Press

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund lauds defeat of Gainesville’s Charter Amendment 1

Date: 
March 24, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

Measure sought to enshrine discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the city charter
for years to come

WASHINGTON, March 24 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund hails the defeat of Charter Amendment 1 in Gainesville, Fla. The referendum would have effectively eliminated the nondiscrimination protections that Gainesville extends lesbian, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by requiring the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to conform to the state’s nondiscrimination laws, which do not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This is a great day for Gainesville. Voters rejected the right-wing’s attempts to make their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender friends, family and neighbors second-class citizens. While the opposition rooted its campaign in lies and scare tactics, fair-minded Gainesville voters knew that Charter Amendment 1 was really about discrimination,” says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. “We congratulate Equality is Gainesville’s Business for its hard work to defeat this ugly and hurtful measure, and to ensure that Gainesville remains a welcoming community for all — including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

The Task Force Action Fund provided significant support to Equality is Gainesville’s Business (EQGB), including donating $7,500 of direct seed money to launch the campaign; paying for a contract field organizer to work on the ground in Gainesville during the campaign’s final six-week period; sending two Task Force organizers to Gainesville for three-and-a-half weeks to provide training and technical assistance to EQGB’s field team; and assisting with message development for EQGB’s paid media campaign.

“EQGB greatly appreciates the support of the Task Force and other partnering organizations that responded to EQGB’s appeal for help,” says Joe Saunders, EQGB’s campaign manager. “The Task Force’s expertise and hands-on support was invaluable to building a successful campaign and defeating Charter Amendment 1.”

A broad coalition of groups came together to defeat Charter Amendment 1, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, Equality Florida, the ACLU of Florida, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, SAVE Dade, Organizations United Together (O.U.T.) and UM (University of Miami) for Equality, UF Students for Change, Planned Parenthood of Florida, Gainesville Area NOW and Judy Levy NOW.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.