project
#30 Center of Excellence for Transgender Health (SF)
#31 Gummy Bears-LA
#32 The American Military Partner Association
#33 Immigration Equality: LGBT for Immigration Reform
#35 RAICES (Chicago)
#36 GMHC (NYC)
#37 One Colorado
#38 PFlag San Diego
#39 United Latino/a Pride (Chicago)
#40 De Colores Queer (Orange County, CA)
#41 Aguilas/El Ambiente
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202
Friday, December 13, 2013
Education Department Announces that All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Financial Aid Purposes
As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s ongoing efforts to implement inclusive policies that reflect the diversity of American families, and consistent with the
U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor, the Department announced today new guidance on
the use of “marriage” and “spouse” in the federal student aid programs, including on the completion of the FAFSA, the federal student aid form.
The new guidance is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, which struck down a key part of DOMA. Under today’s guidance, the Department will
recognize a student or a parent as legally married if the couple was legally married in any jurisdiction that recognizes the marriage, regardless of whether the
marriage is between a couple of the same sex or opposite sex, and regardless of where the student or couple lives or the student is attending school. This
guidance impacts all questions concerning marriage and marital status on the FAFSA.
Before the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Windsor, the Department had interpreted all provisions of Title IV of the Higher Education Act – which authorizes the
federal student aid programs – consistent with Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited all federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages. Specifically,
Section 3 provides that “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only
to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” This meant that while a student under 24 who was married to an opposite sex spouse was
considered independent for financial aid purposes, that same student would have been considered dependent if he or she was married to a same sex spouse
because the marriage was not previously recognized. In Windsor, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional because it violates the
principles of due process and equal protection.
“We must continue to ensure that every single American is treated equally in the eyes of the law, and this important guidance for students is another step forward
in that effort,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As students fill out their FAFSA this coming year, I'm thrilled they'll be able to do so in a way that is
more fair and just.”
In April 2013, the Department began efforts to make the FAFSA more inclusive of all students, regardless of their parents’ marital status. In order to more
accurately and fairly assess a student’s need for aid, the Department announced that beginning with the 2014-2015 FAFSA, it will collect income and other
information from both of a dependent student's legal parents regardless of the parents' marital status or gender, if those parents live together. To do so, the 2014-
2015 FAFSA will provide a new option for dependent applicants to describe their parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together."
Additionally, where appropriate, the new FAFSA form will also use terms like "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)"
instead of gender-specific terms like "mother" and "father." A copy of the new FAFSA form, which will be released on Jan. 1, is attached. The vast majority of FAFSA
forms are filed electronically using FAFSA on the Web.
The information provided by students and parents on the FAFSA is used to calculate the student's expected family contribution (EFC), which determines the
student's eligibility for federal need-based student aid as well as for many state, institutional and private aid programs. It is critical that both of a dependent
student's parents help pay, to the extent they are able, for the educational expenses of their child. Collecting parental information from both of a dependent
student's legal parents will result in fair treatment of all families by eliminating longstanding inequities based on parents' relationship with each other rather than
on their relationship with their child.
Today’s guidance furthers those efforts by providing guidance on how students should apply for federal student aid, since now legally married same-sex couples
will be treated as married for all FAFSA and EFC calculation purposes. For the 2014-2015 FAFSA and subsequent years, responses to questions about marital
status must be in accordance with the guidance the Department laid out today in a Dear Colleague Letter that was posted to the Department’s Information for
Financial Aid Professionals website (ifap.ed.gov).
The impact on the 2013-2014 FAFSA – which students used and can continue to use to apply for aid for this school year – depends on whether the student has
already submitted a 2013-2014 FAFSA. Students who have not yet submitted a 2013-2014 FAFSA are expected to respond to all questions related to marital status
in accordance with the updated guidance. A student who previously submitted a 2013-2014 FAFSA, but who was unable to respond to marital status questions as
“married” due to Section 3 of DOMA, may choose to submit a correction. These optional corrections will be permitted since they do not represent a change in
marital status, but rather an acknowledgment of the marital status at the time of the initial 2013-2014 FAFSA submission. This choice only applies if the impacted
student and/or parent were legally married at the time the FAFSA was initially completed.
For more information about federal student aid, visit the Department's website: studentaid.ed.gov
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA’S HERB SOSA INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE
FOR LGBT PRIDE RECEPTION
Miami, Florida… President Barack Obama has invited Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida President Herb
Sosa to attend a June 30, 2014, reception at The White House in celebration of LGBT Pride Month.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida (UC|CU) is the First & Only organization for the So. Fla.
Latino|Hispanic|LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) Community - advancing Equality
since 2002. Programming includes year round workshops & trainings on Immigration Rights, Binational
Couples & Families, Anti Hate Crimes & Bullying, Transgender Equality and much more. UC|CU also
produces the annual Leaders, Legends & Lovelies Series, celebrating LGBT accomplishments &
individuals each April; the Legends Ball & Legends Honors Awards for LGBT Leaders; The LGBT
Scholarship for Arts, Design & Education; and the Celebrate ORGULLO Hispanic LGBT PRIDE Festival
"It is an honor for Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida to be recognized by President Obama," said Sosa, who
co-founded the organization in 2002 and serves as its current president. “Giving back, empowering and
leveling the playing field for ALL in our community has always been our focus at UC|CU. Our work is 100%
funded by events & private donations, and we are 100% staffed & managed by volunteers. Everything that
comes in, goes right back out for programming, community building, leading & assisting our LGBTQ
community. Being recognized for our contributions by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and
the Leader of the Free World is quite simply, humbling. Going to the White House as a guest of the
President, as a first generation Cuban-American, is something I consider a highlight in my career and a
huge honor for me, my organization and my family” added Sosa.
There is much work to be done in Florida, including protection for all on employment discrimination
based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, immigration reform and marriage
equality – just to name a few. Florida is among the 29 states which have no statewide laws protecting
LGBT people from discrimination. Recognitions and opportunities like this one will hopefully bring further
attention to these important issues – not just for Floridians, but for all Americans.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida applauds Presdient Obama and the incredible strides and efforts he has
already led for LGBT Equality, and we urge him to continue in his Legacy of Full Equality and Respect for
All in this great land. We will be a far better country and people for it.
July 17, 2014...(Reuters) - A county judge in Florida struck down on Thursday the state's gay marriage ban, the latest in a string of court rulings across the United
States voiding state laws that restrict the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, whose jurisdiction includes the Florida Keys, ordered the Monroe County Clerk of Court to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex
couples next Tuesday. While the ruling applies to only one Florida county, it marks the first decision in several court cases across the state challenging a same-sex
marriage ban approved by Florida voters in 2008. Garcia ruled in favor of two male bartenders living in Key West seeking the right to marry, saying Florida's gay
marriage ban violated their rights to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, both 43, told Reuters they cried after
lawyers texted them with the news. "It is a life-changing event," said Huntsman, who had been on the phone seeking health insurance that he may now qualify for
through marriage. "We're taking it one minute at a time."
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, is appealing the decision, a spokeswoman said, stating that the final decision on the issue must come from the
U.S. Supreme Court. Republican Governor Rick Scott adopted a more neutral position. "Governor Scott supports traditional marriage, consistent with the amendment
approved by Florida voters in 2008, but does not believe that anyone should be discriminated against for any reason," John Tupps, the governor's press secretary, told
Under Florida law, a stay automatically goes into effect when a public official appeals an adverse decision, according to Shannon Minter, legal director for the National
Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the attorneys representing gay couples in a Miami lawsuit. "The plaintiffs can appeal to the circuit judge and ask him to lift the stay,"
Florida is the 18th U.S. state where courts have ruled against prohibitions on same-sex marriage since last year's Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of the
federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had defined marriage as between one man and one woman, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights
group. In his ruling, Garcia acknowledged that a majority of Florida voters had opposed same-sex marriage. "But it is our country's proud history to protect the rights of
the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority," Garcia wrote.
John Stemberger, who heads a conservative group that pushed for the 2008 same-sex marriage ban, said, "The judge in this decision has disrespected and in
essence disenfranchised just under 5 million voters who ... defined this issue in our state constitution." Garcia's ruling triggered muted celebrations statewide as gay
couples sensed the justice system was moving in their direction. "Imagine the day we could have the rights everybody else does. I never thought it would happen, and
it's about time," said Luiz Felipe Cavalcanti, 48, a real estate broker who joined a gathering at the Miami Beach Gay and Lesbian Visitors Center.
