About Equality Florida

 

About Equality Florida:

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. We're changing Florida through lobbying, grassroots organizing, education, and coalition building — so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Our key areas of work include:

  • Public Policy & Community Organizing: As the only LGBTQ organization with a full-time presence in the State Capitol, we work to educate Floridians on the benefits of pro-equality bills and policies and the dangers of anti-LGBTQ legislation.

  • Safe & Healthy Schools and Parenting with Pride: We work closely with districts in implementing comprehensive best practices and policies to support and affirm LGBTQ students in Florida’s 3-million-student school system. We also provide parents with the resources they need to support their LGBTQ children.

  • Transgender Community Advocacy & Education: We’re the leading voice in representing and supporting Florida’s transgender community through diversity training, advocacy, and resource provisions.

  • HIV Advocacy & Education: Our goal is to curb the rate of new HIV transmissions in Florida and end HIV stigma through statewide public education campaigns and policy work designed to modernize HIV-specific laws.

  • Equality Means Business: To improve Florida’s reputation as a welcoming place to live, work, and visit, we highlight pro-equality businesses that have adopted comprehensive nondiscrimination policies and have demonstrated their commitment to valuing and proactively including all employees.

  • Healthcare Equity: We partner with healthcare and mental health facilities to ensure they provide the compassion and sensitivity that LGBTQ patients deserve by advocating for inclusive policies and increasing cultural competence among healthcare providers.

  • Reproductive Rights: Equality Florida has been a pro-choice organization since our founding – we know that LGBTQ and abortion rights are deeply intertwined. We're a proud founding partner of Floridians Protecting Freedom and serve on the statewide advisory board.

Since our founding in 1997, we’ve become one of the largest statewide LGBTQ groups in the country with more than 300,000 supporters, more than 1,000 volunteers, and staff located in major Florida cities to organize and support our work.

Nadine and Stratton at the Rally in Tally in 1999.png

Creating Change: 

Florida is a massive and sprawling state that can't be organized from a single city or even one region. Our success depends on building grassroots strength, forming coalitions, and carving out progress in cities and towns in every part of our state. Our supporters live in all 67 of Florida’s counties with strong representation in Central Florida, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Sarasota, South Florida, Tallahassee, and Tampa Bay.

We’re proud of the accomplishments we've made together for Florida’s LGBTQ community:

  • Since we formed in 1997, we’ve been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQ equality in Florida, battling bad bills and championing pro-equality legislation.

  • Our “Resist” campaign has been fighting back against a slate of recent anti-LGBTQ attacks from the governor’s mansion, the state legislature, and various state agencies. Our commitment is simple: ensure every student is protected and every family is respected. Equality Florida has been pushing back against the anti-LGBTQ agenda from the halls of the Capitol, to school board meetings across the state, to the federal courts, and more, and vowing to hold accountable those who are politicizing our existence for their own political ambitions.

  • We’re turning the tide. The 2023 legislative session was a brutal attack on the LGBTQ community and particularly the transgender community, with laws passed that banned certain access to life-saving healthcare, double-down on the prior “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law, restricted bathroom access, sought to criminalize drag, and more. These harms are being reversed in the courts – including through a historic settlement to nullify the worst impacts of the Don’t Say LGBTQ law – and in the 2024 legislative session, we helped defeat or neutralize 21 out of 22 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced.

  • We led the fight that won marriage equality! In 2015, after a two-year education and legal campaign, plaintiffs in Equality Florida’s lawsuit became the first same-sex couples to marry in Florida, six months before the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land.

  • We played a key leadership role in overturning Florida’s shameful ban on gay and lesbian adoption which was struck down in 2010 and repealed entirely in 2015.

This progress is made possible through our volunteers, donors, supporters, and staff! We hope you'll join us and be part of our next success story!

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