Equality Florida

  • AG Commissioner Nikki Fried to Be Honored By Equality Florida

    Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will be the recipient of the Equality Florida’s Voice of Equality Award at the organization’s 17th Annual Broward Gala Saturday, Nov. 9. 

  • An Open Letter to Mayor Jack Seiler

    Dear Mayor Seiler,

    If I was invited to share the stage with someone who called your marriage a fraud, described your children as illegitimate and endangered by your presence, and who advocated that you should be fired, denied housing or denied service at a restaurant or other public accommodation, I can tell you without hesitation that I would decline the invitation and denounce those who presumed my consent in doing you harm.

    Equality Florida joins many others in asking you not to lend the credibility of your office to legitimize someone with a long history of advocating harm to the LGBT families and our community, many of whom live in your city.

    I am aware that you did not organize the event. I know you did not select the speaker. You have told me directly that you had no knowledge of his history and do not share the abhorrent views espoused by his organization. Consequently, you have said that the criticism feels unfair to you. I understand. I’ve yet to meet the person who enjoys being called out publicly.

    But the event is the called the “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast,” and your presence is sought because it lends the credibility of your office to the gathering.

    You have asked that I hear what you say at the breakfast to know your heart on these matters. I have no doubt you will invoke a need for unity, respect, and civility. I have no doubt Mr. Daly will issue a similar call. Given the outrage that has followed the announcement of him as speaker, I’d be shocked if he served up any of the incendiary rhetoric he has used previously.

    But the problem isn’t the words that will be uttered on that day under heavy scrutiny. It is the words leveled routinely over decades that have done great harm. It is Mr. Daly and his organization’s long history of advocating positions that strip LGBT people of legal protections, deny our children legal recognition and reinforce animosities that lead to harassment, discrimination, and violence.

    You say you often attend events with people with whom you disagree. I do too. In fact, I often speak with people from all walks of life including politicians and faith leaders with whom I disagree. Some of the richest conversations have come from honest exchanges in the spirit of understanding. If you want to convene a true community dialogue, Equality Florida will be happy to assist. But this event is not that.

    I am certain that there are some people whose beliefs or behaviors you find so abhorrent that you would never allow them to be a part of a prayer breakfast that bears your title and imprimatur. Which raises the question, what criteria are you using? How much pain and suffering must someone inflict, how much bigotry must they espouse, how many people must they hurt before you would refuse to participate with them?

    When it comes to the LGBT community Mr. Daly’s record and that of Focus on the Family are consistently atrocious.

    Mr. Daly has said that marriage equality is a threat to civilization and that two loving gay parents add no value to parenting. He has built a career out of making the world more discriminatory and more dangerous for millions of LGBT people across the globe, particularly children, through his endorsement of dangerous and discredited, psychologically abusive practice called conversion therapy. 

    Of late, I am told Mr. Daly has softened the tenor of his rhetoric but has not renounced his anti-LGBT positions or political aims to deny or take away basic legal protections. That gentler language may be a sincere step toward a better path or a PR stunt in an environment where anti-LGBT rhetoric doesn’t play as well. Either way, more polite language does not perfume over the stench of discrimination any more than a robber saying “Thank you” after snatching your wallet would lessen the violation.

    How can you, in good conscience, share a platform with someone who advocates harm to your LGBT constituents? Can you truly not understand the deep sense of betrayal felt by those who entrust you to defend their right to be treated with dignity and respect and equality under the law?

    That you did not plan the event, invite the speaker or know the virulently anti-LGBT reputation are insufficient to absolve you of responsibility for providing visibility and, by proximity, lending the credibility of your office to this organization’s history of harm.

    I hope on Friday you will reflect on the path to repair the damage.

    — Nadine Smith, Executive Director
    Equality Florida


  • Column: Equality Advances As Legislative Session Continues 

    Last week more than 100 excited grassroots activists filled the halls of the Capitol to meet face-to-face with legislators during Equality Florida’s Lobby Days.

  • Column: Equality Florida’s Top Stories of 2014

  • Column: Tremendous Strides Made, Enduring Challenges Remain for our LGBTQ Community in the 2019 Legislative Session 

    Florida’s legislative session has been called “the 60 most dangerous days of the year” and 2019 has been no exception.   We’ve seen extreme legislation pass but we’ve also celebrated some incredible victories and historic progress as well. 

  • Community Plans ‘Love Lives Here’ Event at Florida Holocaust Museum

    The Mayor of St. Petersburg, along with community leaders and faith organizations, is standing up against hate crime with the event “Love Lives Here,” being held in the Florida Holocaust Museum. 

  • Equality Florida Action PAC Endorses Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer for Re-Election

    (WM) Equality Florida Action PAC endorsed the re-election of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in a Facebook post Aug. 22.

  • Equality Florida Cancels Upcoming South Florida Events Amid Coronavirus Panic

    Equality Florida announced Thursday they were cancelling all three of their upcoming fundraisers in South Florida including the Equality Florida Palm Beach Brunch (March 22); the Equality Florida Miami Celebration (March 28); and the Equality Florida Key West Celebration (April 4).

  • Equality Florida Declares War on Non-Discrimination Workplace Bill

    Equality Florida launched a full scale social media attack on a bill that will protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace because it does not include public accommodations.

  • Equality Florida Headed to Courts for Gay Marriage

    Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith said the State’s largest civil rights organization would be in court next year as they seek to achieve ambitious goals for the future.

  • Equality Florida Hosts First PBC Reception

    On Wednesday, Feb 12, Equality Florida Institute will hold its first Annual Palm Beach Reception at 6:30 p.m. at Northern Trust, 11301 U.S. Highway One in North Palm Beach.

  • Equality Florida Launches #ForThe49 Campaign

    Nearly a month has passed since 49 people were shot dead at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. As the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, families of victims and survivors are continuing to cope with this tragedy.

  • Equality Florida Opens Office in Wilton Manors


    Alejandro Acosta has worked for Equality Florida out of his home in Fort Lauderdale for a while now. But Acosta, Equality Florida’s HIV project coordinator, is glad to be in his organization’s new office in Wilton Manors.

  • Equality Florida Pushes No NRA Money Initiative

    Equality Florida has taken aim at another advocacy organization: the National Rifle Association.

  • Equality Florida Seeks LGBT Youth For Workshop, art Show

    (WM)Equality Florida has announced two opportunities for young LGBT artists to showcase their talents.

  • Equality Florida Sounds Alarm Over Preemption Bill 

    Equality Florida, the only statewide LGBT rights group, is sounding an alarm over HB 3, which could threaten local LGBT rights protections if passed.

  • Equality Florida’s Brandon Wolf named a grand marshal for Capital Pride

    (WM) Capital Pride, a nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. that produces a Trans Pride and Pride Celebration in the nation’s capital each year, named Central Florida activist Brandon Wolf among its list of grand marshals for this year’s Pride parade.

  • Few Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Issued in North Dakota

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — There hasn't been a big rush to wedlock by same-sex couples in North Dakota since the state's ban on gay marriage became moot last summer, and officials say fear of discrimination is a reason.

  • Florida Moves To Protect LGBTQ Youth

    In the aftermath of one the worst mass killings in U.S. history, Florida is taking the necessary steps to care for a vulnerable group of people.

  • Guest Column: Lauren Baer Will Prove Lightning Strikes Twice

    "You gotta give them hope." Isn’t that what Harvey Milk said?

    Elaine Noble, a dear friend of mine, chuckled when I told her the news. Lauren Baer of Palm Beach Gardens won her primary, and proudly accepted the win, with her spouse Emily, smiling at her side, then a kiss.