SAVE, Miami’s longest serving LGBT rights group, partnered with Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida to host Andrew Gillum’s rally on Monday, Sept. 24 at the CIC in Miami. All three organizations announced their endorsement of Gillum.
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign spoke first, “We need his leadership in the state of Florida, especially at the center of a national epidemic of violence targeting transgender women, mostly transgender women of color.
He noted that Ron DeSantis has spent the majority of his congressional career attacking LGBT rights, whereas Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has been a steadfast ally and advocate for Florida’s LGBT community. He fought to expand domestic partner benefits for city employees when he was a city commissioner.
Griffin added, “DeSantis is leading a campaign that [spreads] hate and fear, but let me be clear today. The days of attacking LGBTQ people to stir up votes is over!”
DeSantis has continued to score terribly on the HRC’s congressional scorecard – a way to track Members of Congress’ voting history for pro-equality policies.
“The Human Rights Campaign is so proud to endorse today, Andrew Gillum for the next governor of Florida! [Gillum] is the only candidate that will boldly lead this state forward and leave no one behind,” Griffin said. “It is now my honor to introduce the next Governor of this great state of Florida, Andrew Gillum.”
Gillum, who is an eloquent speaker, exudes charisma and has a winning smile.
“My brother, who I was closest to growing up came out to our family, and had to literally move across the country before he could feel accepted again. He’s in the state of California now, and I will tell you that it was a difficult time for all of us, to see my brother leave us. But I want you to know something – we’re going to create a state where people don’t have to flee to feel important and accepted. We are going to create a state where you can be in your own skin, love who you want to love, be welcomed, be supported and be protected under the color of the law.”
The room exploded into a roar of approval and excitement.
“Unfortunately, here in the state of Florida, we still don’t have all the protections that we deserve – for all Floridians. It is still legally allowed in state of Florida to fire someone because of who they love, how they identify, and given the fact that this state is one of the most richly diverse [states] around, that kind of policy has no place in the state of Florida. And when we win this race for governor, we are going to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act to make sure that we protect all people here!”
Nadine, CEO of Equality Florida was the last to speak.
“Ron DeSantis has embraced the anti-LGBT extremist agenda of Donald Trump, and Gillum stands with us to protect marriage equality and secure statewide nondiscrimination protections. In Florida, elections are won or lost by 100,000 votes or less. We intend to deliver that margin for our champion, Andrew Gillum.”
The election will take place Novembe 6.