Top Researcher And Others Bound For AIDS Conference Were Aboard Doomed Malaysia Airlines Plane
“The cure for AIDS may have been on that plane.”According to initial reports, dozens headed for an international AIDS conference were aboard Flight MH17, including Joep
Lange, a prominent HIV researcher. The exact number remains unconfirmed.
A number of passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines downed in Ukraine were reportedly delegates
to an international AIDS conference in Australia and people traveling with them. According to initial
reports, as many as 108 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, were headed to the 20th
International AIDS Conference, due to begin Sunday. But the exact number of those on board who
were attending the conference remains unconfirmed as the airline has yet to release a passenger
In a statement, the ADIS 2014 organizers said they are “continuing to work with the authorities to
clarify how the tragic loss of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 impacts our conference delegates, our
conference partners, and our community as a whole. In recognition of our colleagues’ dedication to
the fight against HIV/AIDS, the conference will go ahead as planned and will include opportunities to
reflect and remember those we have lost.”
Chris Beyrer, who will take over the presidency of the International AIDS Society at the end of the
global conference next week, told the Washington Post Friday that after speaking to authorities he
was hopeful that “the actual number is much smaller” than 108. Beyrer told the Post that it appears
that the numbers are “an order of magnitude smaller than what has been reported.”
Lange, a former president of the International AIDS society, headed the Department of Global Health
at the University of Amsterdam. “Joep had an absolute commitment to HIV treatment and care in
Asia and Africa,” Professor David A. Cooper, director of the Kirby Institute, said. “The joy in
collaborating with Joep was that he would always bring a fresh view, a unique take on things, and
he never accepted that something was impossible to achieve. Our joint work in Bangkok, the HIVNAT
centre, will stand as his legacy.”
In addition to Lange, his partner Jacqueline was also killed in the crash, the statement said.
BREAKING NEWS: January 5, 2015... At 2pm today, same-sex couples in Miami-Dade County
will be able to marry, now that a state judge has lifted their stay from a July marriage ruling.
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA JOINS OUR SO. FLA. COMMUNITY TO MOURN KRISTINA GRANT.
CALL TO ACTION FOR LOVE, HEALING, UNDERSTANDING & JUSTICE FOR THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY.
Miami, Florida… 46 year old Kristina Gomez Reinwald, AKA Kristina Grant Infiniti was found on Sunday, Feb 15th, unresponsive at her home in the 2000 block of
Southwest 58th Court, Miami, Florida.
The death was originally ruled by authorities as a suicide, later changed to a homicide. Detectives are looking into the possibility that her ex-boyfriend was suspected
of stabbing her to death. Kristina now unfortunately becomes the latest transwoman whose life was taken by a murderer who needs to be expeditiously brought to
justice. Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida joins TransMiami and the LGBT community as a whole in calling for LOVE, HEALING, AND UNDERSTANDING of and about
our transgender brothers & sisters, an END TO TRANSGENDER VIOLENCE & DISCRIMINATION – though education, law enforcement, community understanding &
WHAT: CANDLELIGHT VIGIL for Kristina Grant Infiniti and Transgender Women of Color
WHERE: Torch of Friendship, 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, Florida (in front of Bayside Marketplace)
WHEN: Tonight, Thursday, Feb 19th@8pm.
Metered parking throughout. Public transportation available, right to location.
WHY: 7 Trans murders in the U.S. in the last 50 days. #TransLivesNeedJustice
MEDIA CONTACTS: GABRIEL GARCIA-VERA (vigil organizer) 786-339-1636; Aryah Lester (TransMiami) 786-973-6842; Herb Sosa (Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida)
ADDITIONALLY… Police have arrested an Akron, OH,
father in connection with the February 13 stabbing
death of his child Bri Golec, a 22-year-old trans woman.
Golec is being mourned nationally as the sixth U.S.
trans woman murdered within the first six weeks of
2015, in what the National Coalition of Anti-Violence
Programs has called an "alarming, fatal epidemic of
violence against transgender and
gender-nonconforming women, specifically
transgender women of color in the United States."
In addition to Golec, this year has seen the murders
of trans women of color Penny Proud, 21, in New
Orleans, La.; Taja DeJesus, 36, in San Francisco,
Calif.; Yazmin Vash Payne, 33, in Los Angeles, Calif.;
Ty Underwood, 24, in North Tyler, Tx.; and Lamia Beard,
30, in Norfolk, Va.
Transgender Discrimination Bill Scheduled for Hearing in Florida House Civil Justice
Committee. Contact State Reps. TODAY - to OPPOSE HB 583!
March 4, 2015 - Today is the first day of the state legislative session in Tallahassee and already mean-spirited,
anti-transgender legislation has been put on the calendar for a vote.
The Transgender Discrimination Bill, H.B. 583, seeks to criminalize transgender people by making it illegal for them
to enter sex-segregated facilities such as bathrooms, locker rooms, or dressing rooms. H.B. 583 would also compel
businesses to discriminate against their own employees and customers, and invalidate nondiscrimination policies that
already exist on the local level.
The legislation has been placed on tomorrow’s agenda for the House Civil Justice Committee. The three-hour committee
meeting begins at 12:30pm.
Contact the representatives who sit on the committee that will vote TODAY:
State your OPPOSITION to HB 583 – Politely but Firmly!
Rep. George Moraitis | George.Moraitis@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5093 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @RepMoraitis
Rep. Cynthia Stafford | Cynthia.Stafford@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5109 | FACEBOOK
Rep. Lori Berman | Lori.Berman@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5090 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @loriberman
Rep. Colleen Burton | Colleen.Burton@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5040 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @ColleenLBurton
Rep. Dwight Dudley | Dwight.Dudley@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5068 | TWITTER: @DwightDudleyFL
Rep. Larry Metz | Larry.Metz@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5032
Rep. Kathleen Passidomo | Kathleen.Passidomo@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5106 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @Kathleen4SWFL
Rep. Cary Pigman | Cary.Pigman@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5055 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @CaryPigman
Rep. Charlie Stone | Charlie.Stone@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5022 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @RepCharlieStone
Rep. Mike Hill | Mike.Hill@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717 -5002 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @MikeHillfl
Rep. Jennifer Sullivan | Jennifer.Sullivan@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5031 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @voteforjennifer
Rep. John Wood | John.Wood@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5041
Rep. Kionne McGhee | Kionne.McGhee@myfloridahouse.gov | (850) 717-5117 | FACEBOOK | TWITTER: @kionnemcghee
Bill supporters are using the same lies and scare tactics we have seen defeated time and again, anchoring the purpose for the bill in concerns about transgender
people and public safety in public facilities. To date, 17 states and 28 municipalities in Florida have passed and successfully implemented human rights ordinances
that provide protections to the transgender community with absolutely no increase in public safety incidents. The bills sponsor, Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami), has been
a vocal opponent to the recent addition of “gender identity and expression” to the Miami-Dade County human rights ordinance and has filed this bill, in part, to block
these recently won protections.
The bill is one of the most anti-transgender bills filed in the country. "It leaves transgender people, businesses, and schools open to frivolous lawsuits and hurts
Florida’s reputation nationwide."
BREAKING: Florida's Trans Bathroom Bill Dies
It's the final flush for Florida's proposed bill to restrict public bathrooms by "biological sex."
BY DAWN ENNIS - advocate.com
APRIL 28, 2015... The office of Florida State Rep. Frank Artiles confirms his controversial bill, aimed to punish anyone who uses a public bathroom that doesn’t match the
sex they were assigned at birth, is dead — and cannot be revived, as this legislative session is over.
Nadine Smith, co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, which led the grassroots coalition to stop the transphobic and discriminatory proposal, first broke the news to The
“We joined with other states in rejecting this hostile bill,” said Smith. “The silver lining in Florida has been the transgender community becoming more visible in
The offices of Artiles and co-sponsor State Rep. Dennis Baxley confirmed to The Advocate the bills in both the House and the Florida Senate died in committee. The House
members were said to be not available for comment.
