Feature: Speak OUT May 21, 2014

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What’s an Important Story This Week That Should be Noted

This week SFGN launches “Speak OUT” a weekly feature giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT leaders. This week we asked them for their thoughts on an important news story this week.

Below are some of their answers:

“The anti-gay Hindu Nationalist Party in India recently took power in a landslide election. As we all begin to feel assured that full equality for the LGBTQ community will soon be a reality in this country, our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are facing significant dangers including physical abuse. We must be cognizant of our risk and continue to demand equality for all - locally, nationally and worldwide. What we have accomplished since Stonewall, can be taken away from us in one election.”

—   Anthony Timiraos, CEO/President, OUR Fund

“There is a backlash simmering on why straight people should be penalized for saying they object to gay and transgender people, such as Michael Sam and Conchita Wurst, expressing themselves in public. What's most disturbing to me is the heterosexism of some gay people who feel Sam went too far in kissing his boyfriend on ESPN. We need more gay and lesbian public displays of affection, not fewer, if we're ever going to get past the "gross" response of some sheltered heterosexuals. Normal is as normal does.”

— Brian McNaught, noted columnist, author and LGBT activist

“Arkansas began issuing marriage licenses to same-couples and the sky did not fall. Is Florida waiting until hell freezes over…?”

— Dean Trantalis, noted attorney and Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner

“The battle that has been going on in Houston, TX over the attempt by openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker to get an equal rights ordinance passed that would benefit so many people from all walks of life. It should be no-brainer, but it is being opposed by those abusing religion and the Bible to perpetuate lies and discrimination against LGBT people. I am so proud of Christians like those from Resurrection MCC in Houston who are courageously bringing a Christian voice of inclusion and justice to the fight!”

—   Lea Brown, Senior Pastor, MCC of the Palm Beaches

“[Recently] we learned that Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice Johnson, whose wife was killed by a suicide bomber while fighting in Afghanistan, will receive the same survivor benefits that heterosexual married couples are entitled to, along with retroactive pay. Tracy Dice Johnson and her deceased wife Donna Johnson, who was also an ‘outspoken’ LGBT Activist, are the first same-sex couple to suffer a casualty after the 2011 repeal of ‘Don't Ask Don't Tell.’ This story is important because it shows yet another huge progress made in the fight for full equality for LGBT Americans, and it also shows how we as an LGBT community can work hard to bring about positive changes to our society.”

— John Paul Alvarez, educator, historian, and Democratic candidate for Florida House District 100

“Miami Beach has touched the hearts of many LGBT visitors. Now that Gay Marriage is legal in their home state of MN. Andy & Nick are getting married! They sent a Ziploc bag for me to fill with "Miami Beach “sand that will be sprinkled down the aisle on wedding day!”

— Lori Lynch, Executive Director, LGBT Visitor Center of Miami Beach

“[Recently] the CDC reported that Syphilis has returned with a vengeance in the gay community with cases more than doubling among gay and bisexual men since the year 2000. Needless to say the gay community has become complacent in their duty to not only safeguard themselves, but also others from not only HIV/AIDS, but other sexually transmitted diseases. Yes, people are living longer due to new drugs, but do you really want to be on a daily drug regime, deal with the side effects, or risk getting an STD? It’s a piece of rubber people and it can save your life…use it”

— Terry DeCarlo, Director of Development & Public Relations for the Broward House

“On Wednesday evening, SAVE will sponsor "Springtime Freedom," an anti-bullying showcase at Homestead Senior High organized by students and overseen by teacher Aaron Bos-lun. The show begins at 5:30 p.m. and costs $5 for adults and $2 for students, with all proceeds benefiting Gay-Straight Alliances at Homestead High, Miami Central High, Miami Edison High, and Miami Northwestern High. The showcase will also feature an appearance by former California schoolteacher Erin Gruwell of Freedom Writers fame.”

— Tony Lima, Executive Director of SAVE

ChemSex Is Becoming More Common Among Young Gay Men. For most, experimenting with chem sex the fear of being judged by your sex partner  can be wiped away, but with that comes an incredible loss of inhibition which makes unprotected sex and possible exposure to STDs higher, with rates rising in the younger demographic it's something the community should be educated on. Visit us at Facebook.com/impulseFTL for the full article.
— A.J. Alegria, President of Impulse Group - Fort Lauderdale

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you know of a LGBT community leader that you believe should be a part of this list.

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