From Samara Riviera:
From Ben Finzel of Out Front Blog:
Our friend Tanya Churchmuch founded girlports.com a year ago this month. As you’ll see in our conversation below, the site is the first lesbian travel Web site of its kind and Tanya has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time. To help her celebrate her first anniversary, we thought we’d conduct another Q&A with her to learn more about communicating with lesbian travelers and the future of travel from her perspective.
Ben Finzel: Why did you start girlports.com? Weren't there already other resources for lesbian travelers online?
Tanya Churchmuch: Incredibly enough, there weren’t. Girlports is the one and only lesbian travel information website that exists. I’d always been an avid traveler, for both work (as a television journalist for more than a decade) and pleasure, and it had been a real thorn in my side that there were no easily available, up-to-date online travel resources for lesbians. A lot of sites say they’re for gay men and lesbians, but in reality about 90% of that content is aimed at men. Gay men have tons of information available to them online, and I thought it was time that gay women do too. That’s why I decided to create Girlports.
- AIDS group: Competing White Party week bash benefits promoters, not Care Resource
- Party producer: Care Resource head 'mistreated and disrespected' me
This open letter comes in response to a recent controversy in which an events producer scheduled a competing dance party during White Party Week in November:
Community events sponsored and produced in Miami are just that - community events. These events, White Party, Winter Party Festival, and Aqua Girl Week, exist for the direct benefit of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
Each event was founded by dedicated volunteers and activists to raise money for community organizations in South Florida, and to serve as places to bring people together to celebrate our lives and our liberty. These are more than just parties or idle revelry, they foster an atmosphere of empowerment and acceptance and create spaces to take joy in who we are as LGBT people. They have become a testament to the power of bringing ourselves together to do good and have fun too.
The net proceeds of each event go to helping those in need by directly supporting dozens of organizations serving the LGBT community in Miami-Dade, and to support the work of building LGBT political power through the work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. As nonprofit organizations who either produce, or in some ways partner with, and support these large fundraising events in our community, we do them for one purpose only, to help promote and benefit the community.
We urge the DJs, producers and promoters who are a part of our community to not program or produce events that directly compete with these important and long standing community events. This only serves to dilute the impact we can have in building and sustaining a healthy and vibrant Miami where everyone is accepted and welcome, and has access to vital services. We will not be able to support those who directly program against us.
We encourage LGBT people and our allies to support efforts which directly benefit our community like the White Party, Winter Party Festival and Aqua Girl Week and their associated official and sanctioned events. Many have developed over several years and much has been invested into nurturing their growth and success over time.
For more information about White Party, which benefits Care Resource and those living with HIV and AIDS please visit www.careresource.org
For more information about Winter Party Festival, which benefits the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the GLBT Community Projects Fund of the Dade Community Foundation, please visit www.winterparty.com
For more information about Aqua Girl Week, which benefits the Aqua Foundation for Women please visit www.aquagirl.org
See you on the dance floor!
Aqua Girl Foundation
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida
Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
All photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald staff
MiamiARTzine publisher Harvey Burstein and editor Mary Damiano.
Michael Vita and Steve Adkins of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce welcome Edithe Greenberg and other guests.
Guests peruse the silent auction.
World Erotic Art Museum owner Naomi Wilzig, artist Herbert Felic Hofer and Randi Hofer.
Public relations executive Charles Cinnamon and MiamiARTzine photographer Henry Perez, whose exhibit Goddesses and Monsters runs through November at the museum.
Pietro Bonacossa and Chris Gathman.
Charles Cinnamon and Mary Damiano.
A Letter to the Editor from Zeke Fread, director of Pride Tampa Bay:
Educating Voters About Amendment 2
I proudly serve on the VoteNoOn2 Campaign Steering Committee for Tampa Bay. I also volunteer at the polls, for phone banking, speaking engagements and never leave my home without wearing a VoteNoO2 T-Shirt. I can attest to the fact, the majority of Floridians do not understand the vague and ambivalent language of Amendment 2. I see this on a daily basis, as people approach me at the supermarket, drug store or on the street and ask what exactly what does Amendment 2 mean. The same applies to voters I encounter at early voting polls and those I speak with on the phone. When I explain Florida has three existing laws and 1997 Defense of Marriage Act, that same-gender marriage is and remain illegal in the state, whether the Amendment 2 passes or fails. They all ask the same question, "then why do we need to add this to our constriction."