HB 583, the “Single-Sex Public Facilities” bill, or as it was dubbed, Florida’s “Bathroom Bill,” would have made it illegal for any trans citizen to use a single-sex restroom
that does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. Such a violation would result in a first-degree misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one
year in jail. The law would also open the owner of any establishment where a trans person uses the restroom to lawsuits from other patrons, as they would be "liable in a
civil action to any person who is lawfully using the same single-sex public facility."
Artiles filed the bill in response to a recent ordinance that banned discrimination based on gender identity and expression in public facilities throughout Miami-Dade
County, noted the Miami Herald. The lawmaker explained his proposed bill as a way to ensure "public safety," rather than a means to criminalize trans citizens.
"It's not that the transgender or the gender identity community is dangerous by any means," he explained, "but [the ordinance] creates a giant loophole for criminals, sexual
predators to walk into a shower, a woman's locker room under the cover of law."
He then went on to explain his vision of what some trans people using public facilities looks like, stating to the Herald, "A man such as myself can walk into the bathroom
at L.A. Fitness while women are taking showers, changing, and simply walk in there. Someone can say, 'What are you doing there?' Under the ordinance, I don't have to
respond. It's a subjective. If I feel like a woman that day, I can be allowed to be in that locker room. I don't know about you, but I find that disturbing."
Artiles' argument echoes one often decried by trans advocates as inflammatory and baseless, and which has seen recent debates in Arizona, Utah, Minnesota, and
Kentucky: That trans people, and especially trans women, are predatory or threaten the safety of others in public bathrooms. As many advocates have pointed out, it is
actually trans people who are more likely to be harassed or physically attacked in public facilities.
Florida LGBT rights advocates reacted strongly to the bill, including the ACLU of Florida. "This 'show your papers to pee bill' denigrates both transgender and non-
transgender people alike," Daniel Tilley, the group's LGBT rights staff attorney told the Herald. "In addition to dehumanizing transgender people in particular, it invites
humiliation and harassment of anyone who is not considered sufficiently feminine or masculine in the eyes of the beholder."
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA Joins National Campaign to Shape the Future of LGBTQ Community
Our Tomorrow campaign invites LGBTQ people everywhere to share their hopes, fears and ideas for the future
May 12, 2015…Miami, Florida - UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA has teamed up with Our Tomorrow (www.shareourtomorrow.org)—a grassroots and digital
campaign to engage LGBTQ people across the country in a conversation about their hopes, fears and ideas for the future of the movement.
“This is an historic moment for our movement. We’ve made a lot of progress on important issues like marriage equality, but we still have a long way to go,” said [your
spokesperson]. ”Our Tomorrow is an opportunity for each of us to make our voices heard in a national conversation about the future of the LGBTQ movement.”
The Our Tomorrow campaign invites anyone interested in participating to visit http://bit.ly/ourtomorrow95 and share their hopes, fears and ideas. Posts will be
featured on the Our Tomorrow website, where anyone interested in the future of the movement can learn about issues on the minds of LGBTQ people across the
“Our Tomorrow represents the first time a major social movement has initiated a national public dialogue to generate inspiration, information and ideas for its future,” said
Our Tomorrow campaign manager Lee Swislow. “This conversation will help create a shared, movement-wide vision for a bigger, bolder, more inclusive movement that
speaks to the hopes and needs of the full diversity of the LGBTQ community.”
Insights and ideas from Our Tomorrow will also be shared with more than 70 nonprofit organizations and foundations that have sponsored the campaign. To see a full list
of Our Tomorrow partners, visit www.shareourtomorrow.org/partners.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA has pledged to play an active role by participating & inviting our community to TAKE THE SURVEY!
Share your voice. Shape our future.
Twitter: @ourtmrw Instagram: @ourtmrw
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Herb Sosa, 786-271-6982 – firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT DECISION Court rules the Constitution guarantees
the freedom to marry to all Americans
June 26, 2015 - Miami, Florida…Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling means same-sex couples will soon have the freedom to marry and equal respect for their
marriages across America. This ruling will bring joy to many families, and final nationwide victory to the decades-long debate.
“UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA, the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latino|Hispanic|LGBTQ, has been working tirelessly, along with local & national
leaders & organizations, to educate, inform and prepare for this momentous day. Words cannot express the feeling of EQUALITY, FAIRNESS and JUSTICE this decision
brings. We are all EQUAL, and have right to the love, and have that love legally recognized & respected. Thanks to today’s Supreme Court ruling, our community is one step
closer to this!” - Herb Sosa, director, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida
WHY IS THIS CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE SIGNIFICANT? :
• This is a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion,
and above all, love. We can celebrate that ours is a country that
keeps its promise of the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and
justice for all.
• The justices have affirmed what a bipartisan
supermajority—60%—of Americans have come to understand:
the freedom to marry is a precious, fundamental right that
belongs to all.
• Contrary to our opposition’s scary predictions, the 37
states that already have marriage have proven that when gay
people share in the freedom to marry, families are helped and
no one is hurt. Today’s victory will bring joy to hundreds of
thousands of same-sex couples and their families who have
the same dreams of, and need for, marriage as any others.
• We hope state officials move swiftly to implement the
Constitution’s command in the remaining 13 states with
marriage discrimination. Same-sex couples and their families
have waited long enough.
• While the work toward equality for all Americans is far
from over, the campaign for the freedom to marry has been
transformative in helping Americans understand who gay
• We must harness the momentum from the marriage conversation to the work of securing additional advances towards equality, especially nondiscrimination
protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. It’s unacceptable that hardworking LGBT people can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their
homes, and denied service in restaurants and shops simply for being who they are.
JOIN THE CELEBRATION |
SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS NOW LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES!
WHEN | TONIGHT, Friday June 26th, 2015, 6:00-9:00PM
WHERE | The Atrium at 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami,
This event is jointly presented by SAVE, the ACLU of Florida, Equality Florida, Aqua Foundation For Women, Pridelines Youth Services, MDGLCC,
Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, Care Resource, Safe Schools South Florida, LGBT Visitor Center, National LGBTQ Task Force, the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth,
Miami Beach Gay Pride, World OutGames Miami, Switchboard of Miami, Unity on the Bay, Human Rights Campaign, and LGBT Democratic Caucus.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA APPLAUDE LA DECISIÓN DE LA CORTE SUPREMA | Tribunal de Justicia declara la
Constitución garantiza la libertad de casarse, para todos los estadounidenses
26 de junio 2015 - Miami, Florida ... La decisión histórica de la Corte Suprema significa parejas del mismo sexo pronto tendrán la libertad para casarse, y el mismo
respeto por sus matrimonios a través de los estados unidos. Esta decisión traerá alegría a muchas familias, y la victoria final para el país, despues de décadas de
"Coalición de la Unidad | Coalición Unida, la primera y única organización para la So. Florida Latino |. Hispana | LGBTQ, ha estado trabajando sin descanso, junto con los
líderes y organizaciones locales y nacionales, para educar, informar y preparar para este día trascendental. Las palabras no pueden expresar el sentimiento de igualdad,
equidad y justicia esta decisión trae. Todos somos iguales, y tienen derecho al amor, y tienen ese amor legalmente reconocida y respetada. Gracias al fallo de la Corte
Suprema de hoy, nuestra comunidad es un paso más cerca de esta "hierba Sosa, director de la Coalición de Unidad |! Coalición Unida
“UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA, La Primera y Unica organización en el sur de la Florida para la comunidad latina|hispana LGBTQ - avanzando Igualdad desde el
2002, ha estado trabajando sin descanso, junto con los líderes y organizaciones locales y nacionales, para educar, informar y preparar para este día trascendental. No
hay palabras que pueden expresar el sentimiento de igualdad y justicia que esta decisión trae. Todos somos iguales, y tenemos derecho al amor, y que ese amor sea
legalmente reconocido y respetado. Gracias a la decisión de la Corte Suprema de hoy, nuestra comunidad está un paso más cerca a la igualdad. " -Heriberto Sosa,
director de Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida
¿PORQUE ES IMPORTANTE ESTA DECISIÓN?
• La histórica decisión de hoy de la Suprema Corte quiere decir que las parejas del mismo sexo pronto gozarán del derecho al matrimonio civil y del mismo respeto
para sus matrimonios en todo Estados Unidos. Esta decisión llevará felicidad a muchas familias y una victoria final a escala nacional para el movimiento de décadas por
el derecho al matrimonio civil.
