In 1994, Broward County, Florida, like the rest of Florida and most of the United States, had no protections against sexual orientation discrimination. A small group of gay men and lesbians banded together as Americans for Equality, and organized the community while lobbying their commissioners to pass an amendment to the county Human Rights Ordinance to include sexual orientation as a protected class. This video was created by Lightship Media and funded by Stonewall National Museum & Archives as part of the Graves Fund Oral Histories.
In 2001, Attorney Robin Bodiford was leading the fight to save Broward County Florida's Human Rights Ordinance protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination in the workplace, places of public accommodation and housing, from an attack by the American Family Association, designated a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
LGBT attorneys nationwide worked together to bring lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. In 2007, Ellis Rubin, a publicity hungry Miami attorney, filed suit in Broward County, which had just rendered an adverse verdict upholding Florida's ban on gay adoption: wrong time, wrong venue. He refused to take the advice of LGBT attorneys and drop the suit. This news story shows how he was forced in the court of public opinion to drop the lawsuit he was bound to lose. (In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated four same-sex marriage cases which had ruled for the plaintiffs, and found DOMA unconstitutional legalizing same sex marriage in all fifty states.)
Robin Bodiford, South Florida LGBT estate planning attorney on CNN's Good Morning America in the first internationally televised debate on Gay Marriage 1996; and WPBT televised debate on Gays in the Boy Scouts Part 1. In the year 2000, the U.S. was awash in controversy about the Boy Scouts use of public facilities after their right to exclude gay scouts and leaders was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
This video is the second part of a televised debate on Gays in the Boy Scouts on WPBT in 2000, when a nation wide controversy had erupted about Scouts meeting in public facilities due to the Boy Scouts excluding gay members and courts subsequently upholding their right, as a private institution, to exclude gay boys from the Scouts.