SARASOTA, FL – The Sarasota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida continues its monthly discussion series, “Ask the ACLU,” with “How to Protect LGBT Rights.” The forum, which takes place on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 6:30-7:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota (3975 Fruitville Road), is free and open to the community.
Discussion will focus on how the ACLU is responding to new threats to LGBT rights by the emboldened opposition, which is busy working to pass pre-emption laws and religious exemption efforts. Panelists will also address the dramatic expansion of LGBT support in Florida schools, including some important developments in Sarasota.
Panelists are: Daniel Tilley is a staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida whose work focuses primarily on the LGBT community. He served as lead counsel in the ACLU’s federal-court litigation that, as part of a pair of consolidated cases with a team of lawyers, brought marriage equality to Florida in January 2015. Hannah Willard is the public policy director for Equality Florida; the state’s largest advocacy organization dedicated securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community. She is responsible for all of Equality Florida’s work in the Florida Capitol, including the passage of a statewide nondiscrimination bill to protect LGBTQ Floridians. She previously led Equality Florida’s marriage campaign during Florida’s victory and through the Supreme Court ruling. Molly Swift, the program coordinator for ALSO Youth, works directly with youth and their families at ALSO’s Sarasota drop-in center.
The ACLU believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be able to participate fully in American life free from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on the job; in housing; when shopping or getting services at restaurants, hotels, and other public places; and when accessing government programs and services.
“While there is widespread public support for making discrimination against LGBT people illegal, only a minority of states have laws that specifically protect LGBT people – the ACLU aims to change that,” said Pete Tannen, president of the Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU of Florida. “More troubling are the states that are working explicitly to limit the rights of LGBT individuals and enable legal discrimination against them. The ACLU will fight these encroachments on civil liberties with every weapon in our legal arsenal.”
The Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU of Florida launched the “Ask the ACLU” discussion series in response to concerns over a slate of policies proposed by President-elect Trump during the presidential campaign, which the ACLU has stated would, if enacted, violate the constitutional rights of many people in America. For more information about the Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU of Florida and these programs, call Pete Tannen at (941) 306-1937 or go to sarasota.aclufl.org.
About the Sarasota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union:
The Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU of Florida serves Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. With almost 1,200 members, we are the fastest-growing ACLU chapter in all of Florida. The ACLU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization — we welcome everyone to join us in our constant fight to protect your constitutional rights. Our only mission is to keep the promise of the Bill of Rights alive for every American. For more information, visit Sarasota.aclufl.org, the website of the Florida ACLU (ACLUFL.org) or the national ACLU (ACLU.org), or call (941) 306-1937.