• Esta es una victoria trascendental para la libertad, la igualdad, la inclusión y, sobre todo, el amor. Podemos celebrar que nuestro país sea una nación que mantiene
su promesa de la búsqueda de felicidad, libertad y justicia para todos.
• Los magistrados reafirmaron lo que una gran mayoría –60%– bipartidaria de estadounidenses ya comprende: que el derecho al matrimonio civil es un derecho
precioso y fundamental que corresponde a todos.
• Contrariamente a las alarmantes predicciones de nuestra oposición, los 37 estados en los que ya existe el derecho al matrimonio civil han demostrado que cuando
las personas gay comparten este derecho, las familias se benefician y nadie resulta lastimado. La victoria de hoy llevará felicidad a cientos de miles de parejas del
mismo sexo y sus familiares, quienes tienen el mismo sueño, y la misma necesitad, del matrimonio que cualesquiera otras personas.
• Debemos continuar la labor hasta que la experiencia de vida de las personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y transgénero sea enriquecedora, positiva e igualitaria en
todo el territorio.
QUE ES SPIRIT DAY?
Es una fecha conmemorada cada año, el tercer jueves de octubre, donde millones de personas
alzan la voz en contra del acoso y hostigamiento, y en apoyo a jóvenes LGBT (lesbianas, gays,
bisexuales y transgénero)
¿De dónde surge la idea para esta fecha?
En 2010, una increíble adolescente, Brittany McMillan, tenía el deseo de crear una manera para
recordar a los jóvenes que habían perdido la vida a causa del suicidio, y también para alzar la voz
en contra del acoso y hostigamiento.
Estudiantes, escuelas, organizaciones, corporaciones, profesionales mediáticos, celebridades,
padres de familias y muchos más.
¿Cómo puedo sumarme?
íEs fácil! Usa morado el 15 de octubre y los días anteriores, y juntos trabajaremos para crear un
mundo donde jóvenes LGBT son respetados y aceptados por quienes son.
1 Pinta de morado tu avatar o foto de perfil durante el Día del Espíritu. MANDANOS tu foto HOY
de perfil, y te la PINTAMOS DE MORADO – Gratis! email@example.com
2 Haz clic aquí para ver cómo puedes donar a la labor importante de
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA, Pridelines, Safe Schools, GLSEN y The Trevor Project.
WHAT IS SPIRIT DAY?
Spirit Day began in 2010 as a way to show support for LGBT youth and take a stand against
bullying. Spirit Day now occurs every year on the third Thursday in October, during National Bullying
Prevention Month, and has become the most visible day of support for LGBT youth.
Where did the idea come from?
An amazing teenager, Brittany McMillan, wanted to remember those young people who lost their lives to suicide and to take a stand against bullying.
Students, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals, celebrities, parents and many more. Everyone from Oprah to Cher to Facebook and MTV have gone
purple for Spirit Day. Even the White House joined the cause!
How do I get involved?
1- It's easy! The first step – pledge to go purple now! Turn your profile pic to PURPLE, spread the word and stand up against bullying! OR, send us your profile pic NOW,
and we will turn it purple for YOU – FREE! firstname.lastname@example.org
2- CLICK HERE to see how you can help STOP BULLYING, and donate to the important efforts of UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA, Pridelines, Safe Schools,
GLSEN & the Trevor Project.
FLORIDA LGBT RIGHTS BILL DEAD; STILL LEGAL TO FIRE SOMEONE FOR BEING GAY
BY KYLE MUNZENRIEDER
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
Even though same-sex marriage is now legal in Florida, it's also still completely within the law for an employer to fire someone for being gay or a landlord to deny housing to a
transgender tenant in large swaths of the state. For the tenth time, a coalition of bipartisan lawmakers (yes, even some Republicans) and some of Florida's biggest employers
tried to change this by supporting the Florida Competitive Workplace Act. It failed again after dying today in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
However, this was the first time the bill actually received a hearing in all the years it's been introduced. Plus, if it did somehow make its way through the Republican-controlled
Senate, it likely would have died in the much more conservative House. Gov. Rick Scott hadn't specifically addressed the bill this year, but given his history on gay rights, it's
unlikely he would have signed it, anyway.
Yet, social conservatives in the Judiciary Committee got hung up on the idea of transgender people using bathrooms and the threats of frivolous lawsuits. The bill was initially
met with a 6-6 vote on Monday. Sponsor Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, a Boynton Beach Democrat, used a procedural move to bring it up for discussion again yesterday, but the bill
was ultimately tabled. Meaning that it's more than likely dead.
Sure, several counties and municipalities have ordinances that protect LGBT rights. Fifty-five percent of the state's population are covered by those local laws, and if you live in
South Florida, you're protected. However, 45 percent of the state's population doesn't live in areas with those local laws.
Of course, in the areas where such laws already exist there hasn't been a rise in frivolous lawsuits or bathroom troubles, but Republicans in the Florida legislature never let
facts get in the way of making a decision.
Scott has tried to rebrand Florida as business-friendly, but the harsh death of the bill wasn't too friendly to the numerous businesses who supported it, including Walt Disney
World, the Home Shopping Network, Carnival Cruise Line, the Miami Heat, Winn-Dixie, Raymond James, AT&T, Darden, Marriott, and more.
English, Spanish & Portuguese News
News, Latin America
LGBT homeless charity hits funding target in bid to buy ‘Jesus would stone homos’ church
Nick Duffy 9th February 2016, 5:06 PM
Pastor Manning's church is up for auction
A New York LGBT homeless charity has reached a crucial funding target – ahead of a bid to buy an anti-LGBT church at auction.
A court recently ordered that Harlem’s infamous ATLAH World Missionary Church – which has signs advocating the death penalty for gay people – be
put up for auction over £1 million in unpaid debts.
In a fantastic tactical move, New York LGBT homeless charity the Ali Forney Center launched an online fundraising campaign in a bid to buy the church
and turn it into an LGBT centre.
Harnessing the power of the internet and karmic justice, the AFC hit their $200,000 donation funding target today with 14 days to go until the auction.
In a statement, AFC Executive Director Carl Siciliano said: “It has been an extraordinary two weeks.
“We have been overwhelmed with support and encouragement and now have the opportunity to turn a place that has promoted hatred and violence
into a safe space for LGBT homeless youth.
“Ali Forney, who inspired the founding of the organization, was murdered in Harlem in 1997, only 12 blocks from ATLAH. In 2013 Islan Nettles was
beaten to death in Harlem only one mile from ATLAH.
“Could there be a more just outcome to the ATLAH foreclosure than that the young LGBT people most endangered by the hatred and contempt
Manning promotes would take over his building.”
He added: “AFC’s acquiring the beautiful and historic building that now stands as a symbol of hate would be extraordinary, but the bottom line is this:
the Ali Forney Center has 200 youths per night on the waiting list for our beds.
“As an organization, we have no obligation more urgent than to increase our capacity to provide housing to these vulnerable youth.
“With the support of the Harlem community, those who have contributed and many others offering to help, we approach the February 24th auction with
confidence and hope.”
However, it’s not a done deal – and there’s a number of other bidders who are after the church for development projects.
Mr Siciliano continued: “Given the real estate market in Harlem we anticipate the bidding will go significantly higher than the $1.02M owed and we are in
discussion with potential developers and investors to acquire the building and we anticipate having a partner by the time of the auction.
“We will continue fundraising through the #HarlemNoHate campaign and make every effort to be in as strong a position as possible to acquire the
However, the church’s homophobic pastor James David Manning, who famously believes that Starbucks flavours lattes with the “semen of Sodomites”,
is NOT happy about the move.
He vented last week: “They’re going to turn this church into a bathhouse, they’re going to turn this church into a homeless building for the sodomites.
“The sodomites are sick as hell! This is the lord’s house! This ain’t no damn bathhouse! It ain’t no fag house!
“And before you can ever own this property, men who are fags with testicles will be carrying babies in their testicles and giving birth to them through
“That’s how impossible it is for you to get this house. When you start carrying a baby in your bags and birthing that baby through your ass… then you
can own this house!”
He added: “Until I see you pull a baby out your ass, you ain’t gonna pull this church out from underneath us.
“Boom shaka-laka goes right there! And all you fags can go to hell!”
The auction is set for February 24.
