Equality Florida to honor six gay couples suing to marry, 'Cagney & Lacey' star Sharon Gless

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Written By: Steve Rothaus

Miami financial planner Catherina Pareto must think outside the box, especially on forms and other legal documents.

“Those boxes read single, married, divorced, widowed. Where do we fit in like that?” said Pareto, who with longtime partner Karla Arguello has sued Miami-Dade County to be issued a marriage license. “I’m not single and I’m not married. But I want to be married. I’ll make my own box that says ‘domestic partner.’ But domestic partner is not married. After so many years together, it gets frustrating. I want to check the box that says married, because I feel like I am.”


Pareto, Arguello and five other same-sex couples, along with Equality Florida, the state’s leading LGBT-rights group, sued Miami-Dade Clerk Harvey Ruvin in January, after his office pointed to a 2008 state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage. Sunday night, Equality Florida will honor the six couples at the group’s annual Miami gala. Cagney & Lacey co-star Sharon Gless, a part-time Fisher Island resident and longtime gay-rights advocate, will also receive Equality Florida’s Voice for Equality award.

“These six couples have committed to a life in the spotlight, putting themselves and their families under intense scrutiny as the court case progresses,” Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith said in a statement announcing the awards. “They are brave, and they are courageous, taking this important step so that they, and thousands of other couples in Florida, will have the right to marry the person he or she loves.”

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