ACLU of Florida Creates John C. Graves Gay Rights Fellowship with Grant from Community Foundation of Broward

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
December 29, 2005 12:00 am

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MIAMI — Thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Broward, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today announced that it has created the John C. Graves Fellowship to advance gay and lesbian rights, and hired attorney Robert Rosenwald Jr. to lead the group’s statewide efforts to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“With this generous grant, the Community Foundation of Broward has shown its commitment to safeguarding equality for all people,” said Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida. “The ACLU sincerely thanks the Foundation for helping the ACLU advance its work on behalf of the gay and lesbian community.”

The fellowship was made possible by the John C. Graves Charitable Fund, which was established by Dr. John C. Graves, who died in 2003. Dr. Graves was a beloved supporter of civil liberties and the gay community in Broward County.

The ACLU of Florida is awarding the first John C. Graves Fellowship to Rosenwald, who has been in private law practice in Miami since 1998. He is a 1997 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, and served as a clerk for former U.S. District Judge C. Clyde Atkins.

The ACLU said the Graves Fellow will focus his one-year tenure on a variety of public policy issues that impact the state’s gay community, including the anti-gay initiative threatening protections for the families of same-sex couples, discrimination in Florida’s adoption policies and discrimination and harassment against gay youth, especially in public schools.

The Community Foundation of Broward is a public organization with more than $60 million in assets, and has allocated $25 million to the Broward community in its 21-year history. The Foundation awards grants each year from more than 350 family funds established by donors who support a wide range of causes. The Foundation said it distributes funds based on donor interest and a competitive process designed to fulfill needs and address issues of an ever-changing Broward County. Grantmaking focus areas include youth and family issues, health and wellness, foster care transition and civic empowerment, among countless other areas of interest.

The ACLU of Florida regularly advocates for fairness and equality for gays and lesbians through litigation, public education and lobbying. Working with the national ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, the ACLU of Florida challenged the state’s discriminatory ban on gay adoptions. The organization also joined other gay rights groups in defeating efforts to repeal an ordinance in Miami-Dade County that protected people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, and lobbied for laws that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in Orlando, Sarasota and St. Petersburg. In addition, the ACLU of Florida went to court to help defend Gainesville’s domestic partner arrangement for city employees.

For information on the Community Foundation of Broward, go to:

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