For 2 women, lawsuit 27 years in the making
By GRAHAM BRINK, Times Staff Writer
TAMPA - Paula Schoenwether remembers the old days, when she kept quiet about her sexual orientation.
She would worry that the school officials where she taught in Detroit would find out. That her mother would disown her.
It was the late 1970s. Her partner, Nancy Wilson, was open about her sexual preference. Schoenwether was the opposite.
Twenty-seven years later, the couple has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force the state of Florida and the federal government to recognize their Massachusetts marriage.
Financially hurt gay group gets donation of $10,000
After being evicted and laying off employees, the Gay & Lesbian Foundation of South Florida has gotten an infusion of cash and may get back on its feet.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Evicted this month from its office, its website gone, South Florida's leading gay foundation is already poised for a comeback: The group's top donor has given it $10,000 to get back on track.
''We're not going to let the lesbian and gay foundation fall to pieces. We're making an effort to bring it back together,'' said Mel Heifetz, who in four years has given more than a quarter-million dollars to the Gay & Lesbian Foundation of South Florida.
''It's not dead. It's still breathing. It needs a little intensive care. Within a month or so, it may be up and running,'' he said.
The foundation announced on July 16 that it had gone broke, had laid off employees and would have to sell its only asset -- rights to the profitable Winter Party -- to pay creditors.