Sadly I find many are simply blindly following their churches edict to yes vote on Amendment 2, without questioning why. However, when given the opportunity, I read the Amendments language verbatim, including its vague language, "no Other Legal Union" that is Treated as Marriage or the "Substantial Equivalent Thereof", Shall be Valid or Recognized. I ask do you know what this means, and they have no idea. When I explain it will open the door to stripping away the few domestic partners benefits and rights from heterosexual and same-gender unmarried couples, with the majority being heterosexual senior citizens, police, firefighters, city employee and many others. They unequivocally agree this is wrong and had no idea it would adversely effected anyone's domestic partners benefits and rights. To the few who disagree, I suggest they do their research and will find that Michigan citizens found this out the hard way. They were vehemently assured, just as we're being by Mr. Stemberger and the YesOn2 supporters, Florida's Amendment 2 will not adversely effect or take away domestic partnerships in any way. Even though polls showed 78% of Michigan voters did not want anyone to lose domestic partners benefits and rights. They took their Amendments supporters at their word, foolishly voted and passed a similar worded Amendment, although not as vaguely worded as Florida. A Christian legal group from another state, filed a friend of the court brief claiming domestic partners benefits were "marriage like" or in our case "the Substantial Equivalent Thereof", Michigan's appeals court conceded and repealed them. Which left Michigan's unmarried heterosexual and gay couples registered as domestic partners with their benefits stripped away.
An educated voter makes educated decisions when they cast their vote. Floridians must educate themselves when considering voting on Amendment 2. Ask yourself one question, do you want to be responsible for or dare take a chance that our senior citizens, police, firefighters, city employees and many others, will suffer the same devastating financial loss as Michigan's citizens. I can only hope and pray your answer is absolutely not.
Don't be misled, Amendment 2 will strip away domestic partners benefits and rights from Floridians. As well as enshrine a particular religious groups beliefs into our states constitution. Which is intended to preserve and guarantee rights, never be used to deny or take rights away. The principle of Separation of Church and State shouldn't allow for one particular religion to dictate laws and rights on all other citizens. Please vote to protect and preserve benefits the rights of all Floridians, VOTE NO ON 2!
R. Zeke Fread
Director Pride Tampa Bay A Proud Coalition Member of FFAF - VoteNoOn2 Campaign
Fairness For All Families - Vote NoOn2 Campaign Tampa Bay Steering Committee
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Hate crime incidents decreased slightly last year, despite a surge in crimes targeting gays and lesbians.
The FBI reported more than 7,600 hate crime incidents in 2007, down about 1 percent from last year. The decline was driven by decreases in the two largest categories of hate crimes — crimes against race and religion.
But prejudice against sexual orientation, the third-largest category, increased about 6 percent, the report found.
The FBI report does not compare its data from one year to the next because the number of law enforcement agencies participating in the annual count varies from year to year. More agencies contributed to the 2007 report than the 2006 report, however.
The data released Monday is consistent with previous years. Racial bias remained the most common motive, accounting for more than half of all reported hate crimes. Blacks, Jews and gays were the most frequent victims of hate crimes, the report found.
The FBI report is purely statistical and does not assign a cause for the slight overall decrease or increase in anti-gay hate crimes.
More than a third of all hate crime incidents were categorized as vandalism or property destruction. Intimidation was the second most common hate crime, followed by simple assault.
The report was based on data drawn from 13,241 law enforcement agencies nationwide, covering about 85 percent of the nation's population. By comparison, the broader crime report the FBI puts out every year draws data from about 17,000 law enforcement agencies.
