David Marder: We are very happy to be here. This is a community effort and with same-sex marriage now here in the state of Florida, it’s important that we not only educate the community on some of the changes that might occur, but some of the services that same-sex couples can utilize. We look at this as not only something that Greenspoon Marder has been able to do, but it has really been with the help of some our supporters like Equality Florida, Wedding Alliance, and without these people, this could not have been possible.
Myrna Maysonet: Well, we felt that this is not a gay right issue, this is a human rights issue, and we felt that everybody, regardless of resources or privilege, should have this information at hand to make decisions that affect their lives. We are in a good position, I work for an excellent law firm that understands that alerting and advising people of their rights helps the community, helps the family, and ultimately helps society and employers. So that’s why we wanted to bring the information to the people that desperately need it.
Rebecca Brattee: Greenspoon Marder has been serving the Florida community for over 35 years. It is so important that we serve the communities where we work and where we live. And supporting the LGBT community is just a part of everything that Greenspoon Marder believes in. It’s important that everyone has access to good legal counsel, no matter who they are and where they are, and in all aspects of the law. Greenspoon Marder is able to provide that because we are a full-service law firm and we have no boundaries.
Michael Farmer: We are just so happy to be partnering with Greenspoon Marder Law in this event. We are honored to be helping to make sure that folks are aware about it. It’s an important time because now we finally won the freedom to marry here in Florida and folks need this information. It’s a big decision to get married, or to have children, or to enter into any kind of legal obligation with a spouse. So for folks to have this information and for Greenspoon Marder to be providing it is just really amazing.
Myrna Maysonet: How can we go about it legally, if we want to start a family? How can we go about it? What rights do I have if Rebeca carries the child?
Mark Rabinowitz: Well, the answer to the question is that there is legal precedent that states a marriage valid where it takes place is valid throughout the United States.
Elizabeth Tener: What options are available to them? What happens when you are married and you don’t have an agreement that you drafted when you entered into the marriage or before the marriage? But things change and circumstances have changed, and now perhaps the couple wants to identify certain rights and certain terms that they want to come to an agreement on.
Marla Neufeld: The only legal requirement of a surrogate is that she be 18 years old. There’s a lot practical things you want to think about when picking your surrogate, such as her weight, her prior pregnancies. You want to make sure all her pieces work.
Dr. Celso Silva: It’s going to take a while that biology realizes that people can have a baby without having a sperm and an egg together. Right now we see [inaudible 00:03:59] so there is no way to avoid it.
Rebeca Torres Maysonet: I think it’s important for every vendor to open up their hearts and the business to any couple, including gay couples. Whether it’s legal or not, or whatever the decision is in June, these couples want to get married and they want to celebrate their love and we want to give them the same celebratory event and same beautiful event that any couple would want.
Ricardo Rangel: I think this was a great event. I think that the community itself can learn a lot from what was said here today. I know I learned a lot just as far as reproductive rights and all the surrogacy that happens throughout people who want to have children. This was amazing. The struggles that some people go through as far as also trying to get married and being recognized with the same rights, I think this is a very important issue that everybody should learn about.