LGBTQ Democrats Congratulate 2020 LGBTQ DNC Delegates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida Democratic Party announced Florida’s Congressional District-Level Delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Fifteen percent of the Delegates identify as LGBTQ.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement congratulating the delegates:

“We congratulate all of Florida’s District-Level Delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and we thank these LGBTQ Democrats who will represent us. The number of LGBTQ Delegates elected, coupled with the interest shown by other LGBTQ candidates who ran, demonstrates that our community is organized and energized like never before. LGBTQ voters are a key constituency that will help deliver the White House for Joe Biden and elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2020.”

The District-Level Delegates identifying as LGBTQ, or those who are members of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus or its 21 local chapters, are as follows:

Biden Delegate Candidates

Congressional District 1
Joe Dulaney

Congressional District 5
Daniel Henry

Congressional District 8
Beth McMillen*

Congressional District 9
Vivian Rodriguez*

Congressional District 12
Jocelyn Dickman*

Congressional District 13
Susan McGrath*
Nathan Bruemmer*

Congressional District 14
Michael Womack

Congressional District 16
Mary Clupper
Louis Grossman

Congressional District 19
David Holden

Congressional District 20
Jasmin Lewis*
Percy Johnson

Congressional District 21
Tricia Ellen Hallison-Mischler
Rolando Barrero*
Robert “Rob” Long

Congressional District 22
Shenika “Nik” Harris*
Michael Rajner

Sanders Delegate Candidates

Congressional District 4
Monica DePaul

Congressional District 15
Adraine “Vanessa” Lester

Congressional District 22
Mitchell Stollberg

*Denotes a member of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

# # #

LGBTQ Democrats Urge Duval Schools to Remove Anti-LGBTQ Teacher

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Florida Times-Union has uncovered a Duval County public school teacher’s social media posts that mock the LGBTQ+ community in shocking and graphic terms, a new development that the Duval school system said it will investigate. Previously, this same teacher was investigated for refusing to use a transgender teenager’s pronouns, which sparked inclusion training.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement:

“The teacher in question has a long and disturbing track record of anti-LGBTQ comments and abhorrent viewpoints. Duval County Public Schools should complete its investigation thoroughly and swiftly – and it should be the end of Mr. Caggiano’s public teaching career. A teacher’s personal views should never come at the expense of a student’s safety or well-being.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Communications Director and Jacksonville resident Phil Perry reacted to the development:

“When I see what Mr. Caggiano wrote, I think about all the LGBTQ students who are just coming to terms with who they are. Seeing a teacher post such hateful language could drive them further into isolation or subject them to bullying. It’s never acceptable for a teacher to make public comments that lead to a toxic school environment.”

###

LGBTQ+ Democrats Endorse Florida’s Democratic Congressional Delegation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its first round of endorsements for the 2020 election. After a careful review of statements, support and Congressional records, the Caucus membership voted to endorse Florida’s Democratic Congressional Delegation for reelection:

• Rep. Al Lawson (CD-5)
• Rep. Stephanie Murphy (CD-7)
• Rep. Darren Soto (CD-9)
• Rep. Val Demings (CD-10)
• Rep. Charlie Crist (CD-13)
• Rep. Kathy Castor (CD-14)
• Rep. Alcee Hastings (CD-20)
• Rep. Lois Frankel (CD-21)
• Rep. Ted Deutch (CD-22)
• Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (CD-23)
• Rep. Frederica Wilson (CD-24)
• Rep. Debbie Murcarsel-Powell (CD-26)
• Rep. Donna Shalala (CD-27)

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the Caucus’ endorsement:

“We are proud to endorse Florida’s Democratic members of Congress for reelection. All 13 Representatives have furthered the cause of equality for LGBTQ+ Floridians, and we thank them for their strong support of our community. Our work is not done in the struggle for equality. We need their voices in Congress fighting for us.”

Susan McGrath, Campaign Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, highlighted the impact on legislative goals:

“We’re making this endorsement because we know we can always count on them to support LGBTQ+ equality. From passing the Equality Act to allowing patriotic trans service members to serve openly to blocking the Trump Administration’s attempts to enshrine discrimination in federal regulations, Florida’s Democratic Congressional Delegation will do what’s right, fair, and just.”

# # #

Rep. Kathy Castor Discusses Issues with the Caucus

We were honored to hear from Rep. Kathy Castor on the critial issues facing Florida and America!

Rep. Shalala Joins Video Call with Caucus Membership

Thank you Congresswoman Donna Shalala for speaking with our membership! She covered a range of legislative topics, including the latest economic relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change. Give it a watch!

Caucus Announces LGBTQ+ Candidates for Delegate

We applaud all of the LGBTQ+ identified Democrats and Caucus and Chapter members who qualified to be a candidate for delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention in August. Our community must be represented at the national convention. Balloting this year will be done electronically. You can apply directly to the Florida Democratic Party​ for a ballot here. The deadline to request your ballot is May 13, and voting will occur May 14 through May 16.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus bylaws prevent us from endorsing delegate candidates, but we are asking for you to vote for the LGBTQ+ delegate candidate(s) of your choice.

