FL NOW and Greater Orlando NOW were represented at the Central FL Legislator Delegation held Jan 12. The delegation of legislators, both GOP and Democrat wanted to hear from the community about issues and problems. There were speakers from a lot of non-profits. We were there from 9a to 6:45p. All the legislators hung and kept extending the meeting to allow everyone to speak. Democrats were active during the meeting. Republicans not so much. Democrats stepped up to support immediate issues. Republicans did not best we could tell. FL NOW’s 2 minute time focused on abortion and affordable housing as well as no permit carry that DeSantis wants. There are rumors that DeSantis is going to call a special legislative session to place further bans on abortion even though calling a special session costs millions. Our opposition was there and were in good form even anti-vaxers. But, a lot of the presenters spoke to our issues in one way or another.
Statement of National NOW President Christian F. Nunes
The U.S. Senate finally passed legislation to provide federal protections for same-sex marriages. This will give clarity and peace of mind to millions of families by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, which categorically disrespected their marriages.
For too long, LGBTQIA+ married families have lived without the basic rights enjoyed by the Republican senators who voted against this bill—rights most married couples take for granted. Those senators would be outraged to see their spouses and dependents denied Social Security benefits, hospital visitation rights, or rights as beneficiaries, but that’s been the reality for far too many, for far too long.
Senator Tammy Baldwin, the lead sponsor of the bill, said that people were “scared for good reason” about their rights being threatened. The Supreme Court used the same legal arguments in overturning Roe that conservatives are now using to undermine marriage equality. The Senate’s action was needed now—before the Supreme Court could act again.
Groups like NOW remain needed to keep up the fight for equality over the years or even decades it can take to achieve lasting change and progress. It shouldn’t have taken this long for the Senate to pass this most basic of protections, but progress was made today, and millions of lives are the better for it.