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LGBTQ Leaders Meet With Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar to Raise Concerns

After Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) voted against the Equality Act, LGBTQ groups and leaders in Miami recently met with her to voice their concerns and disappointment in her position.

Among the organizations alarmed by Salazar’s position was Safeguarding American Values for Everyone (SAVE), a nonprofit organization that uses political advocacy and community outreach to protect people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) against discrimination.

During the meeting, Orlando Gonzales (pictured), Executive Director at SAVE, addressed the organization’s desire to see the passage of the Equality Act, which would establish federal statutes providing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The organization requested she enact three policy directives:

1. Pledge to support the Equality Act and call for its passage.
2. Denounce the attacks on transgender youth in Tallahassee and foster a community where transgender Floridians are respected and welcomed.
3. Work to establish a bipartisan coalition to enact comprehensive federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation.

“It’s an opportunity for her to take leadership and we’re looking to see if she will step up,” Gonzales says.

In terms of helping to establish protections against the LGBTQ community, Gonzales stressed that SAVE does not want to force religious organizations to marry people they don’t want to. But he says LGBTQ people need more laws ensuring they can have equal access to essential services.

“The use of religion to discriminate in healthcare and education is inhumane,” Gonzales says. “We fully support religious freedom and we’re not trying to impose our community on any ministry. People needing healthcare, education and long-term care should not be discriminated against in those cases. It’s irresponsible.”

With Florida recently enacting a bill banning transgender youth from participating in sports, Gonzales believes that while the legislation will only impact a small percent of the community, it’s an indicator of the battle facing equal rights for LGBTQ people.

“Efforts are being made to signal that we are not welcome,” he says.

At the time of this posting, Rep. Salazar had not yet responded to a media request.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.