BY CAMMY CLARK, cclark@MiamiHerald.com
KEY WEST -- Dressed in red, white and blue, drag queen Gina Maseratti walked down Southard Street in Key West asking Fantasy Fest revelers for their support: ``Vote for Maseratti, your next president.''
What's her platform?
''High heels,'' she said. ``It's all about the shoes.''
On a more serious note, Maseratti explained: ``I'm a member of the Drag party: Drastic Reform of American Government. I'll save you on money because I can be president, vice president and First Lady all in one.''
While political satire has always been a part of Key West's 10-day party, this is the first time in its 30-year history that politics is part of its official theme: ``Pirates, Pundits & Political Party Animals.''
Parade coordinator Judi Bradford said the name was picked more than a year ago, when they had no idea that this election would be one of the most interesting in years.
Before the parade, revelers partied on the main drag of Duval Street. There was John Goldstein of Haines City attired in a tight-fitting red dress holding a sign that read: ``Drag Queens for Obama/Biden.''
''Why? Because Obama and Biden will give us equal rights -- not special rights, equal rights -- that's all we want,'' said Goldstein, who is married to Shel Goldstein and said they have five children and three grandchildren.
Even body-painters got into the spirit. One woman wore nothing but an eagle painted on her chest.
A group of friends from the Midwest proved that yes, you can put lipstick on a pig.
''But we're still pigs,'' said the unofficial spokesman of the group, who dashed off before giving his name.
The parade, with 70 rowdy floats, passed by Rick's Bar, which was turned into Rick's White House, owned by Key West City Commissioner Mark Rossi.
''We're pushing Captain Morgan for president,'' Rossi said.
He also turned his Red Garter Saloon, a topless joint, into the U.S. Mint. ''No bailouts allowed,'' Rossi said.
In the staging area of the parade, Steve Estes of Big Pine Key was putting the finishing touches on his float: Race for Abnormal 2008. The parties: SNAFU and FUBAR.
''If you're in the military, you'll know what they stand for,'' he said.
On the back of the float was a giant swing with two seats representing the Swing Vote.
Another float, named ''Drill Baby Drill,'' had an oil rig attached. It was across from a float that said ''Down With Big Oil & Fuel Prices'' that was pulled by a gas-guzzling Ford F-250 truck.
''It's all political satire,'' Estes said. ``We love it.''
Just two hours before the parade, Cindy Jaques spray-painted ''Straight Jacket Express'' on a float put together by bartenders, waitresses and other Key West locals.
The Straight Jacket Express featured giant heads of both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, but float designer Dave Hutchinson said, ``You probably can tell we're leaning toward one side.''
Signs on the float included: Vote for That One, Chelsea 2016, Vote for Joe the Plumber.
One sign probably summed it up: ``Who Cares What Party As Long As You Party.''
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO -- At least 64,000 people from all 50 states and more than 20 other countries have given money to support or oppose a same-sex marriage ban in California, reflecting broad interest in the race that some consider second in national importance only to the presidential election.
Ten days before the vote on Proposition 8, campaign finance records show that total contributions for and against the measure have surpassed $60 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
That would be a record nationally for a ballot initiative based on a social rather than economic issue, campaign finance experts say. It also eclipses the combined total of $33 million spent in the 24 states where similar measures have been put to voters since 2004.
If approved by California voters, Proposition 8 would overturn the state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriages by changing the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.
Campaign committees formed to back or battle the amendment were close in fundraising as of Oct. 25, AP's analysis found. Supporters had raised at least $28.2 million; opponents had taken in $32.3 million, closing a fundraising gap that had them $8 million behind a month ago.
The figures for each side are actually higher because small cash donations made since Sept. 30 had not yet been reported.
The measure is likely to attract more money than any race other than the billion-dollar presidential election, judging by campaign-finance data from other high-profile contests. The closest appears to be the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, at $35 million.
"I'm surprised how much they are spending because I would have thought 90 percent of the people would have made up their minds on this issue," said Robert Stern, president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies. "But if this is a close race, that undecided 10 percent will decide the election. Every dollar, in a sense, counts."
