Nadine Smith

Florida Equality News: September Highlights

Filed By Nadine Smith | September 30, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Buju Banton, Equality Florida, Media General, National Day of Action, National Equality March, Steve Kornell

This Equality Florida update is designed to keep you informed about important elements of our work.

In this month's Update:

1. Florida Venues Canceling Singer Who Calls for the Murder of Gays
2. October 11th: Take Action in D.C. or Take Action Locally
3. Anti-Gay Ad Costs Media General Advertisers
4. Pro-Equality Candidates Win in Key Races
6. Join Us for Our Women For Equality Event
7. Let's Stand Together: Straight Allies For Equality Brunch
8. Equality Florida and Wells Fargo Present: Will Your Love Ones Be Left Out?
9. 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference in West Palm Beach - Nov. 20-22

Florida Venues Canceling Singer Who Calls for the Murder of Gays

buju_cancelled.jpgEarlier this month 5 performances where advertised in Florida for Buju Banton, the notorious singer whose lyrics call for the torture and murder of gay men.

So far, due to an outpouring of opposition from Equality Florida members and community allies, management at the venues in Tampa and Orlando have canceled; the Tallahassee event in now listed as withdrawn on the website; Jacksonville management has not responded and Toyota has dropped it's sponsorship of the Miami event.

The Florida concert cancellations were announced following grassroots education and outreach efforts from a number of organizations and individuals across the state and across the country. The outreach is part of a national campaign responding to the murderous lyrics.

One Utah promoter described the decision to cancel, "When initially scheduling the Buju Banton event, we were unaware of his hateful anti-gay message. Upon further review, Urban Lounge has decided to cancel the event."

Here's how you can help:

1. Sign the petition calling for the venue to cancel
2. Email decision-makers individually

Oct 11th: Take Action in D.C. or Take Action Locally

On September 21st, I released this statement announcing my co-chairing of the upcoming National Equality March in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11th as a call to action.

Click here to read my letter in its entirety.

We stand at the brink, at a moment of unprecedented possibility in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality across America.

All our legislative victories so far have come at the state and local level where we have secured anti-discrimination laws, hate crimes provisions, school bullying prevention measures and domestic partner protections and now, in six states, marriage recognition.

While have seen Supreme Court victories and have defended against some federal legislative attacks, in the 40 years since Stonewall, not a single piece of federal legislation has passed that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

For the first time in our lifetimes, that is about to change.

For decades, passage of pro-equality legislation has been blocked in Washington. But now, because of the investment in state and local work, we increasingly see lawmakers arrive in DC from places where pro-equality legislation has existed for years.

I support Oct. 11th as a National Day of Action because we must bridge the gap between campaign promises and political courage.

For individual participants, a march on Washington can be a chance of a lifetime to feel strong, connected and engaged. It is a place to remember that for all of our technological connectedness, the willingness to get up, go out and show up retains its own unique power in a democracy.

For a movement, a march offers the chance to speak with focused urgency of the need for real change now, and to energize our community for the work that continues back home.

I accepted the role as co-chair of this march because, after years of political gridlock in DC, I believe this is a moment when new energy, new organizing tools and new ideas can infuse this movement and take us to our destination at accelerated speed.

I accepted the role because I believe we must bring together the infrastructure, discipline and experience of seasoned organizers with the energy, impatience and breakthrough thinking of new activists.

Marching for Equality in DC and at Home

Because Oct 11th is also National Coming Out Day, many organizations are already planning major events. In Florida, Orlando's Come Out with Pride event will draw 40,000 while the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will draw tens of thousands for a week of amazing films.

So on Oct. 11th, whether you head to Washington or to a rally in your own hometown, be a part of this National Day of Action.

Click here to take Action in DC or Take Action Locally.

Anti-Gay Ad Costs Media General Advertisers

channel_h8.jpgAdvertisers are pulling their dollars from Media General - parent company of WFLA Ch 8 - in response to the media company's decision to air an hour-long infomercial of hateful anti-gay propaganda on St. Pete's Pride Day this year.

While other stations across the country rejected the hour-long hateful infomercial, Media General/WFLA management made the business decision to take a reported $35,000 while ignoring their responsibility to provide honest, balanced information.