Biden Delegate Candidates

Congressional District 6
Clifton Roby

Congressional District 8
Beth McMillen

Congressional District 9
Vivan Rodriguez

Congressional District 11
Robert “Bob” Workman

Congressional District 12
Jocelyn Dickman

Congressional District 13
Susan McGrath
Nathan Bruemmer

Congressional District 14
Michael Womack

Congressional District 16
Mary Clupper
Mary Ann Shea
Louis Grossman

Congressional District 19
Timothy Dues
David Holden

Congressional District 20
Jasmin Lewis
Percy Johnson

Congressional District 21
Tricia Ellen Hallison-Mischler
Rolando Barrero
Robert “Rob” Long

Congressional District 22
Shenika “Nik” Harris
Michael Rajner
Adam Sabin
Dean Trantalis

Congressional District 24
Carlos Andrade
Ricardo “Ricky” Junquera

Congressional District 27
Joseph “Joe” Falk

Sanders Delegate Candidates

Congressional District 4
Monica DePaul

Congressional District 15
Adraine “Vanessa” Lester

Congressional District 22
Mitchell Stollberg

Please let us know if you or someone you know is LGBTQ+ and mistakenly omitted from this list so we can update it on the page.

Each registered Democrat will get a ballot corresponding to their presidential preference to vote for individuals from that Congressional District.

On behalf of the Caucus and these delegates, thank you for your vote!

Stephen Gaskill
President
Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Calls On Jacksonville to Immediately Fix Human Rights Ordinance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Yesterday an Appeals Court struck down Jacksonville’s ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity because the city’s Office of General Council never bothered to write the amended ordinance.

The ordinance passed the City Council in 2017 on a 12-6 margin. Mayor Lenny Curry did not veto or sign the bill saying at the time that “I said then and continue to believe additional legislation was unnecessary. But … a supermajority of the City Council decided otherwise.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Legislative Director Nathan Bruemmer issued the following statement on the news of the court ruling:

“This is an incredibly disappointing setback for Jacksonville’s vibrant LGBTQ community. Despite Mayor Curry’s previous comments about the ordinance, it ensured LGBTQ residents could live their daily lives without fear of discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations. Jacksonville’s City Council and the Curry Administration must immediately rectify the situation. Every day lost is another day LGBTQ residents can be fired from their job or kicked out of their home.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Communications Director Phil Perry reacted to the development:

“Jacksonville’s diverse, welcoming community is one of the reasons it became my chosen home. I know we’re better than letting tens of thousands of our LGBTQ neighbors live in limbo. Discrimination has no place in our community. Our lawmakers must act swiftly to ensure every resident is protected from discrimination.”

# # #

LGBTQ Dems Celebrate the Life of Terry Fleming

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2020

GAINESVILLE, FL – Pride Community Center of North Central Florida Executive Director Terry Fleming has passed away. Terry was also Treasurer and a past President of the Stonewall Democrats of Alachua County, and state committeeman of the Alachua Democratic Party. Previously he served as President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the news of Terry Fleming’s death:

“We are all in shock and mourning the loss our dear friend and dedicated colleague, Terry Fleming. He was one of the giants of our community who dedicated his life and career to service. First as a Navy veteran, then as a mentor and supporter of LGBTQ youth, as a policy advocate fighting for LGBTQ equality, and as a Democratic activist electing pro-equality candidates.

“Terry is a leader who can never be replaced. He brought decades of experience and institutional knowledge combined with a humble spirit and ‘get it done’ attitude. Because of Terry’s leadership, Alachua County and Gainesville have been lightyears ahead of other municipalities on LGBTQ equality – not just in Florida, but across the country. The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus sends our condolences to Terry’s husband and family, his community and colleagues.”

Sally Phillips, past President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, will remember Terry for innovative activism:

“Terry set an example for each of us to follow in our own activism. When he set a goal, he brought the community together to achieve it, no matter how hard it was or how long it took. When Gainesville and Alachua County banned forms of conversion therapy that were harming LGBTQ youth, the laws he helped pass became a model for municipalities around Florida, including my home of Hillsborough County. I will certainly miss his friendship and we all will miss his leadership.”

Michael Albetta, past President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, will remember Terry for his leadership qualities:

“Terry had everything you wanted in a leader: a steady hand, a smart political mind, experience, compassion and empathy, a humble heart for service, and an infectious spirit that inspired people to work together for a common purpose. For more than 20 years, I’ve counted on Terry for his counsel, hard work, and belief in our mission of equality for all. We’ve lost one of the greats.”

 

###

LGBTQ Democrats Call for Immediate Action on Unemployment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – The Department of Labor announced today that another 4.4 million unemployment claims have been filed, with more than 26 million claims since the coronavirus pandemic began. As of today, there are at least 571,894 Floridians waiting for their unemployment benefits to be received – and those are the residents who were even able to submit a claim on the botched website created under Rick Scott’s administration.

A Human Rights Campaign Foundation study found that 5 million LGBTQ Americans work in jobs affected by the COVID-19 crisis: restaurant and food services, hospital, education and retail industries, which are all major portions of Florida’s economy.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement in response to the latest unemployment figures:

“Floridians are hurting, and the suffering grows with each passing day that the unemployment system isn’t fixed. Governor DeSantis and the Republican-controlled state legislature are lagging on taking immediate and drastic action that provides relief to struggling workers, many of whom are LGBTQ Floridians. This crisis calls for competence, leadership, and empathy. Let’s hope that DeSantis and his Republican allies can live up to that basic standard of public service.”

# # #

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Floridians to the Florida Democratic Party (FDP). The Caucus has 21 chapters across Florida, from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Miami.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz Provides COVID-19 Update to Caucus

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined us to outline efforts the government is taking to assist in combatting COVID-19. Give it a watch and please share!

A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus