Leaders from a broad spectrum of the LGBTQ community cite his long-sanding record on human rights and economic recovery as reason for their support
Ten Miami-Dade LGBTQ leaders announced their support for Alex Penelas in Miami-Dade County Mayor’s race. The endorsements, which include prominent voices from various sectors of the LGBTQ community, highlighted Penelas’ courage in standing up publicly in support of the battle for human rights, HIV/AIDS (healthcare, education, prevention and awareness), and social justice for Miami-Dade County, among others, as reasons for their support.
The ten endorsements include LGBTQ advocates and leaders Steve Adkins and Francesco Duberli, LGBTQ Advocate and community personality Alexis “Marytrini” Fernandez, City of North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin, Miami-Dade Community Councilman-Elect Marco Girón, author Christian de la Huerta, political strategist Jorge Mursuli, LGBT civic engagement leader and advocate Damian Pardo, and award-winning filmmakers Yvette Larralde and Susana Taddei.
“As the son of Cuban exiles who fled an oppressive regime, I feel a deep and personal responsibility to advancing and securing human rights, social justice and economic opportunity for everyone in our community, regardless of their race, age, religion, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation,” said former Mayor Alex Penelas. “Being able to raise awareness around the struggles of the LGBTQ community in Miami-Dade and ensure their safety and ability to survive and thrive in the community has been one of my proudest accomplishments and I feel humbled to be receiving the support of the very people who continue to lead us in that fight today,” he added.
Penelas’ record demonstrates his long-standing commitment to creating a more equitable community for all. As Mayor, he supported and signed the Human Rights amendment, eliminating and preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, religion, and other means and in 2002, he successfully fought back an attempt to repeal the ban. Today, Miami-Dade County is a global leader as an LGBTQ-friendly metropolis where members of the community are safe and celebrated.
Additionally, Penelas fought to destigmatize HIV/AIDS by getting publicly tested every single year as a form of awareness and secured increased funding for AIDS research and awareness while serving on the County Commission in the early 90s. All of this was accomplished against a backdrop of loud opposition from conservative groups.
“The LGBTQ community is a very intersectional community and as such faces a variety of challenges including homelessness, domestic abuse and systemic discrimination, all of which Alex recognized and addressed during his tenure as mayor. We are facing many more challenges in Miami-Dade County today and I believe Alex has the proven vision, leadership and skill to help us work together and move us forward on these critical community issues.”
“Miami-Dade is a mecca of the LGBTQ community, not only for its beaches, but for its welcoming nature and inclusiveness. Much of this is due to the groundwork that Alex did to secure the Human Rights Ordinance and to destigmatize HIV/AIDS in the LGBTQ community through healthcare, education, prevention and awareness, at a time when there was much fear and opposition. Today, the LGBTQ community serves as an incredible economic engine for Miami-Dade County and is a safe place for us to live and visit as a result of his leadership. Given the economic uncertainties and the threats our community is facing now, I can’t think of a better leader to take the helm and make us stronger.”
To date, Penelas has received bipartisan support from a total of 66 community leaders, including current and former elected officials and civic leaders from a diverse set of communities throughout Miami-Dade County.