So far, more than 917 EQFL members have reached out to Media General's advertisers asking them to pull their ad dollars in an amount equivalent to the $35,000 they made off the backs of Tampa Bay's LGBT community.

Click here and join us in calling on Media General's advertisers to hold the media company accountable.

Pro-Equality Candidates Win in Key Races

On September 1, Equality Florida endorsed candidate, Steve Kornell took a huge step toward making history in Florida as St. Pete's first openly-LGBT city council member. He overwhelmingly won a three-way Primary Election with 49% of the vote among District 5 voters. Steve now must move on to the general election on November 3.

Wherever you live in Florida, this race matters to you. St. Petersburg is the 4th largest city in Florida and a victory here will have a far-reaching impact on the region and on the state. Click here to learn more about Steve.

On August 25, north Palm Beach County voted to send another LGBT ally to Tallahassee. Endorsed by Equality Florida, Mack Bernard won the special election for House District 84 by 60.5% of the vote. Equality Florida looks forward to working with Representative Bernard in Tallahassee!

Join Us for Our Women For Equality Event

Join Carol Moran and I for an evening of Wine Tasting and hors d'oeuvres at the Fabulous New Moon Bar. Make friends and connect with women who share your passion for Equality!

Click here to purchase tickets for only $15 - all are welcome!

New Moon Bar
Thursday, Oct. 22nd, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m
2440 Wilton Drive, Fort Lauderdale

Let's Stand Together: Straight Allies for Equality Brunch

This event has been organized primarily by heterosexual Floridians who strongly support the struggle of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors for full equality under the law. At this important moment in the history of the LGBT rights movement in this country, we want to take action to do what we can to support the LGBT community.

We will offer a beautiful brunch on the veranda of the Palms Hotel on Miami Beach, with an auction and cash bar. The Palms Hotel & Spa is also generously offering all attendees 50% off on spa treatments that day.

Please join us in taking a stand in this important struggle!

Click here to RSVP
Tickets- $75.00
Sunday, October 18, 2009
11:00am - 2:00pm
The Palms Hotel & Spa, South Beach
3025 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL

RSVP required by Monday, October 12th.

Equality Florida and Wells Fargo Present: Will Your Love Ones Be Left Out?

Please join us for one of our upcoming LEGACY OF EQUALITY SOCIETY Founding Members Events. This is our small way of thanking you for your intention of giving to our organization in your will or in your broader estate plan.
In addition to honoring each of you who have already made this important commitment to our organization, each event will be an opportunity to discuss the broader financial concerns of the GLBT Community - in turn, making your future gift go further!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009: 8:00-9:30am
Click here to RSVP

Wednesday, October 14, 2009: 6-8pm
Click here to RSVP

Franklin Templeton Building
140 - North entrance 1st floor - Room B 100
Fountain Parkway
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Light refreshments will be served

Topics will include:

* Gifting Techniques and Strategies in coordination with specific non-profit organizations
* Planning techniques to protect you and your partner where the law leaves you out
* Minimizing Federal Estate, Inheritance and Gift Taxes (both during life and upon death)
* Replacement of Lost Benefits (Social Security, Pensions, etc.)
* Ensure YOUR assets pass to the people YOU choose
* Spousal v. Non-Spousal Beneficiaries: the Major Difference

2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference in West Palm Beach - Nov. 20-22

Please join Equality Florida, Soulforce and other advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality at the Anti-Heterosexism Conference in West Palm Beach - Nov. 20-22. The conference is open to everyone and offers a range of in-depth workshops designed to teach attendees how to challenge the harmful affects of heterosexism, reparative therapy, ex-gay ministries and other efforts to change people's sexual orientation.

Heterosexism is the widespread assumption that heterosexual relationships are somehow superior to same-sex relationships, which leads to all kinds of abuse and discrimination against LGBT people.

Keynote speakers for the conference include Dr. Sylvia Rue, Interim Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, Rev. Deborah L. Johnson of Inner Light Ministries, and Dr. Jack Drescher, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

The conference is being held the same weekend as a dangerous "ex-gay ministries" conference in West Palm Beach and will serve to counter the harmful message coming from that effort.

Joining Equality Florida and Soulforce as co-sponsors of the conference are Truth Wins Out, the National Black Justice Coalition, Beyond Ex-Gay, and Box Turtle Bulletin.

Click here for more information on the conference.

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