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Equality Florida, the largest LGBT rights advocacy organization in the Sunshine State, will be presenting the 2015 Miami Gala, in partnership with PNC Bank, on Sunday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. The venue this year is the beautiful Pérez Art Museum (1103 Biscayne Blvd.).

At this event, which is the principal fundraiser for Equality Florida for the calendar year in Miami, people can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and entertainment by celebrity DJ Karin Gala-Miami_copy2Ward. The evening will be hosted by special emcee Wanda Myles, who can be heard daily on WLRN radio all across South Florida. Highlights of the Miami Gala will include a “State of the State” address by Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith and the presentation of the Voice for Equality Awards. Last year, actress Sharon Gless was honored at the Miami Gala, and this year, two organizations and a journalist will be given an award for their work in helping Florida achieve LGBT equality.

Voice for Equality Honorees

The first two Voice for Equality Honorees this year are the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. They are being honored this year for their tireless work which ended in a beautiful result; their work ensured that Florida gay and lesbian couples could start marrying legally right here in their home state. Within less than twelve months, these organizations helped their clients, and everyone else in Florida, win the right to equal marriage. “There can be no doubt we would not be where we are today, celebrating the right to marry the person we love, without their vision, legal genius, and incredible dedication,” Equality Florida said of these honorees in an official statement.

The third Voice for Equality Honoree is Michael Putney, who is the senior political reporter at Gala-Miami_copy1WPLG-TV ABC 10 in Miami, and also the host of the Sunday morning current affairs show This Week in South Florida. In his quest to properly chronicle Floridians’ struggle for marriage equality, Putney spent nearly two years reporting on the subject, famously calling out politicians such as Governor Rick Scott for “punting” on this very important issue. The winner of two Emmy Awards, Michael Putney stopped at nothing to report the facts and make sure South Florida audiences knew the people who were advancing LGBT rights in this state and who needed to be held accountable for their actions in hindering our access to those rights. “His on-air editorials were both a searing critique of the bankrupt arguments in opposition to same-sex marriage, and a breathtaking tribute to the thousands of couples fighting for the right to marry the person they loved,” Equality Florida said of their choice to honor Michael Putney for this prestigious award.

Tickets are available for purchase right now and cost $150 per person. There will not be paper tickets; once you purchase your ticket, your name will be held at the door and you check in Gala-Miami_copy3upon arrival at the museum. If you’d like to purchase a ticket, please call (813) 870-3735 or visit Equality Florida’s dedicated Miami Gala page at eqfl.org/miamigala. Sponsorship opportunities start for corporations and for individuals at the “Friends” level of $500. To purchase a sponsorship, contact Row Iliescu at row@eqfl.org, or call her at (305) 335-2102.

Statewide corporate sponsors of the Equality Florida Miami Gala include PNC Bank, NCLR, MPW, Florida Blue, Front of the House, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, C1 Bank, Morgan Stanley, U.S. Trust, Northern Trust, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Tech Data, Regions Bank and Coca-Cola.

Hotspots Media Group, including Hotspots Magazine, Genre Latino and Mark’s List, is proud to be a local sponsor of the Equality Florida Miami Gala. For more information on Equality Florida, visit eqfl.org.