New initiative launched during historic week for LGBT rights invites members of Miami-Dade’s LGBT Hispanic community to share their personal stories to connect people through common values

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           March 25th, 2013
CONTACT:            ACLU of Florida Media Office (786) 363 - 2737

MIAMI – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida has launched “Amores de mi Vida” (Loves of my Life), a Spanish-language audiovisual project that celebrates love and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. The project, made possible with support from the Miami Foundation, invites Hispanic individuals, family, friends or supporters, to share their stories on video, in order to integrate all the Hispanic community, highlighting family values, respect, faith, and opposition to discrimination.

"Regardless of our differences in sexual orientation and gender identity, love is the same for all human beings," said Carolina Gonzalez of the ACLU of Florida. "The Hispanic community shares many common values, and this initiative seeks to highlight precisely those values to bring together different members of the Latino community."

Three members of the LGBT Hispanic community in Miami have already shared videos of their stories for the project. Carlier Natalie, a young Colombian-American lesbian and organizer for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, co-director of GetEqual, an undocumented young gay man from Brazil whose partner is a legal resident of the U.S., and Juan Del Hierro, a gay man from Ecuador and licensed Unity teacher who recently adopted a son.

"I've noticed how people around me changed their perceptions on the LGBT community when they know a little more about my story," says Juan Del Hierro. "Through our stories we can make other people realize that at the end of the day, we are all the same; we have the same desires for our family, the same aspirations, and the same desire to love and be loved."

The launch of “Amores de mi vida” comes at a historic moment for the LGBT community nationwide, during a week when the Supreme Court of the United States has heard arguments in two landmark cases for LGBT equality. One of the cases, U.S. v. Winsor, is the ACLU’s challenge to the misleadingly-named “Defense of Marriage Act,” or DOMA, which bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of gay couples.

The ACLU has a long history of fighting for the cause of LGBT people, dating back to 1936. One of the more recent major victories in the ACLU of Florida’s fight for LGBT equality  was two years ago, when the organization successfully overturned Florida’s ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians.

The ACLU of Florida will host a screening of videos collected in the Amores project in Fall of 2013 at a local theater in Miami-Dade with those who participated in the project, their friends and supporters, leaders of the Miami-Dade Hispanic and LGBT communities, and the media. During the celebration, the ACLU of Florida will give an award to the person whose video has received the most views on social media, as way to encourage people to promote conversations on issues related to the LGBT community among Hispanics.

Though the project is focused on those in Miami-Dade, all LGBT individuals, their families and supporters are invited to participate. People can send their videos until July 31, 2013.

For more information about participating in the project visit or send an e-mail to