Nan Rich has always believed in fairness and equality for all. Unlike many politicians she didn’t have to evolve on the issues important to the LGBT community. She was always there.

“I was taught [growing up] that there should be opportunity and fairness for all people,” she said. “Those were the values that I was taught as child [in my household] and my synagogue.”

It was her husband’s flooring business though that really opened her up to the struggles of the LGBT community.

"In the course of that business, we became friends with a lot of people who are gay and I saw them as people with the same desires and wants as we all have. We’re all the same,” she said. “And it’s those experiences that helped formulate my values over the years.”

As a state legislator Rich recalls the first time she introduced a bill in Florida that would overturn the ban on gay adoptions – she was the only democrat standing at the press conference. Determined, every year she kept introducing the same legislation knowing it would fail in the Republican-dominated legislature.

Wilton manors Commissioner Julie Carson added, “Many have partnered with the LGBT community in our struggle for equality, but Senator Nan Rich courageously stood for our community before we were able to do so on our own! As we were still learning to comfortably walk in political shoes, Nan Rich was already advocating for gay adoption rights; marriage equality; and reproductive freedom. As an ally to the LGBT community, my friend Nan Rich - daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, senator, and activist - has never abandoned the cause of making this world a better place for all of us to live.”