Statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 20, 2022

DELRAY BEACH, FL – According to the Human Rights Campaign, four transgender people have been killed in Florida so far this year:

  • Duval Princess, a 24-year-old in the early stages of transitioning and who identified as transgender, was killed in Jacksonville on January 3, 2022.
  • Nedra Sequence Morris, a 50-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Opa-locka on May 14, 2022.
  • Semaj Billingslea, a 33-year-old Black trans man, was killed in Jacksonville on September 21, 2022.
  • Tiffany Banks, a 25-year-old Black trans woman, was killed in Miami on October 1, 2022.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Vice President Robin Witt issued the following statement for Transgender Day of Remembrance:

“Today we remember our four Black and beautiful transgender family members who we lost in Florida this year. The full lives of Duval Princess, Nedra, Semaj, and Tiffany were cut short for being their authentic selves. We must continue the necessary work of raising awareness, promoting tolerance, and supporting our transgender and non-binary community. We also cannot and will not stop fighting to protect transgender Floridians from the Republican Party’s relentless onslaught of political rhetoric and attacks that is deliberately endangering our lives.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement for Transgender Day of Remembrance:

“The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus honors the memory and legacy of the beautiful souls we’ve lost to senseless violence, and we stand in solidarity with our transgender members, Board members, officers, and those throughout the community. Our work is not done to protect their lives and dignity. As Ron DeSantis and his cult of sycophants continue to trade transgender and non-binary lives for political power, it’s on all of us to fight back with everything we have.”

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 The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Floridians to the Florida Democratic Party. The Caucus is a statewide organization with chapters in 25 counties across Florida from Pensacola to Orlando to Miami – including most major metropolitan areas and many rural counties in between.

Statement on U.S. Senate’s Marriage Equality Procedural Vote

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2022

Today, 12 Republicans in the US Senate joined all their Democratic colleagues in a critical test vote to codify marriage equality. Last summer, 47 Republicans in the House joined their Democratic colleagues to do the same.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill released the following statement on the test vote:

“Today’s Senate vote underscores the support the American people of both parties have for marriage equality. Despite the wishes of the ultra-conservative justices of the US Supreme Court, there is no appetite to take away this Constitutionally-guaranteed right. It’s a complete contrast to the anti-LGBTQ+ actions of Republican legislators across the country, but especially here in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading a crusade to erase the LGBTQ+ community from public life. Our community is resilient, committed, and stands with the majority of Americans who understand that love is love.”

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Statement of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus on the 2022 General Election Results

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2022

STATEMENT OF THE FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS ON THE 2022 GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus congratulates all our candidates who ran on common sense positions of equality and nondiscrimination, access to abortion and healthcare, economic policies that protect Florida’s families, and the preservation of democracy. The 2022 election provided an opportunity to highlight what’s at stake for Floridians.

“Democrats are the party of the real Florida,” said Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. “Our candidates laid out their visions for the future of our state and for the country. We congratulate all those who ran, regardless of the outcome of their elections. We especially congratulate those who stood up for the LGBTQ+ community and made equality a central focus of their message. The 2022 election is over, but we are looking ahead to continuing our fight for a Florida for all.”

Congratulations to Val Demings and Charlie Crist for representing the values of Floridians. It is unfortunate that too many voters were swayed by the disingenuous campaign messaging of Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis, two politicians whose focus is on their own ambitions rather than the needs of our state.

We also congratulate our newest Democratic Members of Congress, Rep.-Elect Jared Moskowitz and Rep.-Elect Maxwell Alejandro Frost. Their presence in the Florida Congressional delegation brings new voices and visions for what Florida can become.

The LGBTQ+ Caucus in Tallahassee survives with the reelections of Sen. Shevrin Jones and Rep. Michele Rayner. Together, they will represent our community and be the frontline firewall for the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation we know the Republicans are planning. We will miss the voice of our champion Carlos Guillermo Smith, who faced an onslaught of special interest spending that he fought hard to overcome.

“The Republicans will once again attempt to marginalize our community and use LGBTQ+ discrimination as a messaging opportunity to advance the DeSantis presidential run,” Gaskill said. “Despite the results in individual races, Floridians overwhelmingly support the LGBTQ+ community in our ongoing fight for equality.”

