The Ten Most Memorable Moments in Miami's Gay History

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5. Adoption Rights Extended to Gay Parents (2010)
In 1997, thanks to the success of the Save Our Children campaign, the Florida Legislature passed a law prohibiting gay adoption. But in 2010, that law was overturned by the courts in In re: Gill . The ruling was in reference to a case brought forth by Martin Gill, an openly gay man who petitioned the court to adopt two boys he and his partner had been raising since 2004. 

4. Nondiscrimination Ordinance Passes (1977)
Miami became one of almost 40 cities in the nation to pass nondiscrimination ordinances against gays and lesbians.
3. Save Our Children (1977)
Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign overturned a law prohibiting workplace and housing discrimination against gay men and women. As a former Ms. Oklahoma, chart-topping singer, and brand spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Commission, Bryant became the face of the conservative antigay movement, with the likes of Jerry Falwell flying in from out of state to aid the repeal efforts. The protections were eventually reinstated in 1998, thanks to the organizing efforts of Save Dade and its founder, Damien Pardo. 
2. Versace in Miami (1992-1997)
Fashion designer Gianni Versace relocated to Casa Casuarina, setting off a queer renaissance in South Beach. The newly converted 1930s apartment building became a symbol for the city's gay-led revival. Left ravaged by the drug wars of the '80s, a wilting senior population, and a fleeting economy, SoBe became a low-rent haven for creatives and artists from around the nation. Bars began popping up on every corner, most notably Warsaw (currently Jerry’s Famous Deli), Paragon (on Washington Avenue), and Salvation (on West Avenue).

Barely five years after he moved to Miami Beach, Versace was murdered on the front steps of his iconic Ocean Drive mansion. His violent death sent shockwaves across the community, bringing to a close the decades-long queer boom that began in the late '80s. Drawn by cheaper, more casual beachfront living, much of the town’s graying gay demographic moved to Fort Lauderdale, taking the clubs, stores, and bars with them. 

1. Florida Legalizes Gay Marriage (2015)
In Brenner v. Scott, a U.S. District Court ruled that Florida's 2008 law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Gay marriage has been legal in the state since January 6, 2015, when the court's temporary injunction took effect. 

Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival
Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10, at various locations in Miami. A large parade will take place Sunday beginning at noon along Ocean Drive. Visit
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Neil Vazquez is an arts and entertainment writer who works at the intersection of highbrow and lowbrow A Miami native and Northwestern University graduate, he usually can be found sipping overpriced coffee, walking his golden retriever, or doing yoga.
Contact: Neil Vazquez