MIAMI-FL: Early and vote by mail voting has started across the state and there’s a ballot initiative that will have a huge impact on Florida’s LGBTQ community: Amendment 4. By voting yes on Amendment 4, Florida voters have the chance to re-enfranchise 1.4 million people who are currently barred from voting due to prior felony convictions, even after time is served and debt is paid. This includes the over 40% of incarcerated women who identify somewhere on the queer spectrum.

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund supports Second Chances’ work to pass Amendment 4. Currently, more than 1.4 million Floridians cannot vote due to their rights being taken away after serving time, that’s 10 percent of Florida’s potential voters.

This is an LGBTQ Issue: LGBTQ individuals are incarcerated at higher rates and often serve longer sentences as compared to non-LGBTQ individuals. Shockingly, lesbian and bisexual women make up over 42 percent of the overall women’s national prison population. In comparison, only 3 percent of the general national population identify as queer women.

Issues that affect people of color affect LGBTQ people: In Florida, 21 percent of Black people have had their right to vote revoked by the state government. 39 percent of LGBTQ individuals identify as people of color.

“LGBTQ people should remember that we have just as much at stake with Amendment 4 as every marginalized community has,” says Victoria Kirby York, Deputy Director of the Advocacy and Action Department. “LGBTQ people face hardships with access to voting, economic inequality, and discrimination. When we pull together, we can make a change that will impact every Floridian who cares about their future. Our democracy works best when everyone participates.”

The Task Force Action Fund has participated in the Second Chances campaign through on the ground organizing in partnership with Equality Florida Action Fund and SAVE Action PAC, staffing pride events, and get out the vote phone banks to connect with the LGBTQ community about this critical issue. Queering democracy is central to the Task Force Action Fund’s mission.

Alex Morash
Media and PR Director
(202) 639-6306