• Fort Lauderdale Named LGBT Destination of the Year

    Fort Lauderdale was recently named “Destination of the Year” by the 2014 ManAboutWorld Editors’ Choice Awards, which recognizes the very best in gay travel. Fort Lauderdale is also the city with the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the U.S.

  • Funding Arts Broward Awards $19,000 to Local LGBT Organizations

    Non-profit arts organization Funding Arts Broward (FAB!) recently awarded more than two dozen local groups with art grants as high as $12,500. Three LGBT organizations were among the recipients.

  • Gay Man Files Bias Complaint Against D.C. Hospital

    Arlington, Va., resident Jonathan Schafer filed a complaint last week with the D.C. Office of Human Rights charging that Psychiatric Institute of Washington, a psychiatric hospital, subjected him to anti-gay discrimination in the way it treated him as a patient.

  • Hayley Kiyoko wins VMA, celebrates ‘20-GAY-teen

    Dressed in a black lace dress, hoop-earrings and tons of unapologetic queer pride, pop artist Hayley Kiyoko jumped up and down as she accepted a Video Music Award and yelled “20-GAY-TEEN” — over and over. 

  • Hong Kong Woman Sues Government to Enter Civil Partnership With Her Partner

    A woman in Hong Kong known as Mk is suing the government for its ban on civil partnerships, which is a legally recognized bond similar to marriage between two people of the same sex.

  • How Did the LGBT Candidates Fare on Election Night: First LGBT gov. elected to office

    Kate Brown became the first openly LGBT person to be elected governor, winning the office in Oregon November 8. Elsewhere in the nation, there were only a few scattered “firsts” to be celebrated, and 61 percent of 188 openly LGBT candidates this year won their races.

  • How Many Queer People Voted for Trump?

    (OFO) Exit polling done by the New York Times reveals just how much of the queer vote Donald Trump was able to capture.

  • Iranian Pop Icon Releases Song About Gay Love

    Iranian pop star Googoosh has released a video that addresses homosexual love - a major gesture by one of the country’s top cultural figures in exile - causing a stir in the Islamic republic, where the topic is taboo and being convicted of homosexuality can carry the death penalty.

  • Jason Shervinski Brings Kickball, Dodgeball and More to Fort Lauderdale

    Jason Shervinski isn’t trying to tell you what to do. But if he had his way, you’d get up off the couch and come make some new friends.

  • Judge Blocks Part Of Mississippi LGBT Marriage Law

    (AP) A federal judge ruled Monday that Mississippi clerks cannot cite their own religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

  • Juliette Love, A Friend Indeed

    South Florida’s LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities suffered a great loss when Juliette Love, renowned activist and board member of the Pride Center at Equality Park, died on May 4 after a brave struggle with cancer. Though Love was a straight woman, her capacity for compassion and love, especially for those affected by HIV or AIDS, made her a valued and beloved friend of the LGBT community.

  • Legal Tips for Gay Couples

    A friend of mine who is planning a same-sex wedding that my wife and I are hosting, recently asked me about the legal implications of the marriage, considering that it will not be legally recognized in Florida. I prepared some tips for him and wanted to share them.

