Maria Elvira Salazar
via WLRN

The supposedly supportive GOPer voted against HR-5, the Equality Act. A phone call to Salazar’s office made things worse.

Maria E. Salazar was considered (by some) to be a friend of the LGBTQ community. Salazar, who represents Florida’s 27th Congressional District was a “no” vote on the Equality Act.

Three Republicans voted in favor of the Equality Act: Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania along with Katko and Reed, both representing New York.

Salazar succeeded Democrat, Donna Shalala who replaced Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen after Ros-Lehtinen retired in 2019.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was a dependable ally. She has a transgender son. Undoubtedly she would have voted in favor of HR 5. (She was an infuriating Republican on all other issues.)

Shalala, by the way, narrowly defeated David Richardson who was then a state representative. Richardson, a CPA, is gay. Were it not for the Clinton Rolodex, Richardson would have prevailed.

The 27th CD includes much of Miami (including “Little Havana”) and all of Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Kendall. The Cuban-American community has traditionally been supportive of LGBTQ equality.

Ms. Salazar has other interests. On February 11, she introduced the critically important Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act. Impressive.

Salazar had no political risk had she voted in favor of HR-5. Presumably she is pandering to Republican leadership.

I spoke with a representative in Salazar’s district office. The answer to my question (Why did she oppose the Equality Act?) was “Representative Salazar is supportive of the LGBT community.” “Then why did she oppose the Equality Act?” “Rep Salazar is in favor of the Fairness for All Act.”

That still did not answer the question. The Fairness for All Act was not on the table and, as the ACLU explained when it was first proposed in 2019, it actually undermined existing protections.

This went around and around for several more minutes. I kept asking the same question prepended with “Why can I not get a straight answer to a simple question?” The excuse was that the Equality Act offends religious liberty.

Representative Maria Elvira Salazar offends me.

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