La primera diputada transexual venezolana quiere construir “en las diferencias”
Esteban Rico Martes 22 de diciembre de 2015
La diputada transexual electa por la Mesa de la Unidad
Democrática (MUD), Tamara Adrián, fue registrada este
miércoles durante un entrevista con Efe, en Caracas
Venezuela contará por primera vez con una diputada
transexual, la opositora, abogada y profesora Tamara
Adrián, que propone construir la democracia “en las
diferencias”, acabar con “la hegemonía” y “reactivar el
aparato productivo” sin excluir a la comunidad LGBT
Desde sus “tres o cuatro años”, Tamara, “tenía la certeza
de que su identidad género no correspondía con su cuerpo”,
sin embargo, tenía más de 30 años cuando lo expresó.
“Siendo un hombre exitoso (…) en ejercicio del derecho
(…) me enfrente con armas diferentes a la exclusión (…)
a la población LGBT”, dijo en entrevista con Efe.
Su vocación activista es herencia familiar, su padre, abuelo
y bisabuelo “han sido luchadores sociales” por lo que a los
8 años tenía claro que sería abogado, una de sus facetas
profesionales que desempeña “tratando de ser lo mas
Adrián preside el Día Mundial contra la Homofobia y la Transfobia, coopera en otras organizaciones en apoyo a las poblaciones minoritarias y ha participado en foros de la
ONU y la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), donde, asegura, “casi todas las declaraciones y resoluciones” en la materia tienen su “sello, firma y contribución”.
Ahora, en su nuevo rol como parlamentaria, cree tener “ventaja” por haber redactado “parte de las leyes” que existen o existieron en Venezuela en materia económica entre
las que cita la Ley de Mercado de Capitales, la Ley de Seguros y la Ley de Banco Central, por lo que planea aportar su “aprendizaje” a “diputados que fueron electos nuevos”.
Tras las elecciones del domingo, el cargo que Adrián empezará a ejercer el 5 de enero será de suplente del diputado reelecto en el Distrito Capital Tomás Guanipa, lo que le
permitirá intervenir en comisiones y “casos específicos” en los que acuerden sea más capacitada.
“Un buen suplente puede ser más conocido que un mal principal”, expresó con el buen ánimo de un actor que argumenta que no existen papeles pequeños sino pequeños
actores, y aclaró que “no cree que Tomás (Guanipa) sea malo”.
Adrián se muestra decidida a anteponer las prioridades de la alianza opositora Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) a sus propias propuestas.
En la agenda de la MUD, menciona, dan especial importancia al área económica, la seguridad y los “presos políticos”.
“Yo sé qué hacer para reactivar el aparato productivo y cuáles leyes hay que modificar para lograr salir de este estado de postración económica en el cual se encuentra
Venezuela”, afirmó, y detalló que ha trabajado los temas “petróleo, gas, mercado de capitales, títulos valores, inversiones extranjeras, bancas y seguros”.
Para Adrián, el debate sobre la comunidad de lesbianas, gais, bixesuales y transexuales (LGBT) tiene cabida en otras discusiones.
“Si vamos a discutir el tema de la reactivación económica puedo decir ¿sabe que un estudio hecho por el Banco Mundial en India muestra que un Estado homofóbico pierde
al menos el 3 por ciento de su PIB debido a esa homofobia y puede ganar hasta el 6 por ciento con esa integración?”, citó, entre otros ejemplos.
Adrián promueve espacios para las minorías no solo en cuanto a sexualidad se refiere, “la democracia se construye en la diferencia, no se puede construir en la hegemonía”
donde “una sola voz es escuchada y tomada en cuenta, eso lo hemos visto en el devenir nacional, ha llegado la hora de aceptar la diferencia”, dijo.
La experta en finanzas y economía recalcó la importancia de que todos los partidos puedan participar en condiciones de igualdad, y manifestó que “no querría” que el
gobernante Partido Socialista Unido (PSUV) “desapareciese, siempre que sea una alternativa democrática”.
“Es una voz y nadie tiene el monopolio de la verdad (…) solo en la concentración de esas diferentes visiones puede aparecer una visión colectiva”, añadió.
Para “construir en las diferencias” desde la Asamblea Nacional, la MUD tiene “planteado que uno de los tres puestos de la directiva sea del PSUV” y eso, dice, “muestra de lo
que ellos (los gobernantes) no saben hacer”.
“Este es un gobierno que ha querido ejercer el control de todo”, reiteró.
Adrián propone también la creación de una “Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información Pública” que obligue a los organismos del Estado a proporcionar datos como la
inflación oficial, que no han expuesto desde 2014, el número de muertes y enfermos, la tasa de desabastecimiento, el nivel de pobreza y el uso de los recursos.
Otra de sus iniciativas personales es evaluar la producción de las empresas que gestiona el Estado, “empresas nacionalizadas o incautadas”, pues, dice, el 80 por ciento de
las marcas de harina de maíz las maneja el Estado y no están produciendo.
El cambio prometido por la MUD durante su campaña para las legislativas “no se logrará inmediatamente”, según Adrián, se necesita “tiempo, dinero y mucho trabajo” para
enmendar “17 años de políticas erradas que nos han llevado a este estado de postración económica, social, educativa y política en el cual nos encontramos”.
Tamara Adrián cambió de sexo, de identidad y ahora promete incentivar el “cambio” en el país caribeño.
The Florida State Senate Rules Committee voted to move ahead with the "pastor protection" bill in Tallahassee
February 17, 2016
WHAT IS IT, and DOES FLORIDA NEED IT? The bill deflects attention towards an invented problem - that LGBTQ people are "forcing" clergy to marry them - rather than focus on
the REAL ISSUES and CHALLENGES that Floridians face every day. In one of the last hurdles to becoming law, the bill heads next to a vote before the full Florida Senate.
FACT: Pastors and clergy have always had the right to decide who their houses of worship will and won’t marry. The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of religious
freedom makes that clear.
Thank you’s are in order for Rules Committee Vice Chair Darren Soto, as well as his colleagues Senators Audrey Gibson and Bill Montford, for voting NO on this unnecessary
distraction from the real issue at hand - the need for protections from discrimination for ALL Floridians.
For a list of So.Fla. LGBT FRIENDLY FAITH CENTERS, CLICK:
Historic U.S. Department of Education Guidance Affirms the Rights of Transgender Students
May 13, 2016...Today, the U.S. Department of Education released a historic letter to the nation’s school districts that affirms that discriminating against transgender students is
illegal under Title IX.
“For so many students, the Department of Education’s letter is literally life-saving. It tells transgender students that they’re not fighting against daily ignorance and exclusion
alone: the federal government is prepared to fight right beside them to ensure that all schools are following the law. It tells them that they deserve to be treated with the same
respect as everyone else—and that’s something that’s protected by law. The discrimination that transgender students face isn’t going to vanish overnight, but this policy has
real potential to push schools to improve their policies and change students’ lives.” - National Center for Transgender Equality
This detailed letter explains that schools and colleges have to ensure that transgender students are treated according to their gender identity in every aspect of school life. The
letter, and accompanying Emerging Practices guide, covers name and pronoun use, confidentiality, harassment, participate in sports, application of dress codes, among other
topics. The letter clearly states that all students have the right to full and equal access to restrooms and other facilities that match their gender.
Schools that don’t follow these policies—including schools that exclude transgender students from restrooms consistent with their gender—are violating federal law, putting
their federal funding at risk. Title IX overrides state laws like North Carolina’s HB 2, which require schools to force transgender students into bathrooms that don’t match their
Policies that treat transgender students equally, including when it comes to restroom access, have been successfully tried and tested for years in thousands of schools around
the country. But even though many schools have been doing the right thing without any threats to anyone’s privacy or safety, too many transgender students continue to go to
schools where they face discrimination, harassment and even violence. The Department of Education’s policy letter is critical to protect the rights of all transgender students. Its
release has been one of NCTE’s highest policy priorities, one we have vigorously advocated for over the course of several years.
JUNE 5, 2016 | Today is the 35th anniversary of the first reported cases of HIV. It has been 20
years since the world was informed about protease inhibitors and also 20 years of the walk on
Washington and the biggest display of AIDS quilts in the world. Many great developments since then
but half of HIV+ people in the world still don't have access to antiretrovirals.
Hoy es el 35 aniversario de los primeros casos reportados de VIH. Ya han pasado 20 años desde
que el mundo fue informado de inhibidores, y también hace 20 años de la caminata en
Washington, y la mayor exhibición de colchas de SIDA en el mundo. Muchos grandes
acontecimientos han ocurridos desde entonces, pero la mitad de las personas VIH+ en el mundo
todavía no tienen acceso a los antiretrovirales.