With chapters in 25 counties across the state, the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is among the most active organizations in the Florida Democratic Party. This cycle our chapters worked directly with candidates and campaigns, hosted fundraisers, events and rallies, canvassed and made phone calls, and were a visible and active presence on the campaign trail. The volunteers in our LGBTQ+ Get Out The Vote Center in Wilton Manors sent more than 5,000 GOTV postcards and operated a text banking operation that generated more than 200,000 GOTV texts to voters around Florida. The Center hosted rallies and events featuring Val Demings, Charlie Crist, Karla Hernandez, Aramis Ayala, Adam Hattersley, Lauren Book, Jason Pizzo, Dean Trantalis, and countless other candidates and elected officials.

“The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus will continue our organizing, outreach, and mobilization efforts as we head into the next election cycle,” Gaskill said. “We are not deterred by yesterday’s results.”

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The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Floridians to the Florida Democratic Party. The Caucus is a statewide organization with chapters in 25 counties across Florida from Pensacola to Orlando to Miami – including most major metropolitan areas and many rural counties in between.

LGBTQ+ Democrats Announce 2022 General Election Endorsements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2022

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its endorsed candidates and constitutional amendment recommendations for the 2022 General Election and kicking off an online fundraising and get-out-the-vote effort for targeted races.

Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the endorsements:

“The only way to stop the dangerous anti-LGBTQ+ agenda is to defeat the Republican politicians who shamefully attack our community for political gain. The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and its county chapters are working to turnout LGBTQ+ voters in the critical 2022 election and elect pro-equality Democrats who will protect and expand the rights of all LGBTQ+ Floridians.”

ENDORSED CANDIDATES

U.S. SENATE

Val Demings

U.S. HOUSE INCUMBENTS

Rep. Al Lawson – District 2
Rep. Darren Soto – District 9
Rep. Kathy Castor – District 14
Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick – District 20
Rep. Lois Frankel – District 22
Rep. Frederica Wilson – District 24
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – District 25

U.S. HOUSE CHALLENGERS

Danielle Nicole Hawk – U.S. House, District 3
Karen Green – U.S. House, District 7
Joanne Terry – U.S. House, District 8
Maxwell Alejandro Frost – U.S. House, District 10
Kimberly Walker – U.S. House, District 12
Eric Lynn – U.S. House, District 13
Alan Cohn – U.S. House, District 15
Jan Schneider – U.S. House, District 16
Andrea Doria Kale – Congress, District 17
Dr. Cindy Banyai – U.S. House, District 19
Jared Moskowitz – U.S. House, District 23
Christine Alexandria Olivo – U.S. House, District 26
Annette Taddeo – U.S. House, District 27
Robert Asencio – U.S. House, District 28

GUBERNATORIAL

Charlie Crist – Governor

CABINET

Adam Hattersley – CFO
Aramis Ayala – Attorney General

STATE SENATE

Loranne Ausley, State Senate – District 3
Tracie Davis, State Senate – District 5
Rodney Long, State Senate – District 9
Veysel Dokur, State Senate – District 12
Janet Cruz, State Senate – District 14
Darryl Rouson, State Senate – District 16
Linda Stewart, State Senate – District 17
Eunic Ortiz, State Senate – District 18
Vic Torres, State Senate – District 25
Shevrin Jones, State Senate – District 34
Lauren Book, State Senate – District 35
Raquel Pacheco, State Senate – District 36
Janelle Perez, State Senate – District 38

STATE HOUSE

Carollyn Taylor, State House – District 2
Cornelius Jones, State House – District 11
Angie Nixon, State House – District 13
Michael Anderson, State House – District 17
Yvonne Hayes Hinson, State House – District 21
Brandon Peters, State House – District 22
John Navarra, State House – District 28
Rick Karl, State House – District 29
Rishi Bagga, State House – District 35
Deborah Poulalion, State House – District 36
Carlos Guillermo Smith, State House – District 37
Sarah Henry, State House – District 38
Tiffany Hughes, State House – District 39
LaVon Bracy Davis, State House – District 40
Anna Eskamani, State House – District 42
Johanna Lopez, State House – District 43
Allie Braswell, State House – District 45
Kristen Arrington, State House – District 46
Bernard “Bernie” Fensterwald, State House – District 58
Lindsay Cross, State House – District 60
Janet Varnell Warwick, State House – District 61
Michele Rayner, State House – District 62
David Tillery, State House – District 66
Fentrice Driskell, State House – District 67
Lorissa Wright, State House – District 68
Andrew Learned, State House – District 69
Derek Reich, State House – District 73
Forest Blanton, State House – District 84
Curtis John Tucker, State House – District 85
Kelly Skidmore, State House – District 92
Katherine Waldron, State House – District 93
Patricia Hawkins-Williams, State House – District 99
Linda Thompson Gonzalez, State House – District 100
Hillary Cassel, State House – District 101
Marie Woodson, State House – District 105
Jordan Leonard, State House – District 106
Alessandro “A.J.” D’Amico, State House – District 113
Adam Benna, State House – District 114
Christie Cantin Davis, State House – District 115
Gabriel Gonzalez, State House – District 119
Adam Gentle, State House – District 120