    • Federal Taxes:For federal tax purposes, the IRS recognizes same-sex marriages that are valid where they are performed, even if the married couple resides in a state that doesn’t recognize the marriage. So for tax purposes, if a gay couple is married somewhere where the marriage is valid and legally recognized, they are treated as married even if they live in Florida.
    • Healthcare Proxies/Hospital Visitation Authorizations:This is one of the most important items and all same-sex couples should have these. These documents help ensure that same-sex couples are treated more equally to heterosexual couples when medical care is involved. Because the need for these documents will often arise unexpectedly, it is important for a couple to have them prepared before a crisis occurs. This way, the couple is prepared should an emergency take place and each partner has the legal right to be involved, make decisions and protect the other.
    • Where to Sue or be Sued?If you’re being sued or need to sue someone, it is probably best to do so in federal court. Heterosexual spouses enjoy a marital privilege, which is comparable to the more commonly known attorney-client privilege. Confidential communications between the spouses are protected.In Florida same-sex spouses, even if married somewhere that recognizes gay marriage, can’t take advantage of marital privilege in state court. As a result, in state court, another party may be able to ask about conversations held between the same sex-spouses (which they could not do with heterosexual spouses). Same-sex spouses have a better chance of being treated like heterosexual spouses on the issue of the marital privilege in federal court than state court in Florida.
    • What if My Spouse/Partner is Injured or Dies?Heterosexual spouses have direct claims against a person who negligently or intentionally injures their spouse in a claim called “loss of consortium.” Because Florida doesn’t recognize gay marriage, this claim is not available to same-sex spouses or domestic partners. However, same-sex partners may be able to assert a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress if they suffer a physical injury as a result of emotional distress from witnessing the death or injury of their partner. This claim may not be successful in the Third or Fourth Districts (Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties) as these courts have found that a “legal relationship” is required to maintain such a claim. The Florida Supreme Court hasn’t yet decided this issue, but it should allow such a claim as its previous decisions have only required a “close personal relationship,” which is clearly met by a same-sex couple.
    • Cohabitation Agreements:While Florida doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, cohabitation agreements or domestic partner agreements are valid. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, such an agreement may set layout spouse/partner responsibilities and provide for a division of the spouses/partners’ property and provide for financial support of the spouses/partners. These agreements make sure that each partner is protected in the event of a divorce or separation. As Florida’s division of property laws that apply to heterosexual marriages will not apply to same-sex couples, early planning is essential to protect both partners.
    • Durable Power of Attorney:As a parallel to the healthcare proxy, which addresses medical decisions, this document enables a spouse/partner to handle legal and financial affairs of the other in the event the other spouse/partner becomes incapacitated.
    • Will and Estate Planning:These are important for anyone to ensure assets are distributed the way they desire upon their death. However, by law, a surviving heterosexual spouse receives a certain percentage if there is no will and is entitled to what is called an “elective share” even where there is. Because same-sex couples cannot take advantage of these provisions, it is essential that they make a plan for the distribution of their property upon their death.
    • Adoption:Thankfully, Florida’s ban on gay adoptions has been overturned, but many legal issues still exist. Where one member of a same-sex couple is the biological or legal parent of a child and the other is not, a second-parent adoption is recommended to ensure that both partners have equal parental rights with respect to the child. There are specific legal requirements in Florida (and elsewhere) to accomplish this. If a second parent adoption is not possible or wanted, then a co-parenting agreement, which spells out the legal rights and responsibilities of each parent, should be entered. If you’re planning to adopt a child from another country, you may want to consider whether to proceed with a same-sex marriage, as some countries prohibit gay couples to adopt.

    While not intended to be comprehensive, these tips should be most helpful.

    Ari J. Glazer is a partner in the law firm Moskowitz, Mandell, Salim and Simowitz, P.A in Fort Lauderdale and has been practicing law for 17 years. His practice focuses mainly on commercial litigation and appeals. He lives in South Florida with his wife Stephanie and rescue dog Babka.

  • LGBT Activists View Obama as Staunch Champion of Their Cause

    It was a new look for the White House, bathed in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage nationwide.

  • LGBT Candidates Could Produce Rainbow Wave in November

    With the 2018 congressional mid-terms fast approaching, a record number of LGBT candidates are seeking election to all levels of government ranging from federal office to state attorney general, many under a banner of challenging President Trump.

  • LGBT Clergy Tackle Tough Issues Ahead of Trump Presidency

    (CNN) Transgender rights. Same-sex marriage. Federal protections against discrimination.

  • LGBT life front and center on historically black college campuses

    (WCT) Many Voices, a Black church movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) justice, on May 5 launched a first-of-its-kind video campaign in partnership with Morgan State University (MSU), to increase awareness about LGBTQ life on historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses, and the ways in which it is shaped by the Black Church tradition. HBCUs have not kept pace with other colleges and universities in developing welcoming environments for LGBT students, though that trend has been recently changing.

  • LGBT Media Conference to Take Place in Orlando

    LGBT journalists, bloggers, and other professionals will gather March 23-26 in Orlando for the 8th annual #LGBTMedia convention. The media members who most proudly cover the LGBT community plan to convene on March 23 at Orlando’s Rosen Centre with the specific goal of better informing each other on the current topics that most prominently impact the LGBT community. 

  • Muslim and LGBT Communities Come Together in Wilton Manors

    Four days after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, more than a hundred South Florida residents joined forces at a vigil and rally to honor the 49 victims of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

  • NBC News launches new LGBTQ website NBC OUT

    (WO) NBC is coming out!

  • New Findings Reveal Health, Aging Experiences of LGBT Older Adults Across Nation

    (EDGE) In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the University of Washington's School of Social Work have released new findings this month on the health and aging of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults in the U.S.