This past week has held big news on the gay marriage front for the state of Florida.
Last Thursday, Circuit Judge Luis Garcia in the Florida Keys struck down the state ban of gay marriage, stating it violated the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. He ordered the Monroe County Clerk of Court to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting on Tuesday.
He later rejected the emergency motion filed by bartenders Aaron Huntsman, 44 and William Lee Jones, 43, after republican Attorney General Pam Bondi announced she planned to appeal it.
While the later ruling was a major disappointment for the LBGT community and anyone who supports equal rights, this weekend offers a chance for solace and celebration for hopes of future progress. SKYY Vodka and Freedom to Marry are hosting a #ToastToMarriage event at Georgie's Alibi.
On Saturday from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., the Wilton Manors event is aiming to raise funds and visibility in the fight for marriage rights for same-sex couples.
The special SKYY "Freedom to Marry" cocktail (recipe below) will be featured for the party and guests are asked to have their "Toast to Marriage" photos taken for the national campaign for marriage equality.
"We know that the more Americans talk about gay families and why marriage matters, the more our national majority for marriage grows in every part of the country," said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. "Through partnerships like the SKYY Vodka 'Toast to Marriage' campaign, Freedom to Marry aims to spark more conversations in states where marriage discrimination persists, highlighting that unfairness and helping grow support for bringing the freedom to marry home nationwide."
Currently, 44 percent of the nation allows gay couples to marry while other the 56 percent bans it.
Reps from the vodka company have expressed their excitement to be part of the effort for LBGT equality.
"For decades, SKYY Vodka has partnered with LGBT events, festivals and organizations, but we knew we could contribute in a fresher, more substantial way," said Kathleen Schuart, senior marketing director, SKYY Vodka. "We worked hand-in-hand with Freedom to Marry to develop Toast To Marriage as a way to help our friends, families, colleagues and communities win the freedom to marry nationwide."
This event is just one of a summer series aimed at raising money and awareness for the cause. It sparked off in Atlanta on June 16 and will be hitting other major metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia, Columbus, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
SKYY Vodka Proposal
Two ounces SKYY Vodka
Four ounces Ginger Ale
Half ounce Lime Juice
Three Dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish with two limes
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.