Keeping Up the Good Fight | LETTER

Don D’Arminio and Marc Martorana. Photo by JR Davis.

Don and I are incredibly humbled and honored to receive the Justin Flippen Community Trailblazer Award from Human Rights Campaign. Justin was a friend and mentor, so it makes this honor even more special.

Giving back to our community has been our top priority over the years. It's great to see the work that we are so passionate about resonates within our community. We appreciate that our contributions are being recognized, and hope it encourages others to give back and support the organizations that support us. If our work can make a difference, so can yours.

Let’s keep in mind that in 2023, there were more than 520 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced designed to scale back the freedoms of LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities. The Human Rights Campaign declared a “national state of emergency” last June over the wave of anti-LGBTQ bills proposed in states. 

More than 80 anti-LGBTQ laws were enacted this past year. This year alone State legislatures have introduced more than 275 bills targeting LGBTQ rights for 2024 sessions. As we sit here tonight, more than a third of transgender children and adolescents in the U.S. live in a state that has banned gender-affirming health care. We also need to fight back against the hundreds of bills and laws introduced in states targeting our transgender community, terrifying families, and criminalizing doctors and nurses.

Despite enduring a year that has had “most anti-LGBTQ+ legislative session in history,” a nationwide report gives eight Florida cities perfect 100% scores when it comes to assessing LGBTQ equality in the areas of municipal policies, laws, and services. That comes from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, an annual report that gives scores to U.S. cities on issues like non-discrimination laws, law enforcement, and benefits and protections to LGBTQ employees.

One of those eight cities that received a perfect score of 100 was the City of Wilton Manors. And by the way, Wilton Manors has earned a perfect 100 score for the past decade. Wilton Manors stands as a shining example of unwavering commitment to LGBTQ inclusivity. This remarkable achievement not only reflects the city’s dedication to fostering a diverse and welcoming community but also solidifies Wilton Manors’ reputation as a trailblazer in championing human rights.

It's incredibly humbling for me to be elected as city commissioner in a city that not only supports our LGBTQ culture and our values, but celebrates it! I'm proud of our city and proud of our commitment to equality.

In closing, I'll leave you with this final thought: Always remember that "We the People" means all of us!

- Marc Martorana, and Don D'Arminio

Editor’s Note: the print version of the story incorrectly stated the letter was written by Marc Martorana. It was written by Martorana and Don D’Arminio We regret the error.


Phone: 954-514-7095
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2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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