In Little Havana, Latino Community Speaks Out Against “No Preguntes, No lo Cuentes” (DADT)
May 3, 2010
The iconic Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho in the heart of Little Havana in Miami was the latest host of the Human Rights Campaign and Service Member United’s “Voices of Honor” Tour to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” or “No Preguntes, No lo Cuentes” in Spanish. With local coalition partners SAVE Dade and the Unity Coalition, the Human Rights Campaign was highly successful in taking its message of anti-discrimination and repeal to the Latino community with our story being reported by multiple Spanish speaking media outlets including the nation’s largest: Univision and Telemundo. It was also covered by El Nuevo Herald. (An English version is here.) HRC, with its staff on the ground throughout Florida since early March, has aggressively engaged local community partners and individuals in its fight for repeal. Versailles’ Spanish-language event marked a new platform for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” nationwide. Miami political strategist and Unity Coalition board member Vanessa Brito commented on the event's significance:
“It's the first and only Spanish-speaking event being done so far. Since Florida is one of the states they are focusing on -- and Senator Bill Nelson is one of the votes they need – they are trying to mobilize the Spanish-speaking constituency.”
The general progress made by LGBT Americans in engaging our country’s minority communities was very evident in Little Havana’s positive reception of the “No Preguntes, No Lo Cuentes” rally. Jorge Barbontin, 47, is a straight former Marine who was raised in Miami by Cuban-American parents. During yesterday's panel, he remarked:
“If we were having this discussion in the 1960s -- my father's generation -- what would be happening in the restaurant or in the streets would be chaos. In the middle of Versailles, on an issue that may have been thought to be controversial in the Latin community, there was no reaction to it."
Go to www.repealDADT.com and join the fight for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (“No Preguntes, No lo Cuentes”) in English or in Spanish.
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