NEWS RELEASE: EQFL Tampa Gala to Spotlight Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Women

US Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Tampa City Councilmember Linda Saul-Sena to receive “Voice for Equality” awards, Florida CFO Alex Sink will address pro-equality crowd

(TAMPA) Equality Florida is thrilled to announce that US Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Tampa City Councilmember Linda Saul-Sena have been named this year’s recipients of the Tampa “Voice for Equality” awards. The awards will be presented this coming Saturday, May 8th, during the 2010 Equality Florida Tampa Gala taking place at the Tampa Garden Club – 2629 Bayshore Blvd.

US Representative Kathy Castor has long championed full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Formerly as a Hillsborough County Commissioner, Kathy was the sole “no” vote in opposition to the infamous “no gay pride” policy passed by the commission in 2005. At a time when enormous progress can be made at the federal level, Kathy is co-sponsoring the effort to end the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and to pass the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” a measure that would make it illegal for people to be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

Tampa City Councilmember Linda Saul-Sena is a longtime supporter of equal rights and was instrumental in the successful effort to add “gender identity and expression” to the city’s Human Right Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation. Linda has now set her sights on the Hillsborough County Commission and may someday be the tie-breaking vote to rescind Hillsborough’s “no gay pride” policy.

Florida CFO Alex Sink is a previous Voice for Equality award winner and will address Equality Florida supporters during the Tampa Gala. Alex is the first statewide elected official to speak out against Florida's infamous adoption law that bans gay applicants.

As CFO, Alex instituted a policy permitting her office's employees to use sick leave to care for domestic partners. She is also the highest-ranking state official to publicly oppose a 2008 effort to amend the Florida Constitution. Amendment 2 passed by 1.9% and created a second-class status for married same-gender couples. While in the private sector, Alex was president of Bank of America - Florida Division. In that capacity, she led one of Florida’s largest employers to offer non-discrimination protection and domestic partner benefits to LGBT employees.

Equality Florida’s 2010 Tampa Gala will take place this Sunday, May 8th from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the “Venue with a View” – the Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd. Join us for drinks, delicious hors d'oeuvres, special event design by conceptBAIT and an exciting program - including a State of the State address by our Executive Director, Nadine Smith. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online at

Equality Florida is Florida’s largest statewide human rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Through education and advocacy, the organization is committed to building a state of equal rights for all Floridians, inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities.



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