Equality Florida

Equality Florida has been beating back red state anti-LGBT idiocy all year in spite of a Republican controlled legislature. EQFL was also instrumental in achieving marriage equality in Florida. People don’t realize that most of our state is more like neighboring Alabama, than what tourists encounter in the metropolitan areas of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando.

Florida is an asylum of glazed-eye, whacked out, pitchfork and torch carrying, Bible thumping, Republican religious fundamentalists. We just try to keep it reasonably quiet so that they don’t scare off the tourists. It’s kind of like being circumspect over the potential for a gator coming out of the water hazard on the ninth hole at Doral Country Club.

As the legislative session comes to a close, two more toxic bills are dead in the water:

  • HB 583, a Transgender Discrimination Bill, sought to criminalize transgender Floridians by banning them from single-sex bathrooms and facilities not corresponding to their assigned sex at birth.
  • HB 7111, a Discriminatory Adoption Bill, would have worked against the needs of vulnerable kids by permitting taxpayer-funded adoption agencies (contracted to do the work of the state) to assert religious or personal objections to turn away otherwise qualified prospective gay or lesbian parents.

Nadine Smith

Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, would probably be a senior officer in the United States Air Force today (Col. Smith has a nice ring to it) were it not for the passage of Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell which caused her to leave the Air Force Academy. The Air Force’s loss is our gain. Smith is one of the smartest and best organized leaders in the gay community. And her team gets results.

Equality Florida faces fierce opposition from conservative Christian groups that are determined, seasoned and well funded. Among these organizations are Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel (headquartered in Orlando) and John Stemberger’s Florida Family Policy Counsel.

Thanks to Equality Florida kids being raised by gay couples now have married parents. Gay children can look to a brighter future and transgender citizens are becoming less isolated.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.