Equality Florida's Gainesville-based public policy director, Mallory Wells, has been named to The Advocate's 2012 “Forty Under 40” list, which honors the "budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics, sports, and science” who are poised to be “the architects of the next decade.”
Wells, 26, who identifies as bisexual, serves as Equality Florida's full-time lobbyist in Tallahassee – as well as the sole lobbyist devoted to LGBT issues in the state – and oversees the organization's federal, state, and local legislative programs. Some of her major coups include the passage of a 2008 anti-bullying bill and the blockage of an amendment that would have prohibited gay Floridians from adopting overseas. In 2009, she helped organize the Rally in Tally, at the time, the state's first LGBT assembly at the Capitol in more than 10 years.
On her work lobbying for LGBT issues and rights, Wells told the popular gay and lesbian news magazine: “The state legislature in Florida is a lot more conservative than the people of Florida are, and it can be difficult at times. Four years ago people used to tell me they didn’t have any gay people in their district, and most legislators did not understand that LGBT Floridians can be fired from their jobs just because of who they are. Now every single legislator has had an LGBT person sit in their office and explain to them what it is like to be an LGBT Floridian.”