The National Women’s History Project has named Nadine Smith as a 2016 Honoree. This year’s Project honors women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their public service and government leadership. Smith is a national leader in LGBT rights activism. She is executive Director of Equality Florida and was executive director of its predecessor organization, the Human Rights Task Force. As a lobbyist, activist, and leader Smith works tirelessly to improve the lives of Lesbian, Gay, bisexual, and Transgender Americans.
Smith began her activism in college, and in 1986 she served on the founding board of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization. She served as one of four national co-chairs on the 1993 March on Washington, coordinating national and international media coverage, and took part in the historic, first-ever meeting between LGBT leaders and a sitting U.S. president, President Bill Clinton, in the White House. Smith served four terms as co-chair of the Equality Federation and served as a member of the Democratic National Committee. Executive Director of Equality Florida since the organization’s inception in 1997, Smith has led advocacy efforts in Florida at the state level at a time of unprecedented attacks on the LGBT community. She led efforts to stop discriminatory legislation and ballot measures and to overturn Florida’s ban on adoption by gay and lesbian parents. Smith is an outspoken advocate for hate crimes and bullying legislation. In 2008, Equality Florida’s efforts led to passage of a state anti-bullying law that spurred school districts across Florida to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their bullying policies.
Smith has been recognized for her national and state leadership by organizations including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum. A former award-winning journalist, she has written syndicated columns for various LGBT and general audience publications.
In 2013, Nadine Smith was named by the Florida Diversity Council as one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women” in Florida.
In August 2012, with their toddler, Logan, in tow, Smith and Andrea Hildebran were among the first couples in St. Petersburg, Florida to register for a domestic partnership.