Pride Fort Lauderdale will be hosting its second Pride Honors event of the year on June 1.
The prestigious Pride Honors awards is a series of events presented several times throughout the year recognizing individuals who have put work into serving and furthering the causes of the LGBT community and its allies.
The event will take place at The Pride Center at Equality Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., presented by Dignity Memorial, and will honor both Judge Lisa Porter and Judge Robert Lee.
These judges are not only accomplished in their careers, but they are avid supporters of the LGBT community. Additionally they are both out members of the LGBT community. Also of note, they were one of the first judges to marry gay and lesbian couples the day it became legal in Florida.
"I am grateful that my service as a judge is appreciated and I have been able to serve," Judge Porter said. "I am humbled to be chosen for this award."
When asked how did it feel to have the honor of marrying the first gay couples in South Florida, Judge Porter said "the energy in the room was palpable. So many couples waited so long [for] a right that had been denied to them for so long. I was proud to be a part of this moment in history."
Judge Robert Lee shared similar sentiments. "Honestly, it was more emotional than I thought it would be — I had a sudden moment when I couldn't believe that I was actually presiding over a wedding of a same-sex couple right in the courthouse. A few tears were shed, including my own."
In regards to the Pride Honors Awards, Judge Lee is "hopeful that it inspires others to become involved and stay involved on some level. Continue and don't become complacent — there's always something you can do."
In short, the Pride Honors event simply “honors those who have helped out the LGBT community,” said Norm Kent, Chair of Pride Fort Lauderdale. “We chose Judge Lisa Porter and Judge Robert Lee because they’re distinguished and have made an impact in the community.”
Earlier this year, Pride South Florida changed its corporate name from Pride One of Broward County to Greater Fort Lauderdale Pride, operating under the Pride Fort Lauderdale name.
According to its by-laws, the purpose of Pride South Florida is to offer cultural and educational programs and activities, which enhance mental and physical health, provide social support, and foster awareness of the past and present contributions of our community as a whole.
At the Pride Honors event, Pride Fort Lauderdale will announce more information regarding the main Fort Lauderdale Pride, which will be a two-day festival at Holiday Park slated for October 10 and 11. These dates are the third for the organization this year. They moved their annual March PrideFest to June and then cancelled that event so as to not conflict with this year’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride taking place June 20.
The Pride Honors Event is free of cost and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.