Mayor of Orlando to Issue Proclamation in Support of Equality for all Floridians

August 6, 2010

Brandon Hensler, ACLU, (786) 363-2737 or
Brian Winfield, Equality Florida,
Sean Eldridge, Freedom to Marry,

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the face of this week’s historic federal court victory overturning California Proposition 8 and the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay rally set to take place in Orlando this Sunday, national, state and local organizations will join together to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families and spread a message of equality for all Americans.

The “Celebrate Our Families” Rally in Orlando will premier local filmmaker Vicki Nantz’ new documentary, In Anita’s Wake, a film that looks back at the 33 years since Florida enacted its shameful law prohibiting gays and lesbians from adopting and the struggle for equality. Q&A with Nantz and other local and statewide leaders in the fight for equality will follow. The rally and screening will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 8 at the Orlando Joy MCC. The event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, August 8, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m. – World Premiere Screening of "In Anita's Wake"
6:15 p.m. Q&A with filmmaker Vicki Nantz and others featured in the film.

Orlando Joy MCC
2351 South Ferncreek Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32806
(407) 894-1081

A similar event is being held in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.

Even as the LGBT community and its allies celebrate Wednesday’s landmark federal court victory overturning California Proposition 8, the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is heading to Florida with its anti-equality message. During its 2010 "Summer For Marriage, One Man - One Woman" Bus Tour, NOM is spreading its discriminatory message in 23 cities throughout the country. On Sunday, the bus comes to Orlando. In response, LGBT families and their allies will come together to celebrate their families and rally in their fight for equality.

“Our community and all fair-minded Floridians have been reenergized by this week's historic victory in defeating Prop 8,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida. “While anti-gay extremists come to Florida to spread their dehumanizing lies about our lives and relationships, we come together to celebrate our families and to continue our march toward full equality for all Floridians."

On Wednesday, August 4, 2010, a federal court in California issued a decision that dramatically alters the landscape on marriage fairness and equality for LGBT people. The court’s historic decision struck down California’s Proposition 8—the ballot initiative that excluded same-sex couples from marriage in the state. The ruling, a turning point in the decades-long struggle for equality, made clear that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and strikes at the heart of the extremist-driven campaign to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry.

“Groups like NOM rely on fear and misinformation to further their discriminatory agenda just as Anita Bryant did 33 years ago during her anti-gay crusade that resulted in Florida’s law prohibiting gay people from adopting,” said Shelbi Day, ACLU of Florida LGBT Advocacy Project Staff Attorney. “On Wednesday, a federal court not only struck down the discriminatory law, it squarely rejected the arguments and rationale at the heart of the extremist-driven campaign that NOM and the Anita Bryants of the world are waging to deny equality to all Americans. As we celebrate this monumental victory in California, we renew our commitment to our fight for equality for LGBT people and their families in Florida.”

As Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry stated, "Together with individuals and organizations across the country, Freedom to Marry is making this a Summer for Marriage. In advertising their anti-gay bus tour, NOM referred to supporters of the freedom to marry as those who 'pillage the values of our Nation.' At Freedom to Marry, we know that the American values of liberty, equality, and justice for all are, in fact, for all Americans. Families and communities are strengthened when we support everyone's ability to take care of their loved ones. Ending the exclusion of committed same-sex couples from marriage - and the critical safety net of responsibilities and protections that marriage brings - will strengthen those families and strengthen marriage itself."

Sponsors Include:

Joy MCC 
ACLU of Florida 
Equality Florida
Freedom to Marry
PFLAG Orlando 
Metropolitan Business Association 
The Center 
One Orlando 
Family Equality Council

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2010 Press Releases