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Orlando victory party celebrates win over anti-LGBTQ legislation

By Edmund Anglero

Orlando event hails win over anti-LGBTQ bills.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Orlando, FL – On Saturday, April 6, more than 20 community members gathered at The Center, a local LGBTQ community hub, for a victory party celebrating the defeat of 21 out of 22 anti-LGBTQ bills from the Florida legislature during the most recent session. The event was hosted by Orlando for Gender Equality (OGE) and HOPE CommUnity Center.

The festivities included board games, a “Pin the Pride on DeSantis” game, a protest sign-making station, as well as food and drink.

After about an hour of music, mingling and refreshments, attendees sat down to listen to speeches from local organizers. Although the main purpose of the event was to highlight and celebrate the movement’s successes this past legislative session, the speeches emphasized the necessity to use the momentum to continue to fight back against anti-LGBTQ legislation and policies. In addition to the defeats of the Trans Erasure Bill (HB 1639) and the Pride Flag Ban (HB 901), a recent settlement reversed some of the attacks resulting from the infamous Don’t Say Gay Law.

Jacob Muldoon, an organizer with OGE stated, “This is a huge success for us and our movement and this is truly showing that there is a tide-change happening. And that is because of everyone in this room. It is because of everyday queer people and their allies that have demanded that they will not go one step back. It’s because of people power that we stand here today in celebration.”

Muldoon added, “This is why Orlando for Gender Equality will be continuing our ‘Not One Step Back’ campaign by targeting the recent transphobic DMV policy change. We must not stop at just HB 1639, which we killed, and we must continue to fight not just during the legislative session. We need to take that fire and bring it to our local communities and all levels of government.”

The event concluded with an awards ceremony. HOPE CommUnity Center and OGE organizer Andrea Montanez received the award for “Grassroots Organizer of the Year” for her organizing work in the LGBTQ and immigrant rights movements. State Representative Anna Eskamani was awarded the “Legislative Champion” award for her efforts in the state house. Finally, State Representative Doug Bankson, who sponsored HB 1639, was awarded the “Biggest Loser” award.

#OrlandoFL #FL #LGBTQ #DontSayGay #OGE #HOPE