The money pouring into the 13 committees promoting or challenging the measure has come from prominent religious conservatives and gay rights activists, Hollywood actors and moguls, teachers and CEOs.
Individuals who identified themselves as retirees and homemakers accounted for the most donations, giving more than $11 million. Self-identified lawyers gave $2.3 million.
On the "Yes" side, Knights of Columbus, based in New Haven, Conn., is the measure's largest single contributor so far, having given $1.4 million. Other top contributors to the Yes on 8 campaign were Irvine banking heir Howard Ahmanson Jr.'s Fieldstead and Co. foundation ($1.1 million); John Templeton Jr., son of the late Bryn Mawr, Pa., investor John Templeton ($900,000); the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association ($500,000), and Elsa Prince, ($450,000), mother of Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
Knights of Columbus spokesman Patrick Korten said the Catholic fraternal organization has backed amendments limiting marriage to a man and a woman in every state where they have appeared. But none of the group's other contributions has come close to what the Knights are putting into the Proposition 8 race.
"California is the thousand-pound gorilla when it comes to laws of this sort," Korten said. "California is the big one, so everybody is involved in this who cares about the issue. You can't not be."
On the "No" side, wealthy individuals making million-dollar gifts account for all but one of the gay marriage ban's top six opponents. The California Teachers Association, the state's largest teachers union, is first, having pledged $1.3 million to fight the initiative.
Giving $1 million or more were retired New York hedge fund manager Robert W. Wilson; GeoCities founder David Bohnett; Jon Stryker, an heir to a Michigan media supplies company; WordPerfect software founder and Utah resident Bruce Bastian, and philanthropist David Maltz of Cleveland.
"I think this is a civil liberties issue, and California tends to be a bellwether state in this country and what happens there often spreads around," said Wilson, a longtime patron of the New York Public Library and the Whitney Museum of American Art. "I don't see any argument in favor of barring queer marriage."
The contest also has drawn contributions from notable names in government, business and entertainment, most opposing the measure. Among them: Hollywood producer Stephen Bing ($500,000); actor Brad Pitt ($100,000); producer George Lucas and Lucas Films ($100,000 combined); director Steven Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw ($100,000); talk show host Ellen DeGeneres ($100,000); House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's campaign fund ($10,000); audio systems inventor Ray Dolby and his wife, Dagmar, ($135,000) and personal finance guru Suze Orman ($10,000.)
Nearly three-quarters of the total contributions have been from individuals or institutions based in California, with the rest from out of state or from 90 international donors, representing nations from England to Italy and Thailand to Taiwan. Nearly all international contributors opposed the measure.
The measure's opponents received a greater share of their money from outside the state or country - 33 percent compared to the 19 percent of out-of-state contributions reported by the initiative's backers.
Apart from California, New York ($2.5 million), Michigan ($1.6 million), Utah (1.5 million) and Connecticut ($1.4 million), are the states whose residents and institutions have invested the most in the contest. Connecticut is about to become the third U.S. state to sanction same-sex marriage.
Campaign spending on Proposition 8 dwarfs the total of $11.3 million channeled into gay marriage measures this year in Florida and Arizona.
"This is the ball game. There is no other battle than this one, with all due respect to my colleagues in Arizona and Florida," said Frank Schubert, the professional campaign manager for Yes on 8. "If you are concerned about marriage and how it gets to be defined, this is where it will be decided."
A proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage has critics worried about its effect on domestic partnerships, but backers say that's not a valid concern.
BY JENNIFER MOONEY PIEDRA, jmooney@MiamiHerald.com
Although gay marriage is already illegal in Florida, Amendment 2 would enshrine the prohibition in the Florida Constitution, making it nearly impossible for a judge to overturn.
Supporters, primarily conservative and Christian groups, say their goal is straightforward and deserving of constitutional shelter: to ''protect'' marriage by defining it exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. Doing so, they say, would benefit children by promoting a traditional family with a mother and father -- not two moms or two dads.
