BidVertiser ClickADu HilltopAds

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s before he became Broward’s Public Defender, Howard Finkelstein witnessed the horrific treatment gays and lesbians received at the hands of law enforcement officials.

 “They used to make our clients dress in space suits in the court house. Guards would yell out ‘AIDS patient coming.’ They experienced horrific deaths and were forced to die alone without even the simplest human touch to sooth their fear and pain. It was the most god-awful thing I have ever seen.”

Ever since that moment, he says his heart was linked to the LGBT community. “Their pain changed me.”

Nowadays, he says he thankful many young people don’t know what their elders went through. “It fills my heart with such joy that they really don’t understand the hatred. I don’t mean it’s ancient history. We have come so far, but we can’t forget where we’ve been.”

Attorney Norm Kent, publisher of SFGN, has seen first-hand how Finkelstein runs the Public Defender’s office. “From his equal hiring practices at the public defender’s office to his lifelong commitment to individual rights, and his intolerance of discrimination he has been an exceptional spokesperson and advocate for the decency and dignity of the LGBT community.”