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Wilton Manors, Florida, in Broward county, is 2 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (center to center) and 26 miles north of Miami, Florida. The people of the city are in the Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area. Wilton Manors has a population around 13,000.  Wilton Manors was originally inhabited by Seminole Indians. It was incorporated in 1947.The city stands out as an excellent example of far sighted planning. Its original developers designed it with the vision of a desirable future in mind, which has contributed significantly to the rapid development of this beautiful city.

Wilton Manors has eleven parks located along the river front. These parks give fulsome opportunities to people for enjoying a variety of activities, like picnicking and different kinds of sports. The Colohatchee Park is a nature preserve which helps visitors get an idea about how the riverfront looked hundreds of years back. The civic department of the city organizes various community activities for all age groups.

As a result of the 2010 US Census, the City of Wilton Manors was named the “Second gayest City” in the United States.  With a large percentage of the population identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Wilton Manors has been a progressive place live, work and play for many years.  The City of Wilton Manors has embraced its reputation as a destination for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.    The City regularly partners with LGBT organizations and is home to the Pride Center at Equality Park, Broward County’s gay and lesbian community center.  The City is a joint sponsor with the Pride South Florida for the Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors event that takes place every June on Wilton Drive and attracts over 15,000 visitors.  For the second year, Wilton Manors has been named by South Florida Gay News as the Best City in its Best of Competition!

There has been a strong gay presence on the City Commission since the late 1980s when the City of Wilton Manors had the distinction of electing Broward County’s first openly gay elected official in 1988.   By the year 2000, the City of Wilton Manors had made history as having the second gay-majority governing body in the United States.    This included a gay Mayor, Vice Mayor and Councilman.     The current make-up of the City Commission continues to reflect the City’s diversity with a gay majority and the balance made up of strong and vocal LGBT allies. 

In 1999, the City established its Domestic Partnership Ordinance extending equal benefits to City employees and their domestic partners.     This was preceded in 1997 when the City passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation for any communication family operator in the City.   Additionally, the City of Wilton Manors requires every contract for or on behalf of the City to incorporate an anti-discrimination clause for sexual orientation.    All vendors with the City must provide proof they do not discriminate, as well.  

City Hall is a place where the LGBT community is embraced whether as a resident utilizing one of our services or as an employee.    The City of Wilton Manors Police Department conducts police training that is geared towards working with the City’s LGBT population and has gay and lesbian officers amongst its ranks.  

The main business district of the City is centered around the internationally known Wilton Drive.  This shopping area boasts many stores and services geared to the LGBT community.  Home to over 40 restaurants, lounges and nightclubs, it has become a destination for tourists and locals alike.   Consistent with our pedestrian friendly designation, many people specifically look for housing options that are walking distance to Wilton Drive.   Located adjacent to Wilton Drive are a collection of LGBT friendly bed and breakfasts establishments providing visitors instant access to “The Drive” and the unique Wilton Manors hospitality.

While Wilton Drive has a large concentration of LGBT-friendly businesses, one of the most unique qualities of the City of Wilton Manors is that there is no “gay neighborhood” as found in many other LGBT friendly cities.    Instead, all of the neighborhoods in this two-square mile Island City are diverse and safe for all residents.    Many LGBT residents take an active role in community leadership serving on neighborhood association boards, City boards and within the many community resources.