''Children always fare better when they have a mother and father,'' said John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, which is promoting the Yes On 2 campaign. ``We should not, as a matter of law and public policy, create inherently motherless and fatherless homes.''
But opponents say the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment isn't a gay issue, but rather a measure that could negatively affect many heterosexual couples as well.
They point to particular wording in the amendment that they say could lead to unmarried couples -- gay and straight -- losing hospital visitation rights, the ability to make emergency medical decisions, and domestic partner health benefits provided by employers.
The proof, they say, is what has happened in other states where similar amendments have passed.
Since Michigan voters approved a ''marriage protection'' amendment in 2004, the state Supreme Court has struck down domestic partner benefits, including health insurance and pensions. A battle is also under way in Kentucky to eliminate domestic partner benefits for employees of state universities because of similar legislation.
''This amendment says that because marriage is between a man and a woman, nothing else counts,'' said Derek Newton, campaign manager for Florida Red & Blue, the bipartisan organization running the SayNo2 campaign to defeat the amendment. ``It could take away existing rights and benefits of Floridians.''
`AN OUTRIGHT LIE'
Davie Mayor Tom Truex, who is rallying for the amendment, said such claims are nothing more than scare tactics. ''It goes beyond misleading,'' he said. ``It's an outright lie.''
At issue is the wording of the amendment, which reads, ``In as much as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.''
Florida Red & Blue and a group of attorneys from around the state have criticized the wording, saying it is ''vague'' and could lead to lawsuits challenging shared health plans. The state's largest insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, voices similar concerns in opposing the amendment.
Critics object especially to the words ''or the substantial equivalent thereof'' as a catch-all phrase dangerous to civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York, agrees.
'The proponents put in the language `substantial equivalent thereof' for a reason, and the reason is that they do not think the law should recognize some other relationship that is not exactly marriage,'' he said. ``Insofar as domestic partnerships can be the substantial equivalent of marriage, then they are also covered by this measure.''
But Stemberger, who led the charge to put the amendment on the ballot through a petition drive, said opponents are overreaching.
''This is about the singular subject of marriage,'' he said. ``The language is very clear, and it defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Amendment 2 will have no affect on domestic partnerships.''
Joe Little, a constitutional-law professor at the University of Florida, said that because domestic partnership benefits are similar to those offered to married couples, there will be a gray area in the law that could be raised in a courtroom.
''I don't think it's conclusive in any way,'' he said. ``But I do think it's a legitimate question that won't be answered until the amendment is passed and somebody challenges it.''
Another argument made by critics is that the law would have a negative effect on widowed seniors, many of whom choose to be in a domestic partnership rather than remarry and risk losing some of their benefits, like Social Security or pensions.
That is what concerns Helene Milman, who has been in a committed relationship with Wayne Rauen for 25 years.
The heterosexual couple from Sunrise chose not to marry because Milman, 67, would lose the $13,000 a year she receives from Social Security for being a widow.
Milman and Rauen, 59, registered as domestic partners in Broward County in 1999, when the county passed an ordinance that extended healthcare and other benefits to the partners of gay and unmarried county employees. In August, Miami-Dade County began to offer similar benefits to its employees.
Milman, a former Broward Sheriff's Office employee and a breast cancer survivor, says the registration allowed Rauen to stay with her in a hospital for nearly five hours as she awaited lumpectomy surgery.
''If he didn't have his card showing that we were domestic partners, I would have laid on a gurney, by myself in the hospital,'' she said. ``I would have been alone. That can't be.''
But proponents say the amendment would not interfere with the benefits of seniors and unmarried couples. That's because, unlike wording in similar amendments passed in states where domestic partnership rights have subsequently been revoked, the language in Florida's proposal does not prevent the government or companies from giving benefits to anyone, they say.
''There's a fear element the opponents are pushing aggressively,'' said Jim Finnegan, 74, a supporter of Amendment 2 who lives in Naples. ``But it will not take those rights away.''