MUNICIPAL

Alachua

Harvey Ward, Jr, Gainesville Mayor
Mary Alford, Alachua County Commission, District 1
Mary Helen Wheeler, Alachua County Commission, District 2
Ken Cornell, Alachua County Commission, District 4
Tina Certain, Alachua County School Board, District 1
James Ingle, Gainesville City Commission, District 2
Casey Willits, Gainesville City Commission, District 3
Bryan Eastman, Gainesville City Commission, District 4

Brevard

William “Bill” Johnson – West Melbourne City Council
Erin Dunne – School Board, District 2
James Alex Goins – Cocoa City Council, District 1

Broward

Ruth Carter Lynch, Broward County School Board, District 5
Allen Zeman, Broward County School Board, District 8
Rod Velez, Broward County School Board, District 1
Ken Keechl, Fort Lauderdale Commission, District 1
Yvette DuBose, Fort Lauderdale Commission, District 3
Scott Newton, Wilton Manors Mayor
Paul Rolli, Wilton Manors Commission, At-Large

Duval

Lakesha Burton for Sheriff

Escambia

Ann Hill – Pensacola City Council, District 6
Myra Van Hoose – County Commission, District 4

Hillsborough

Harry Cohen, Hillsborough County Commission, District 1
Angela Birdsong, Hillsborough County Commission, District 2
Mariella Smith, Hillsborough County Commission, District 5
Kimberly Overman, Hillsborough County Commission, District 7

Lee

Kathy Fanny, Lee County School Board, District 1
Chantel Rhodes, City of Fort Myers Council, District 3
Steven Blumrosen, City of Bonita Springs Council, District 3

Leon

Cristian Caban – County Commission, District 2
Alex Stemle – School Board, District 4

Orange

Maria Salamanca, Orange County School Board, District 2

Osceola

Viviana Janer, Osceola County Commission, District 2
Heather Kahoun, Osceola School Board, District 4
Angela Eady, Kissimmee City Commission, District 2

Polk

Markeishia Smith – County Commission, District 4

Sarasota

Fredd Atkins, County Commission, District 2
Daniel Kuether – Sarasota County Commission, District 4

Volusia

Justin Kennedy – School Board, District 3
Al Bouie – School Board, District 1

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Amendment 1 – No
Amendment 2 – No
Amendment 3 – No

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LGBTQ+ Democrats Proudly Endorse Charlie Crist for Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2022

WILTON MANORS, FL – Today, alongside Equality Florida Action PAC, Human Rights Campaign PAC, and SAVE Action PAC, the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus has endorsed equality champion Charlie Crist for Governor of Florida. Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the endorsement:

“The lives of LGBTQ+ Floridians are put further at risk each time that Ron DeSantis relentlessly attacks our community. We need a Governor who will undo the damage caused by DeSantis and who will put our state back on the path to full equality. Charlie Crist is the leader we can trust to protect and expand LGBTQ+ rights, and we are proud to endorse him.”

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Congratulations to Our Endorsed Candidates!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2022

DELRAY BEACH — The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus congratulates its endorsed candidates who won their primaries yesterday. The Caucus endorsed in specific races, and echoed several endorsements that came from our chapters. Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement:

“Florida Democrats are on the offensive this cycle. We’re taking on the Republicans for their poor management of state government, neglect of key economic issues like the property insurance crisis, support for anti-LGBTQ+ policies, and fealty to authoritarians like Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. 2022 will be a Democratic success.”

