Attacks on LGBT, reproductive rights cannot be separated

By : Carlos Smith
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Carlos Smith

Carlos Smith

The nature of reproductive freedom in America – and the movement that secured it – has always been about much more than a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. It encompasses the broader right of all individuals to live their private lives free from intrusion or judgment by government and politicians. It’s a broader advocacy of sexual life free from reproductive function. That’s why support for reproductive rights and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality go hand in hand.

It should shock no one that many of the same politicians seeking to control women’s bodies are also the ones trying to turn back the clock on LGBT equality. For decades, the usual right-wing agendas and organizations that have fought to limit and restrict reproductive choice, have also fought to pass laws that impose traditional definitions of gender, sexuality, family and marriage onto others. In Florida, these familiar intrusions into our private lives are about to be renewed. That’s why pro-choice and pro-equality coalitions must work together to stop our opponents from rolling back our progress.

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Florida couples ask judge for immediate birth certificates

By : Jamie Hyman
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Tallahassee – The same-sex couples fighting Florida’s refusal to add both parents’ names to their children’s birth certificates are asking the court to immediately move forward and issue the proper paperwork.

Attorneys for Debbie and Kari Chin of St. Petersburg and Yadira Arenas and Alma Vazquez of Winter Haven filed a request for temporary injunction Oct. 16.

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Fla.’s 1st married same-sex couple expecting twins

By : Staff Report
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Miami – The first same-sex couple legally married in the state of Florida have something new to celebrate.

Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello announced Feb. 17 that they are pregnant with twins, due in August. 

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President Obama addresses LGBT issues in 2015 State of the Union

By : Jamie Hyman
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President Barak Obama mentioned LGBT and marriage equality several times in last night’s 2015 State of the Union address, mostly in the context of applauding recent gains.

First, President Obama placed LGBT rights in the context of human dignity and safety:

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Marriage equality plaintiff couple to attend State of the Union

By : Jamie Hyman
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Hollywood – One of the couples who fought in court for marriage equality will attend the State of the Union address in Washington D.C. Jan. 20.

Todd and Jeff Delmay of Hollywood were among six South Florida plaintiff couples, who along with Equality Florida Institute, sued for the right to obtain marriage licenses. Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage ended Jan. 6, but some Miami-area couples married earlier, including the Delmays, who tied the knot Jan. 5.

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First same-sex couples legally marry in Florida

By : Jamie Hyman
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Marriage equality is officially a reality in Florida – the first same-sex couples have legally tied the knot.

At about 1 p.m. EST Jan. 5, Miami-Dade District Judge Sarah Zabel married Todd and Jeff Delmay, plus Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello. Both couples are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in January of 2014 by six same-sex couples in South Florida and the Equality Florida Institute, fighting for marriage equality.

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Miami Dade judge lifts stay on same-sex marriage

By : Jamie Hyman
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A Miami-Dade Circuit judge has lifted the county’s stay on same-sex marriage licenses, which means same-sex marriage will begin at 2 p.m. today in Miami-Dade County.

Judge Sarah Zabel’s ruling was in response to a Dec. 22 motion by Miami Dade Clerk Harvey Ruvin requesting the 11th judicial circuit court clarify and expedite the details of the stay’s expiration.

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Hearing set for marriage license clarification

By : Jamie Hyman
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There are currently two quests for clarification over whether same-sex marriage licenses should be issued statewide in Florida, and one of them has an official day in court.

Judge Sarah Zabel has set a hearing for 11 a.m. Jan. 5 in Miami Dade Circuit Court. The topic at hand is the Miami Clerk’s motion for a clarification about the stay on same-sex marriage.

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Out-of-state marriages will be recognized Jan. 6 in Florida

By : Jamie Hyman
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Let’s face it – the whole idea of marriage equality is a mess in Florida right now. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court paving the way for legal same-sex marriage to come to the Sunshine State Jan. 6, clerks are saying they won’t issue licenses because they fear prosecution and many couples happy plans are now fraught with uncertainty.

There is, however, some good news – couples legally married out of state will have their marriages recognized at the end of the day Jan. 5, when the stay on Judge Hinkle’s ruling that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional expires.

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Clerks association attorneys still recommend clerks not issue marriage licenses

By : Jamie Hyman
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The attorneys who advise the Florida Clerks and Comptrollers Association are sticking to their guns.

Greenberg Traurig released a statement Dec. 22 reconfirming their advice that Florida Clerks of Court should NOT issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples Jan. 6, when a stay on same-sex marriage in Florida expires.

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Miami Dade clerk seeks clarification on marriage license question

By : Jamie Hyman
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One county clerk is trying to find out once and for all whether it’s legal to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on Jan. 6.

Federal Judge Robert Hinkle previously declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened. The Supreme Court said Dec. 19 it would not stand in the way.

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Agents of Change: Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith

By : Tom Dyer
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Nadine Smith is an award-winning journalist and former U.S. Air Force Academy cadet. But she burst onto the local scene in 1991 as an African-American—and openly lesbian—candidate for Tampa City Council and won 42% of the vote. She co-chaired the 1993 March on Washington, and in 1997 founded Equality Florida. She has been its executive director ever since.

Smith is the go-to spokesperson for Florida’s LGBT community, and for many its heart and soul. That was demonstrated in 2007, when Smith was forced to the ground and arrested for handing someone a flier that said, ‘Don’t Discriminate’ at a Largo City Council hearing.

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