Arlene Goldberg

Arlene Goldberg is a leader and pioneer in the LGBTQ+ community, and the recepient of Equality Florida’s 2014 Voice for Equality Award. She was one of the plaintiffs in the groundbreaking ACLU class-action lawsuit related to the same-sex marriage laws in Florida. History was made when she and her wife, Carol, carol became the first same-sex couple to have their New York marriage officially and legally recognized by the State of Florida. Arlene confounded Visulaity in 2011 in Southwest Florida, and Southwest Florida Pride, Ince. created the Goldberg Award in her honor, to “recognized outstanding individuals that have contributed to the cultural, social and economic fabric of the LGBTQ+ Community in Southwest Florida.”

Simple Human Dignity: My Life, My Wife, Our Story

As Arlene Goldberg grew up in post-World War II New York, she couldn’t have imagined one day becoming known as a pioneer and history maker credited with changing same-sex marriage laws in Florida. Young Arlene was a typical girl. She had a loving relationship with her family, did fine in school, dated boys, and enjoyed all the milestones of youth. Then she met Carol and fell in love. That’s when destiny stepped in and began to shape the future.In the years that followed, Arlene loved Carol with a ferocity and devotion many people only dream about. And that love drove them both into hiding and into the proverbial closet, where they lived in secret for decades. No marriage license could have made their bond more solid or enduring—and yet without that piece of paper, they were denied basic spousal rights.Through tragic illness and terrible loss, the love of Arlene and her wife Carol would go on to shape history, free many to marry those they love, and make our heroine a beloved and revered pioneer in the LGBTQ+ community.