Greater Ft. Lauderdale Supports Repeal of Florida's Same-Sex Marriage Ban
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 10, 2014) - The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau today announced its unconditional support for the overturning of bans on same-sex marriage in Florida.
Florida's prohibition of same-sex marriages, including a ban on recognizing same-sex marriage performed in states where it is legal, may be repealed this year pending the outcome of two separate lawsuits currently before state and federal courts.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President, Nicki E. Grossman, said "after years of seeking equal rights for the LGBT community in Florida, it is the right time to do the right thing and allow same sex marriage throughout the state."
With the highest number of same-sex couples in the country, and as one of the top LGBT vacation destinations in the world, Greater Fort Lauderdale has long been a pioneering advocate of the LGBT community in Florida.
"The rainbow flag flies loud and proud in Broward County and we can't wait to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage with couples from all walks of life and from all over the country," Ms. Grossman said.
The destination's open and welcoming relationship with transgender, lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual residents, tourists and businesses, has been gratifying with a resulting record-breaking 1.3 million LGBT visitors in 2013.
The CVB was the first in the country to have a dedicated department, staff and marketing dollars to support LGBT tourism, as well as to integrate LGBT images and messaging into its mainstream marketing initiatives.
In 1996, the CVB launched its first LGBT ad campaign and become the first tourism agency with an LGBT-centric vacation planner and dedicated section on a CVB tourism website to promote the hundreds of gay-owned and operated hotels and businesses throughout the destination. Today, Greater Fort Lauderdale is attracting major events such as "Gay Days Fort Lauderdale" (Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2014).
"We've come a long way in a short period and we hope the state will follow our lead and welcome the LGBT community with their wish to be married and have their marriages recognized here with warm, open and loving arms," said Richard Gray, managing director, LGBT market, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Pending before the state's Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida is a lawsuit between six same-sex couples seeking to get married v. the Clerk of the Courts of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Also before the federal United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida is a lawsuit between eight same-sex couples who legally married elsewhere and are seeking legal recognition.