Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to Pam Bondi

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I’ve watched with great interest the coverage regarding the interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. I greatly appreciate the fact you are in Orlando to lend a voice to the victims of the horrific and tragic event in Orlando.

However, I was dismayed by the response you offered to Mr. Cooper regarding your efforts in your relentless fight against the LGBT community. I am one of the plaintiffs who was part of the suit to demand my marriage to my loving husband be recognized by Florida.

Instead of following the lead of other Attorneys General, you decided to fight the case. You had the opportunity as Governor Lawton Chiles once did in saying the state is on the wrong side of history and unable to defend the discriminatory measure in our constitution.

Worse, as the Attorney General of Florida, you declared that gay Floridians like my husband and me posed great harm. Those aren’t my words, those are yours because it was done under your control and supervision. You cannot deflect responsibility to one of your lawyers as you said in the interview.

More importantly though, you are right about one thing. These days should be about paying tribute to the victims who were targeted because they were gay. I cannot think of a better way to recognize their loving lives than by demanding action that the days of discrimination in our state are over.

You had the opportunity to tell Anderson Cooper on live television that the state was wrong for declaring gay Floridians were a harm, and to undo the pain, you would be a leading voice in the call for a statewide non-discrimination bill being adopted. You chose instead to say your website featured an image of clasped hands that in fact did not. You chose to deflect once again. Rather than saying times need to change, you attempted to make yourself a “victim.”

That is truly unbelievable.

I can only believe that your heart is guided by love, but your acts and words show a different voice. Don’t fight CNN or Anderson Cooper, use your leadership to draw attention to the fact that surviving LGBT Floridians who are fighting for their lives from this senseless tragedy and whose names are being shared publicly could be legally fired because of who they are. My hope is that happens to no one, but the law unfortunately offers no protections.

Join our cause to make Florida a more fair and just state by putting action to the words you said yesterday on CNN.

A heart-broken, proud and hopeful Floridian, I am,

 

 — Christian Ulvert


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