Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 070815 Contents 26 // 7.8 .2015 // SFGN.com //
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SFGN’s “Speak OUT” is a weekly feature
giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT
Below are some of their answers:
Visit SFGN.com/SpeakOut to see more of this week’s responses.
Send an Email to Jason.Parsley@sfgn.com if you know of a LGBT
community leader that should be or wants to be a part of this list.
First: The legalization of same sex marriage throughout the nation
has given us equality that has been long fought for. It is not however,
the end of our battle. There are still many pockets of resistance supported
by laws on state books that continue to allow for discrimination against
LGBTQ people. In many places you can now marry today and be fired
tomorrow because you are not heterosexual.
Second: The chatter coming from church officials belaboring the threat
of religious oppression is a fallacy. The LGBTQ community has long been
oppressed by the religious community, denied access to worship and to
God as defined by religious sects and dogma, because of who we love.
Now we have equal rights under the law to marry and those same religious
zealots who oppressed us say our right to marry will oppress them. The
truth is there is no law that requires anyone to marry anyone else. The law
allows ministers to legally marry others. It does not require them to."
— Mildred Smith, executive producer for
Empty Closet Women's Theater
I'm beyond ecstatic that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same
sex marriage. I take comfort in knowing that should my partner
and I decide to want to get married that we can now do this anywhere
within the U.S. I take comfort in the thought that maybe one day same
sex marriage will simply be called "marriage." Over the past few days I've
also been elated for friends who live in states with their wives or husbands
respectively and can now be recognized as married. While I take comfort
in knowing this, my elation is mixed with a tinge of sadness as I am still
having to contend with bigotry on another level as an African American
with current events as well."
— Danielle Allen, founder of the Black
Women's Education Empowerment Initiative
The effort to secure marriage equality has been slugged out in the
courts and at the ballot box costing millions of dollars and countless
hours of time and energy by people like you and me. Such is the price
of liberty. But no blood was shed, maybe a few tears here and there, but
liberty for all is the ultimate victor. When the euphoria subsides we must
now close ranks to defend our newfound freedom for we have already
felt the sting of the impending backlash. We should not fear the reprisals,
but instead use our success to build upon and seek out equality at the
workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations. I can’t wait to hear
what Jesus has to say about that."
— Dean Trantalis, noted attorney and
Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner
Don’t become complacent in the face of our great win! Only 22 states
and the District of Columbia have laws against discrimination in
employment, places of public accommodation and housing. Our recent
wins in the area of gay marriage may well be our last wins for some time to
come. The Republican controlled Congress and legislatures throughout the
country won’t be enacting any anti-discrimination laws in the foreseeable
future. And if a Republican takes the White House in 2016, say good-bye
to the Supreme Court bailing us out in the future. We are one Ruth Bader-
Ginsberg away from losing a majority vote on the Court. As a community,
we must continue doing what has led us to the amazing reality we are now
living in: Same Sex Legal Nationwide. Your every personal moment of
confrontation with homophobia is a political force - your acts of courage
are, as President Obama said on Friday, “like pebbles being thrown into
a still lake, ripples of hope cascade outward and change the world”. We
must come out, brazen the moment when you can be invisible - be visible
- be your own gay self! Vote, contribute, volunteer: show up. This is your
life and you deserve to live it fully and equally. "
— Robin L. Bodiford, noted attorney and LGBT rights activist
The Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges will go down
as one of the landmark civil rights decisions in history, alongside
Brown v. Board of Education. Equal Justice Under the Law, carved into
the Supreme Court building itself, is now understood to include same sex
couples wanting to marry. There is a lot of work left to do to insure that
discrimination is eliminated in all its forms from all of our laws across the
country, and in the State of Florida. The Family Law Section of the Florida
Bar has committees currently working on redrafting dozens of laws that
impact Florida’s families to be inclusive of same sex families. "
— Nancy K. Brodzki, Board Certified in Marital & Family Law
On one hand, I am elated our nation's highest legal authority has ruled
that all lesbians and gay men in America now have the fundamental
freedom to marry the people they love. On the other hand, I am somewhat
disappointed that the Supreme Court did not provide a stronger legal basis
for lower courts to strike down discriminatory practices against LGBT
Floridians, which, unfortunately, remain legal in all but a handful of
— Rand Hoch, President and Founder, Palm
Beach County Human Rights Council
Equal rights achieved! This is a milestone for our LGBT community.
Now, to gear up for the nasayers who will still discriminate at the
subtle level; Black Americans have dealt with this for years. It will be
interesting to see how LGBT community handles the discrimination that
exist within environments they approach especially employment. For
instance, will the community roll into the Affirmative Action Plan, as a way
to protect from discrimination? Just a thought. "
— Sonya Pressley, BLAST Assistant Organizer
What are your thoughts
on the SCOTUS decision?
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