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA remembers our brothers & sisters taken by AIDS - their many
contributions, accolades, contributions, love & pain they experienced, and fond memories they left
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA is proud to stand in solidarity with a National Coalition of Latina organizations:
DECLARATION OF SOLIDARITY FOR ORGANIZATIONAL ALLIES
We, the undersigned, join to declare our solidarity with and commitment to work alongside and as communities of color, and unite toward the liberation of Black and
Brown lives, as we struggle for the recognition and realization of our human rights.
We stand in full solidarity and struggle with Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives. We acknowledge the long standing anti-Blackness that has
permeated the United States and the world as a violent product of over 500 years of colonization. We demand full accountability for the Black lives that are constantly
under the threat of systematic violence. Now more than ever, we must stand with and for the liberation of our Black and Afro-Latinx hermanxs.
We understand that to achieve a world that is just and equitable, we must fight with and for one another and, together, cast off the mantle of hetero-patriarchal white
Today, as part of this effort, we demand reproductive justice.
• We demand the right to be a parent, the right to not parent, and the right to parent the children we have with dignity and respect in safe neighborhoods with quality
schools and housing. We demand workplaces that ensure we can support ourselves and our families.
• We demand full accountability for the Black lives cut short, for the threats and experiences of policing faced by our Black hermanxs. We demand an end to the killing of
Black people by police and we demand an end to the near-constant impunity with which these killings are met.
• We demand the demilitarization of our communities and an end to the state sanctioned violence enforced through criminalization and racist, overzealous immigration
enforcement. We demand an end to immigration raids and widespread detention and deportation.
• We demand criminal justice reform, comprehensive and dignified immigration reform, and the expansion of policies that strengthen our families, rather than tear
• We demand full political, social, and economic rights and power for all people regardless of gender or sexual identity, orientation, and/or expression. We unite to bring
attention and an immediate end to the systemic violence and discrimination the trans community faces daily. We demand an end to all legislation that criminalizes the
existence of our trans hermanxs and encourage policymakers and organizations to create fundamental changes that foster inclusivity and community-building.
• We demand that our voices be lifted up, heard, and counted. We demand an end to laws that suppress voters and keep people of color from the polls. We demand an
end to racial gerrymandering that dilutes the voting power of Black and Latinx communities. We demand an end to felony disenfranchisement laws that extend the
reach of mass incarceration beyond the walls of the prison industrial complex and unjust sentences into a long-lasting “civil death.”
• We demand the protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights and access for all people, including contraceptive equity and abortion. We demand available
and affordable pre- and post-natal care, paid family leave, and respect for all parents regardless of age, gender, sexuality, and class. We demand that all people be
able to access the healthcare they need without fear of encountering discriminatory practices and providers and without the threat of criminalization or incarceration,
which is too often inflicted upon immigrants and people of color.
We recognize that the long and continuing history of systemic violence against people of color threatens Latinx families and communities. We recognize that our
movements for social change and progress are stronger when they include and center people of color. We will stand and fight together to challenge and dismantle the
oppressive systems, policies, and practices that threaten the health and lives of our Black and Brown hermanxs and to work toward a world that acknowledges and
respects our self-determination and humanity.
UC|CU condemns today’s reversal of Obama guidelines on transgender bathrooms by Trump – this is an attack on our
nations trans children & another setback for civil rights
February 22, 2017- Miami, Florida… Today’s action by President Donald Trump's
administration, revoking landmark guidance issued to public schools in defense
of transgender student rights, is a direct attack on the Transgender community,
and will put every trans child in danger of bullying undue harm. Reversing course
on a signature initiative of former Democratic President Barack Obama is not only
disheartening, but seen as nothing more than an attempt to undue all recent
advances in LGBT rights in the U.S.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA is the First & Only organization for the So.
Fla. Latino|Hispanic|LGBT community - advancing Equality & Fairness - through
Education, Leadership and Awareness, since 2002, condemns the narrow
minded actions taken today, and is extremely concerned for the state of civil rights
ongoing under this administration.
In May 2016, president Obama instructed all public schools to allow transgender
students to use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity, threatening
to withhold federal funding if they should force transgender children to use
bathrooms against their will.
The Obama guidelines had already been put on hold by a federal judge, but the Trump administration went ahead and withdrew them. The Justice and Education
departments will continue to study the legal issues involved, according to the new, superseding guidance that will be sent to public schools across the country.
The federal law in question, known as Title IX, bans sex discrimination in education. But it remains unsettled whether Title IX protections extend to a person's gender identity.
The courts are likely to have the final say over whether Title IX covers transgender students. The Supreme Court could pass on that question in the Virginia case and allow
lower courts to weigh in, or go ahead and decide what the law means.
Now is the time for all Americans to be vigilant, united and passionate about the civil rights of all in this country. Discrimination, prejudice, hate & ignorance have no place in
our public schools or the White House.
UC|CU condena la revocación por Trump de la guía histórica para las escuelas públicas en defensa de los derechos de los
estudiantes transexuales - es un ataque a nuestras naciones trans niños y otro revés para los derechos civiles
22 de febrero, 2017 – Miami, Florida… La acción de hoy del gobierno del presidente Donald Trump, que revoca una guía histórica para las escuelas públicas en defensa
de los derechos de los estudiantes transexuales, es un ataque directo a la comunidad transgénero y pondrá a cada niño trans en peligro de intimidación. Invertir en una
iniciativa de firma del ex presidente demócrata Barack Obama no sólo es desalentador, sino visto como nada más que un intento de indebidos todos los avances
recientes en los derechos LGBT en los EE.UU.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA, la primera y única organización para la comunidad Latina|Hispana|LGBT en el sure del la Florida, luchando por de la Educación,
Liderazgo y Conciencia, desde el año 2002, condena las acciones estrechas tomadas hoy, y está extremadamente preocupado por el estado de los derechos civiles en
curso bajo esta administración.
En mayo de 2016, el presidente Obama ordenó a todas las escuelas públicas que permitieran a los estudiantes transgéneros usar los baños de acuerdo con su identidad
de género elegida, amenazando con retener la financiación federal si fueran obligar a los niños transgéneros a usar baños contra su voluntad.
Las directrices de Obama ya habían sido suspendidas por un juez federal, pero el gobierno de Trump se adelantó y las retiró. Los departamentos de Justicia y Educación
continuarán estudiando las cuestiones legales involucradas, de acuerdo con la nueva orientación, que reemplazará a las escuelas públicas de todo el país.
La ley federal en cuestión, conocida como Título IX, prohíbe la discriminación sexual en la educación. Pero sigue siendo incierto si las protecciones del Título IX se
extienden a la identidad de género de una persona.
Es probable que los tribunales tengan la última palabra sobre si el Título IX cubre a los estudiantes transgéneros. La Corte Suprema podría pasar esa pregunta en el caso
de Virginia y permitir que los tribunales inferiores lo sopesen o decidan lo que significa la ley.
Ahora es el momento para todos los estadounidenses de estar vigilantes, unidos y apasionados por los derechos civiles de todos en este país. La discriminación, los
prejuicios, el odio y la ignorancia no tienen cabida en nuestras escuelas públicas o en la Casa Blanca.
AWARENESS | CONCIENCIA
LGBT AFFIRMING FAITH CENTERS
WORKSHOPS | TALLERES
TRANS TECH HUB | Miami
LEADERSHIP | LIDERAZGO
FOTOS DE EVENTOS
NEWS | NOTICIAS
MAY 6, 2018
MB Botanical Garden
JANUARY 25-27, 2019
OCT 1 - OCT. 15, 2018
HISPANIC LGBT PRIDE
for the ARTS,
DESIGN & EDUCATION
EDUCATION | EDUCACIÓN
Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida condemns Presidential Tweet on banning Transgender individuals from serving in the
U.S. Military - Urges our community and the country focus on the timing, intent and facts – not the message
July 26, 2017…Miami, Florida
In a Tweet on social media today, 45 said he will ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, a reversal of the Obama administration decision that
would have allowed them to serve.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida, the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latinx|Hispanic|LGBT community - advancing Equality & Fairness - through Education,
Leadership and Awareness, since 2002, condemns this suggestion, reasoning, method and timing of this statement. Furthermore, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida
stands firmly with the facts and studies, our Transgender communities’ willingness & ability to serve their country if they choose to, and will continue to support a full lift on
any restrictions of transgender military service.
