Monday, June 16, 2014

Fighting for equal rights

Our law firm filed a complaint against the clerk of courts in the state of Florida for their refusal to issue a marriage license to two men in Monroe County.  Aaron and Lee, a gay couple living in Key West want to be married.  They have been together for 10 years now and want to formalize their relationship in the same way that any of us do.  Fla still does not recognize same-sex marriage.

So our law firm decided to represent them for free, and challenge what we believe is an unconstitutional ban which will not allow gay couples to marry.

I have such a hard time understanding this.  The gay community is not asking for special privileges. They are not asking for more rights than anyone else. All they are asking for is equality.  All the are asking for is the opportunity to marry someone they love, which will afford them the same protections and rights as anyone else who is married in this country.

Not only is it a constitutional right to be married, it is also a human right. Why we choose to relegate the gay community to an emotional corner; why we are all so occupied with who somebody loves, who he/she wants to be will always be a mystery to me.  How does it hurt the heterosexual community? How does it hurt anyone?

The same Bible stompers who yell out "one man one woman", are the ones going out and cheating on their spouses or molesting small children.  Those churchgoers that think themselves holier than thou because they attend church every Sunday, are the ones cheating on their taxes and filing for divorce at an unprecedented rate.   What makes them better than anyone else?

It cracks me up when people start yelling about how sodomy is illegal and against the laws of God.  These are the same men who beg their wives for it or who pay prostitutes for it.  Is it illegal for heterosexuals to participate in sodomy? If not, then why is it illegal for a gay couple to do so?

So we filed the complaint against the state of Florida…. 

None of us in our office are gay, but that is not the point.  Why shouldn't everyone who lives in this country be afforded the same rights? And besides, why shouldn't the gay community be as miserable as a heterosexual community in being married?  

This past weekend was the gay pride event in Key West.  I had never been to one before and I was truly moved by all the stories that I heard.  Men and women who have been together longer than most marriages, but who had to deal with prejudice and hatred just because they love someone.  How can that be okay?  Why do they have to justify who they are or who they love?

My law firm was invited to participate in the parade. We had such a great time.  Our entire female staff wore veils in recognition of marriage.  It was a great event.

These kinds of challenges, the challenge to make life equal for everyone, is what I went to law school for.

That is me in the middle with my partners, Bernadette and Jessica.
Our office manager Mary and Barbara, our legal assistant.

My cousins, the ones visiting me from Cuba, were at the parade also.  My cousin Sarah actually rode in the car with us.  They were so amazed to see the kind of freedom that we have in this country, which they do not have in Cuba. It is so sad that our biases don't let US appreciate the freedom that we have.


  1. Awesome, truly!!! Bravo!!!!!
    AND how fun that must have been!!!

  2. Thank you Elena for representing this couple and your thoughtful, compassionate
    argument here. I am proud to call you my friend!
    Jen ox

  3. Thank you for representing this couple in this important fight. You have written a thoughtful, compassionate argument. I am proud to call you my friend!
    Jen ox