LGBTQ South Florida

Miami Dolphins to honor LGBTQ activist with Hispanic leadership prize

SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima holds a No. 18 jersey with his name, flanked by Jason Jenkins, executive vice president of communications and community affairs for the Dolphins, and Tom Garfinkel, chief executive of the Miami club.
SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima holds a No. 18 jersey with his name, flanked by Jason Jenkins, executive vice president of communications and community affairs for the Dolphins, and Tom Garfinkel, chief executive of the Miami club. Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins will honor LGBTQ activist Tony Lima with the Hispanic Legacy Leadership Prize during the game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

“The vision and relationship that I have experienced with the Miami Dolphins and their owner Stephen Ross have surprised me. It has been a true pleasure to work with an organization with a vision of how make a difference,” said Lima, who is executive director of LGBTQ-rights group SAVE.

“This honor is shared by everyone in SAVE, who work hard to advocate for equal rights for people of all sexual orientations and genders,”Lima said. “It is built on upon 25 years of activists who inspire me every day to fight to make a difference in the LGBTQ community.”

On Sept. 13, SAVE awarded Dolphins star wide receiver Kenny Sills with its Luminary Icon prize.

Lima, a Miami-born Cuban American, has been SAVE’s executive director for five years. The group was founded 25 years ago.

In 2014, SAVE lobbied the Miami-Dade Commission to approve anti-discrimination protections for transgender people. A year later, it won a federal lawsuit against the state of Florida to legalize marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Since Lima became its director, SAVE has endorsed and helped to elect 65 pro-equality officials at all levels of government. And in 2016, the group launched a door-to-door canvassing model to help reduce prejudice against the LGBTQ community. The model has since been adopted in many other parts of the United States.

SAVE is a beneficiary of the Dolphins Football Unites program, created by Ross and players to help South Florida groups that work for minority rights. Through the Football Unites Grants, the team is supporting SAVE’s campaign to reduce prejudices against the LGBTQ community and build a list of supportive community members.

The award was announced Aug. 23 at a Business Equality Network luncheon sponsored by the Dolphins and SAVE, an LGBTQ-rights group where Lima serves as executive director.

SAVE is committed to “protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) against discrimination,” according to its website.

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