Under Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, the military lifted the ban on transgender troops and was given one year to determine how to implement a policy that would
allow transgender service members to receive medical care and would ban the services from involuntarily separating people in the military who came out as transgender.
The independent Rand Corporation estimated in 2016 that 2,450 of the 1.2 million active-duty service members are transgender, though some campaigners put the figure
higher, in their study commissioned by the Defense Department.
Citing the need to focus on victory, Trump said that the military cannot accept the burden of higher medical costs and “disruption” that transgender troops would require.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in
any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous
medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, a think tank that has helped the Pentagon research transgender people serving in the military, said “For the past year,
transgender troops have been serving openly and have been widely praised by their Commanders, as is the case in 18 allied militaries around the world including Israel&
Britain. In light of the success of transgender military service, the extensive research confirming that inclusive policy promotes readiness, and the sad history of ‘don't ask,
don't tell,’ loyally-serving transgender troops deserve to know whether Secretary Mattis stands by the claim he made at his confirmation hearing that LGBT troops can
indeed serve in a ‘lethal’ military. Stonewalling on full inclusion will, just like ‘don't ask, don't tell,’ compromise military readiness.”
This latest presidential attempt to set national policy via Tweets, must be kept in perspective, and viewed in the context of all other pending issues plaguing this
administration, including but not limited to the inability to reform healthcare, obstruction of Justice and attempts to disrupt federal investigations on Russian intervention &
questionable dealings by the administration, cyber-attacks by Russia on the U.S., and much more.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida condena "Tweet" presidencial, prohibiendo individuos transgénero de servir en el militar EE.UU. -
Nuestra comunidad y el país se tienen que concentrar centran en el clima politico, la intención y hechos - no el mensaje
26 de de julio de, 2017 ... Miami, Florida
En un Tweet en la actualidad las redes sociales, el presidente Trump dijo que prohibirá las personas trans de servir en el ejército, en cualquier calidad, una
revocación de la decisión de la administración Obama que habría les permitió servir.
Unity Coalition| Coalición Unida condena esta sugerencia, el razonamiento, el método y el momento de esta declaración. Por otra parte, cUnity Coalition | Coalición
Unida esta firmemente en acuerdo con los hechos y estudios, la disposición de nuestra comunidad transgénero para servir a su capacidad y país si así lo desean, y
seguiremos luchando en contra de cualquier restricción de servicio militar de personas transgénero.
Este último intento presidencial de establecer la polisa nacional a través de tweets, se debe mantener en perspectiva, y visto en el contexto de todas las otras
cosas questionables que plagan a esta administración, incluyendo, pero no limitado a la incapacidad de la reforma de salud, obstrucción de la justicia y de intento
de interrumpir investigaciones federals sobre la acción de Rusia y las reuniones cuestionables con la administración, los ciber-ataques por parte de Rusia en los
EE.UU., y mucho más.
ADMINISTRATIONS DECISION TO END D.A.C.A. IS THE MOST RECKLESS AND SHAMEFUL ATTACK ON OUR HISPANIC &
LGBT COMMUNITIES, TO DATE
September 2, 2017… The White House formally announced the end of DACA -- a program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to
the US as children from deportation. The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday and rescinded the
Obama administration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA condemns this decision, and urges Congress to do the right thing and pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 to permanently
protect the young people who grew up here, who know no other country but America, and prevent them from being deported. This continued obsession by 45 to overturn
any/all initiatives by the previous administration is not only childish, costly and reckless, but it puts thousands of lives and futures, unnecessarily at risk.
The decision uproots and endangers the lives of the DREAMers - individuals who will most likely face deportations to countries they barely know or have any connection to,
including over 75,000 LGBTQ people, who are currently protected from deportation and have authorization to work in the US under DACA. Forcing our vulnerable
community to deportations will certainly lead to violence and sexual abuse while in detainment facilities, and often face anti-LGBTQ persecution in their native countries,
endanger their lives and place their safety in question.
In Florida alone, there are over 4,000 DACA eligible undocumented youth who identify as LGBTQ. During and after the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, we
witnessed many undocumented survivors afraid to seek help – afraid of the system, and living in fear of deportation.
FACTS ABOUT DACA
- 78% of registered voters believe DREAMers should be allowed to stay in this country.
- 56% of registered voters believe DREAMers should be given a path to citizenship.
- 75% of Trump voters think DACA recipients should be allowed to stay in the country.
- 78% of Republican voters supported 45’s decision to keep DACA program, before he went back on his promise.
- 74% of conservatives say DREAMers should be allowed to stay in the country.
- As much as $460.3 billion would be lost from our nation’s GDP over the next decade from ending DACA.
- Nearly 700,000 DACA recipients could be forced out of their jobs and businesses.
- $3.4 billion will need to be spent to train and hire new employees to fill the jobs vacated by DREAMers.
- $8 billon would be lost annually in state, in the 10 states demanding that the Trump administration end DACA.
From their swearing in this past November, this administration has ruthlessly and aggressively attacked community after community across the U.S.
This latest attack will result in unimaginable consequences for community, businesses, neighbors, friends, and our families.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida remains committed to the Leadership and Pride in our Latinx|Hispanx|LGBT Communities, through Equality Education and
Empowerment, since 2002.
DECISIÓN PARA FINALIZAR D.A.C.A. ES EL ATAQUE MÁS RECIENTE Y VERGONZOSO A NUESTRAS COMUNIDADES
HISPÁNAS Y LGBT
2 de septiembre de 2017... La Casa Blanca anunció formalmente el fin de DACA - un programa que había protegido a casi 800.000 jóvenes inmigrantes
indocumentados traídos a los Estados Unidos como niños de deportación. El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional dejará de procesar cualquier nueva solicitud para el
programa a partir del martes y rescindió la política de administración de Obama, Acción Diferida por Llegadas de Niñez (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – DACA).
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA condena esta decisión e insta al Congreso a que haga lo correcto y apruebe el Acto de los Soñadores (DREAMers) bipartidista de
2017, para proteger permanentemente a los jóvenes que crecieron aquí, que no conocen a ningún otro país que no sea Estados Unidos, e impiden su deportación.
Esta obsesión continua por 45 para anular cualquier / todas las iniciativas de la administración anterior, no sólo es infantil, costosa e imprudente, pero pone miles de
vidas y futuros, innecesariamente en riesgo.
La decisión arranca y pone en peligro la vida de los DREAMers - individuos que probablemente enfrentarán deportaciones a países con los que apenas conocen o
tienen alguna conexión, incluyendo a más de 75,000 personas LGBTQ, que están actualmente protegidas de deportación y tienen autorización para trabajar en los EE.
UU. DACA. Forzará a nuestra comunidad vulnerable a las deportaciones, y sin duda conducirá a la violencia y el abuso sexual en instalaciones de detención, y a menudo
enfrentan persecución anti-LGBTQ en sus países nativos, ponen en peligro sus vidas y ponen en duda su seguridad.
En la Florida hay más de 4.000 jóvenes indocumentados elegibles por DACA que se identifican como LGBTQ. Durante y después de la masacre de Pulse – discoteca en
Orlando, Florida, presenciamos a muchos sobrevivientes indocumentados temerosos de buscar ayuda, temerosos del sistema y viviendo con miedo de ser deportados.
- El 78% de los votantes registrados creen que los DREAMers deberían ser permitido permanecer en este país.
- El 56% de los votantes registrados creen que los DREAMers deberían tener un camino hacia la ciudadanía.
- El 75% de los votantes de 45 piensan que los receptores de la DACA deberían poder permanecer en el país.
- El 78% de los votantes republicanos apoyaron la decisión de 45 de mantener el programa DACA, antes de que él se negara a cumplir su promesa.
- El 74% de los conservadores dicen que los DREAMers deberían poder permanecer en el país.
- Hasta 460.300 millones de dólares se perderían del GNP de nuestra nación durante la próxima década desde el final de DACA.
- Cerca de 700.000 beneficiarios de la DACA podrían verse obligados a abandonar sus trabajos y negocios.
