SAVE established the Champions of Equality awards reception in 2005 to honor people who have significantly advanced the cause of equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in South Florida. The event’s honorees this year include State Representative David Richardson, County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, and local filmmaker Joe Cardona.
Representative Richardson made history after winning election as Florida’s first openly gay state legislator in August 2012. Earlier this year, in its first major move of the 2014 election cycle, SAVE Action PAC endorsed Richardson’s bid for re-election as the representative of the 113th State House District.
Commissioner Edmonson won the admiration of the LGBT community and human rights advocates for her sponsorship last summer of a proposal to update Miami-Dade County’s Human Rights Ordinance to protect everyone from discrimination, including members of the transgender community.
Joe Cardona will be honored for his production of the acclaimed documentary The Day it Snowed in Miami, chronicling the birth of SAVE and the local LGBT activist movement. The debut of the film sold out two showings at Lincoln Road’s Colony Theater, helping to educate countless members of older and younger generations alike about the roots of South Florida’s movement for equal rights.
In addition to the three Champions of Equality honorees, SAVE will induct into its Hall of Champions the eight couples represented by SAVE and the ACLU of Florida in Grimsley et al. v. Scott, the recently filed case aiming to achieve recognition from the State of Florida for legal same-sex marriages performed in states with marriage equality. For more information on this case, visit savedade.org/marriage.
“It’s SAVE’s honor to recognize these courageous leaders this year,” said SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima. “In their own ways, Representative Richardson, Commissioner Edmonson, and Mr. Cardona have all made invaluable contributions to the cause of LGBT equality over the past year. And, of course, I’m so proud to have the privilege of recognizing the eight brave couples taking a stand in court for what’s right.”
This year’s Champions of Equality reception will be held May 9 at the Hyatt Regency Miami located at 400 SE 2nd Avenue from 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. In contrast to previous years, this year’s event will feature live music by The Voice’s Karina Iglesias in addition to dancing, the silent auction, raffle, and cocktail reception. Tickets to the event are $125 in advance and $150 at the door and are currently available for presale at savedade.org/champions.