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emerged as a leading organization for bringing marriage equality to Florida by spearheading the effort to place an initiative on the ballot in 2016.
The ballot initiative campaign launched by Equal Marriage Florida is not about any individual, including Mr. Mooney. Our campaign has everything to do with Marriage Equality and achieving it in a sensible way through the electoral process.
This Political Action Committee (PAC) was created prior to the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA and California's Proposition 8 by Miami lesbian political strategist Vanessa Brito, and has been joined by Co-Chairs throughout the State of Florida who are community leaders, a majority of whom are gay or lesbian. As an organization, we are unequivocally committed to running the ballot initiative campaign with full transparency and a truly non-partisan agenda.
To suggest that Equal Marriage Florida is anything other than a nonpartisan, committed effort to end marriage discrimination in our state is grossly unfair to those Floridians who are devoting their time, their energy and their dollars to that effort. Mr. Mooney’s involvement is limited to providing some early advice regarding ballot access and initiatives, which is his area of expertise. Mooney is a personal friend of Brito, having first met her during the Recall campaign of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, when Mooney's company was hired by to manage that citizen-led effort. His suggestions regarding the Equal Marriage initiative were offered as a VOLUNTEER and personal friend before signature collection began. Mooney has never been paid by Equal Marriage Florida or any of its members.
This was expressed to the Huffington Post in an interview earlier this week. In fact, Equal Marriage Florida has no paid staff, and its funding has been solely dedicated to printing petitions and materials to promote the initiative.
Equal Marriage Florida was created after Brito learned about the Equal Marriage Arizona effort and its ballot language. It has been Brito's personal and professional mission to work with both Democrats and Republicans with the hope of identifying common ground on issues related to the LGBT community. Over the years, her participation and activism have been characterized by an insistence that LGBT organizations and both political parties work to forge solutions rather than exacerbate the divisions that currently exist. Professionally, Brito consults as a voter behavior analyst and expert on voting trends and patterns.
Equal Marriage Florida emerged because we strongly believe that closing the gap among Florida voters will result from a ballot initiative that is simple, inclusive, and bi-partisan. It is our ONLY mission to succeed at the ballot by achieving Marriage Equality in Florida.
Brito, along with those who serve Equal Marriage Florida as co-chairs, have long been affiliated
with causes and/or organizations that promote equality and fairness for the LGBT community. Our backgrounds are diverse and uniquely represent different faces of the electorate.
The Huffington Post article does not make readers aware of Brito's lifelong work with the LGBT community, nor of recognition for her work with minority LGBT groups and South Florida voters, particularly in Miami-Dade County. She has dedicated most of her time as an activist in fighting for transparency and accountability in local government and is recognized by mainstream media and South Florida residents as a champion for taxpayer and voters' rights.
Brito has served the LGBT community in the following capacities: Committee member for SAVE, Dade Foundation’s Communications and Marketing Committee, Federal Club member of the Human Rights Campaign, advisory board member to the Latin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Currently, Vanessa is a Board Member and political committee chair of Unity Coalition/Coalicion Unida (LGBT), member of the Equality Florida Miami Steering Committee, and she led HRC's Hispanic Outreach campaign in Miami-Dade County to Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
It is inaccurate and unfair to diminish the roles of LGBT leaders such as Brito who have made significant contributions to our community and who are dedicated to removing partisan politics from this ballot initiative.
In Unity, Vanessa Brito, Chairperson Equal Marriage Florida e. Vanessa@equalmarriagefl.com p. 786-548-2070
Brito Honored as one of Miami People 2011 by the Miami New Times Brito Voted Best Citizen 2011 Brito Honored by Go Magazine – 100 Women We Love