Top 10 Straight Allies

Suzanne Gunzberger

Written by Richard Hack


Retired Broward County Commissioner


Throughout her 32 years in elected office, former Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger was a determined advocate for the LGBT community. During her years of service on the County Commission, she was at various times the Commission Vice Chair (1993–94 and 1998–99), Commission Chair (1994–95 and 1999-2000), Broward County Vice Mayor (2009–10), and the Broward County Mayor (2010-11). Unfailingly, in each position, Gunzburger spearheaded movement toward total equality in services and benefits.

She received her Bachelors degree in Education from Wayne State University and her Masters of Social Work degree from Barry University.  Originally a public school teacher, Gunzburger became a social worker and family therapist in the 70s, before becoming a long-time community and political activist.  President Jimmy Carter appointed her a delegate to the White House Conference on Families in 1980.

In 2011, when Gunzburger was the mayor of Broward County, she led the effort to get the Broward County Commission to unanimously vote to approve Florida’s first countywide Equal Benefits Ordinance, a measure that requires the county’s vendors to provide domestic partners with benefits equal to those offered to spouses of married employees.

For the state of Florida, it set the tone for future domestic partnership and LGBT non-discrimination ordinances. At the time that the Equal Benefits Ordinance passed, Equality Florida labeled it “one of the nation’s most significant policies furthering workplace equality.”

Gunzberger, whose husband Gerry died in 2009, is the mother of a son and two daughters, and has lived in Hollywood, Florida, since 1968.