- Se necesitarán $ 3.4 mil millones para capacitar y contratar a nuevos empleados para llenar los puestos vacantes de DREAMers.
- $ 8 mil millones se perdería anualmente en estado, en los 10 estados exigiendo que la administración termine DACA.
Desde su juramento este noviembre pasado, esta administración ha atacado sin piedad y agresivamente, comunidad tras comunidad a través de los EE.UU.
Este último ataque resultará en consecuencias inimaginables para la comunidad, negocios, vecinos, amigos y nuestras familias.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida sigue comprometida con el Liderazgo y el Orgullo en nuestras comunidades LATINX|HISPANX|LGBTQ -en Igualdad, Educación y
Empoderamiento, desde 2002.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA and TransSOCIAL expand South Florida Community Outreach and Presence, with shared
Satellite Offices in Dade & Broward
October 31, 2017 - Miami, Florida…In our combined and ongoing effort to better serve, reach and be accessible to our community & its needs, UNITY
COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA (UC|CU) and TransSOCIAL have entered an agreement to share Satellite Offices in both Dade & Broward counties.
As of December 1, 2017, TranSOCIAL will call UC|CU’s Miami office at 777 Brickell Avenue, Suite 500, Miami, Florida 33139, their Miami home – offering Programs and
Services onsite, by appointment, to allow for better access to serving their community. UC|CU offices are provided by the generosity of QUEST Workspaces, Miami.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA is thrilled to also have a Broward home at TransSOCIAL’s office located at 2424 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Oakland Park, FL
33311, to more effectively serve our Broward & northern communities, offering Programs and Services onsite, by appointment. This is space is provided by the generosity
of Dynamic Recovery Center.
“Our South Florida community and its needs is not bound by geography or county lines. Their needs are not defined by boundaries.” said Dr. Morgan Mayfaire, Executive
Director of TransSOCIAL, Inc. & UC|CU board member. “We are thrilled to partner with TranSOCIAL and expand our ability to better serve & offer programming to ALL of
South Florida, with a formal Broward presence”, added UC|CU director & CEO, Herb Sosa.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA is the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latinx|Hispanic|LGBT community - advancing Equality & Fairness - through
Education, Leadership and Awareness, since 2002 – offering tools and programming, like ELEVATE- a day of being Nicer; LGBT Scholarships for the Arts, Design,
Education & Cosmetology; TRANSART series – showcasing transgender art & artists; the 7th annual Celebrate ORGULLO Hispanic Pride festival.
TransSOCIAL, Inc. is a Trans-led non-profit that expands LGBTQ+ resources through training businesses and healthcare providers in cultural competency; maintains a
robust referral network for Trans clients; and hosts social and educational events to promote networking and community building.
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA INVITES AMAZON TO THE CAPITAL OF THE AMERICAS: MIAMI
February 1, 2018… Miami, Florida
What’s at stake? Fifty-thousand jobs, a $5 billion investment by Amazon and all the indirect economic activity - tens of thousands of additional jobs and other investment -
that would come with AMAZON opening its second headquarters in the U.S., here. This is most definitely a great opportunity for our local LGBT community as well.
South Florida has made great strides in LGBT rights, leading the nation on many initiatives, and South Florida has passed local ordinances to protect the LGBT
community from discrimination and that enables Amazon to recruit and hire the best talent in Florida. Miami Beach has consistently received a 100% rating from HRC on
all things LGBT. We do have more work to do, and our state as a whole leaves a lot to be desired on Equality, but the benefits to and from our South Florida LGBT
Amazon HQ2 would be in good corporate company in South Florida, joining AutoNation, Citrix Systems, Ultimate Software, Office Depot, ADT security, Carnival Corp.,
Bacardi, Del Monte, and Ryder System, just to name a few.
South Florida also offers a 3 million-person labor force, of which 53 percent are bilingual. Add to that the fact that we are 2nd in the nation in international banks
headquartered here, and Miami being the gateway to South and Central America. Amazon is looking to expand into Latin American regions, as well as into the
pharmaceutical and health-care industry. That means Amazon also would be interested in South Florida’s research institutions, including Scripps Florida, Max Planck
Florida Institute for Neuroscience and University of Miami.
WHY MIAMI? Instead of charging payroll tax and rebating it to the company over a decade (as Illinois would), there would be zero state income tax here. With 50,000
employees earning $100,000 apiece, that is a savings of $2.5 billion over ten years, compared to the Illinois tax rate of about 5%. There’s also the possibility of a Tax
Increment Financing Deal if they build in the Overtown CRA area, which could be worth over $1 billion (putting Miami ahead of other areas with no income tax like Austin
and Dallas). That is on top of incentives that the Beacon Council is offering.
Transit – Older cities like Washington D.C. have an expansive transit system in place that can get workers around the city, and to most suburbs they desire.
Miami has a unique proposition though – land with intensive zoning density available right in the urban core. There are at least three downtown sites with enough capacity
to build office, housing and retail for nearly most of Amazon’s employees, allowing them to live, work, and play in the same area. Workers would never have to leave.
When they do need to travel though, Amazon would have excellent transit connectivity. At the Innovation District/Worldcenter site alone, there are four different rail systems:
Brightline high speed trains to Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando. Tri-Rail through Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Metrorail to Miami International Airport
or Dadeland in 20 minutes. Metromover to Brickell and throughout downtown.
Educated Workforce – Cities like Boston have a better established university system that churns out college grads (although Miami is on the rise in that area).
Miami though, is simply a more attractive place to live for most of those same college graduates. Study after study shows that Miami is a magnet – particularly for
millennials, who are willing to spend more of their income on housing to live here.
If anything, Miami hasn’t been attracting even more millennials because there aren’t yet enough high-paying jobs. Amazon’s arrival changes that.
Finally, Jeff Bezos knows first-hand how amazing our South Florida community, people and resources are. He grew up here. He knows what we are made of. We ask that
Amazon and Bezos choose Miami for their HQ2 – it is the perfect marriage – and yes, same sex marriage is also legal in Florida!
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA URGES THE ARCHDIOCESE of MIAMI TO REVERSE ITS UN-CHRISTIAN POLICY OF
INTOLERANCE AND HATE, and FLORIDA LAWMAKERS TO DO SO AS WELL
February 12, 2018… Miami, Florida
Florida remains one of the few states where employers can still fire someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This is an unjust, discriminatory and
outdated law that Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida strongly calls for its elimination – now.
Miami resident Jocelyn Morffi married her longtime partner, Natasha Hass at the Key Largo Lighthouse on Saturday, February 3. By the end of the week, Morffi had been
fired from her job teaching first grade at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School. Although no official statement has been given by the Archdiocese of Miami, who enforce
employment & morality policies for their employees, Miami's current archbishop, Thomas Wenski, has a long history of anti-gay comments. When the U.S. Supreme Court
legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, Wenski released a statement comparing the ruling to the 1857 Dred Scott case, which stated that black people could be
legally owned as property in the United States.
“The firing of a liked and celebrated teacher, for living her truth of love & marital union, once again highlights the need for protection of all Floridians from discrimination.
Her marriage is legal in our state and should be seen as a beacon of all things good & honest, not a threat or reason for losing her job. There is nothing immoral,
conflicting or shameful in her commitment to her partner and her students, and both are equally as strong and unquestionable. It is time for the Archdiocese of Miami to
reveres its policy of intolerance and hate – two qualities that are anything but Christian, in teaching or practice. It is time for the Archdiocese to really learn and put into
practice what being a true Christian, is.” said Herb Sosa, president & CEO of Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida
In 2015, Morffi was recognized in the Miami Herald for a program she started at St. Peter & Paul School called #teachHope70x7 that encouraged kids to feed the
homeless and "encourage hope" in the community. (The "70x7" references a bible passage about forgiveness.)
UNITY COALITION|COALICIÓN UNIDA is the First & Only organization for the South Florida Latinx|Hispanic|LGBT community, advancing Equality & Fairness, through
Education, Leadership and Awareness, since 2002 – offering tools and programming, like ELEVATE- a day of being Nicer; LGBT Scholarships for the Arts, Design,
Education & Cosmetology; PRIDE U 2020 – Activism, Leadership & Social Resources for a New Rainbow; TRANSART Conference & Artists Showcase – featuring
transgender & non-conforming artists & their works; the 8th annual Celebrate ORGULLO Hispanic Pride festival each October. unitycoalition.org
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