The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida has announced the expansion of its statewide LGBT Advocacy Project with the addition of legal and field staff in its Tampa and Miami offices. The ACLU of Florida works daily in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Robert Rosenwald, director of the ACLU of Florida's LGBT Advocacy Project, said in a press statement:
Our LGBT Advocacy Project has worked hard for the past two years to become a leading statewide gay rights organization. We are thrilled to expand our staff so we can help more gay, lesbian, and transgender Floridians achieve full citizenship.
According to the press release, there are many great additions to the ACLU of Florida's LGBT Project.
Shelbi Day joins the ACLU of Florida's LGBT Advocacy Project as a staff attorney based in the ACLU of Florida's West Central Florida regional office, located in Tampa. She joins the ACLU after working for over a year as a staff attorney in the Southern Regional Office of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where she advocated on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients and their families through litigation, public education and outreach, and public policy advocacy.
"We're happy to welcome Shelbi and her expertise to the ACLU of Florida's LGBT Advocacy Project. Her legal skills will greatly enhance our efforts to significantly affect the lives of LGBT people in our state," said Randall Marshall, Legal Director of the ACLU of Florida.
In addition, Dave Ganim recently joined the LGBT Advocacy Project as statewide field coordinator working on our ballot initiative fighting the proposed Constitutional Amendment 2. Dave will focus on marshalling the ACLU of Florida's 30,000+ members and supporters to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment that claims to ban gay marriage, but in reality threatens to take away benefits and basic protection such as hospital visitation from all unmarried couples, whether gay or straight.
The ACLU of Florida's LGBT Project serves Florida's statewide LGBT community through litigation, public education, and grass roots advocacy. The Project has enjoyed victories, both legal and political, since its inception in December 2005. Project lawyers have prevailed in court, protecting the right of students to form a gay-straight alliance in Okeechobee County schools, the right to come out and to advocate for the rights of gay students in Holmes County schools, and the right of transgender students to a safe and secure education in Santa Rosa County Schools.
On the legislative front, the LGBT Advocacy Project has taken a leading role in ensuring that Florida's representatives know that fair-minded heterosexual Floridians stand united with the LGBT community, seeking repeal of Florida's ban on gay adoption, defeat of the proposed constitutional amendment on marriage, and passage of basic protection for LGBT students and adults from harassment and discrimination.
At the local level, LGBT Advocacy Project volunteers have successfully helped secure passage of Miami-Dade County's new domestic partner registry ordinance and Pinellas County's new law banning discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
The ACLU does amazing work here in Florida and around the country. I am excited to see the focus on LGBT advocacy in our state and look forward to more victories!
For additional information, go to: www.aclufl.org.