Finnegan, a snowbird who divides his time between Southwest Florida and a Chicago suburb, has been campaigning for the ballot measure. He worries that if it fails, the existing state law prohibiting gay marriage would be overturned by a judge and homosexuals would be allowed to legally wed, as they can in California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
'In the long run, the homosexual activists' objective is to change the culture of America,'' Finnegan said.
Similar proposals are on the November ballot in California and Arizona, but Florida is the only state that requires approval by 60 percent of the voters to rewrite the constitution. Voters in 27 other states already have approved similar measures.
Two statewide polls released Thursday show the amendment close to the 60 percent mark.
A Miami Herald poll showed 59 percent of voters in support, 34 percent against it and 7 percent undecided. A Mason-Dixon poll showed 56 percent for the amendment, 37 percent against it and 7 percent undecided.
Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said he ''would not be surprised'' if the measure passed, thanks to the undecided contingent.
With Election Day nearing, both campaigns will continue to rally for votes at events across the state. They are also relying on TV ads, calls from phone banks, yard signs and mailers.
The opposition has come on strong, with Florida Red & Blue raising nearly $3.3 million -- three times more than Florida4Marriage, the group backing the amendment, according to the Florida Division of Elections.
Although the amendment is billed as nonpartisan, politicians are sparring over it.
Supporters include Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez and state Rep. David Rivera of Miami. Against it are U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former Florida Gov. Bob Graham and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.
Several local governments, including those of Miami, Miami Beach and West Palm Beach, have passed resolutions against the amendment. Also opposing it are the Broward County School Board, the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP.
Across the state, the issue has also caused a fierce debate among religious leaders. Conservatives from many denominations, including Catholic priests and Baptist ministers, support the ballot measure, saying voters should protect what the leaders consider to be the sanctity of marriage.
''We're here to defend marriage according to what the Lord and Bible described from the beginning,'' Guillermo Maldonado, pastor of Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesús in West Kendall, said during a recent press conference in Miami.
Others in the faith-based community see it differently.
Florida Clergy for Fairness recently launched an interfaith campaign to defeat Amendment 2 on the grounds that it infringes on religious liberties and revokes people's rights.
''We are always looking to make society just, compassionate and equitable for everyone,'' said Kathy Schmitz, interim minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami. ``This amendment moves in a different direction.''
This is a Letter to the Editor from Miami Archbishop John Favalora, Orlando Bishop Thomas G. Wenski and seven other bishops:
Between a man and a woman
As teachers and pastors, we seek to educate Florida's Catholic faithful on the true nature and meaning of marriage as established by God and honored by Catholic teaching and tradition. In the beginning, the Lord showed us in scripture his plan for marriage as the joining of a man and a woman. ''They shall become one flesh'' (Genesis 2:24).
Marriage between the baptized is a sacrament, a sacred bond of husband and wife publicly witnessed in a church in the presence of the Lord. The sacrament of matrimony gives spouses the grace to love each other with the same love Christ has for his church. This grace perfects the couple's love and strengthens their indissoluble unity. From a valid marriage arises a perpetual and exclusive bond between the spouses. It is within this nuptial covenant that a man and a woman remain open to fertility and the gift of children is received and nurtured.
The common good and the future of our society are served best through the natural order of a union of a man and a woman. Research and history support the traditional family as the best environment to nurture and raise healthy children who thrive both physically and emotionally.
Amendment 2 states, ''In as much as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.'' This amendment to the Florida Constitution affirms Florida's existing marriage law and protects marriage as currently defined in law from being negated or overturned by legislative process or judicial ruling.
The church's teaching about marriage, ''ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring'' is clear. Our support for this constitutional amendment is not motivated by discrimination or animosity toward any group. The amendment does not affect benefits offered or contracted in the private sector. Healthcare and government benefits currently being received by individuals, including seniors, will not be impacted. Through proper legal consultation for estate planning, health and end-of-life care, family members or others may be granted many of the same rights and privileges available to a spouse.
In view of all this, we support Amendment 2.
JOHN C. FAVALORA, archbishop, Archdiocese of Miami
THOMAS G. WENSKI, bishop, Diocese of Orlando, and seven other bishops