Caucus Campaign Director Dave Cutler congratulated the candidates:

“Congratulations to our endorsed candidates who won their primaries yesterday. These candidates have demonstrated their commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and have earned voters’ trust. We look forward to helping ensure their victories in November.”

Among our victorious endorsed candidates with primaries are:

Statewide Candidates

Val Demings, US Senate
Aramis Ayala, Attorney General

Congressional Incumbents

Rep. Kathy Castor
Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
Rep. Frederica Wilson
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Congressional Challengers/Open Seats

CD-3 Danielle Hawk
CD-10 Maxwell Frost
CD-23 Jared Moskowitz
CD-27 Annette Taddeo
CD-28 Robert Asencio

Florida Senate Candidates

SD-5 Tracie Davis
SD-34 Shevrin Jones
SD-35 Lauren Book

Florida House Candidates

HD-13 Angie Nixon
HD-22 Brandon Peters
HD-36 Deborah Poulalion
HD-38 Sarah Henry
HD-40 LaVon Bracy Davi
HD-58 Bernard Fensterwald
HD-62 Michele Rayner
HD-92 Kelly Skidmore
HD-98 Paula Hawkins-Williams
HD-105 Marie Woodson
HD-106 Jordan Leonard
HD-109 Ashley Gantt
HD-113 AJ D’Amico
HD-119 Gabriel Gonzalez

# # #

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Floridians to the Florida Democratic Party. The Caucus is a statewide organization with chapters in 25 counties across Florida from Pensacola to Orlando to Miami – including most major metropolitan areas and many rural counties in between.

LGBTQ+ Dems Statement on State Attorney Andrew Warren

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2022

ANDREW WARREN WAS SUSPENDED FOR HIS SUPPORT OF TRANSGENDER FLORIDIANS

TAMPA — Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren was suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis for his support of transgender Floridians, and his support for abortion rights. Exhibit A of the executive order suspending Warren is a joint statement he signed with more than 70 elected prosecutors and organizations pledging “not to promote the criminalization of gender-affirming health care or transgender people.”

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus made the following statements in response.

Stephen Gaskill, President, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus:

“Ron DeSantis is fixated on the LGBTQ+ community. His main goal is not protecting vulnerable Floridians from danger, but rather trying to erase us from public life. His suspension of Andrew Warren for his support of the trans community is another despicable act more in line with authoritarian ideals than with the concepts of American democracy. Our message to Ron DeSantis is simple: You cannot eliminate our community and you cannot intimidate our supporters and allies. The bigger enemy you make us, the smaller you get.”

Robin Witt, Vice President, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus:

“The government has no place making medical decisions for children, transgender or otherwise. State Attorney Andrew Warren pledged to use his judgment within the purview of his authority to protect the rights of parents and children to make their own medical decisions and Gov. DeSantis is punishing him for it. DeSantis’ discriminatory targeting of transgender people and executive overreach into the lives of Floridians are nothing short of tyrannical. I encourage everyone who is disgusted by Warren’s suspension and DeSantis’ cowardly leadership to make their voices heard now and in November.”

# # #

LGBTQ+ Dems Endorse Val Demings, Aramis Ayala, Ryan Morales, Annette Taddeo, Maxwell Alejandro Frost

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 23, 2022

Nikki Fried Receives 65% of Vote for Gubernatorial Endorsement, Does Not Reach Threshold for Official Endorsement

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – At Without You We Lose, the 2022 Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, and on the same weekend of the Florida Republican Sunshine Summit across the county, caucus membership voted on its next round of cabinet, congressional, and state legislative endorsements. The caucus bylaws require a 2/3 vote of members present and casting a vote for an endorsement to be approved.

After the voting process, membership voted to make the following endorsements:

Congressional

  • Congresswoman Val Demings – US Senate
  • Danielle Nicole Hawk – U.S. House, District 3\
  • No Endorsement – U.S. House, District 8
  • Maxwell Alejandro Frost – U.S. House, District 10
  • Andrea Doria Kale – Congress, District 17
  • Annette Taddeo – Congress District 27
  • Robert Asencio – Congress District 28

Cabinet

  • Aramis Ayala – Attorney General
  • Ryan Morales – Commissioner of Agriculture

Legislative

  • Curtis John Tucker – State House, District 85

Gubernatorial

  • Nikki Fried – 65.8%
  • Charlie Crist – 34.2%
  • 66.6% Required, No Endorsement Made

Congressional District 23
The caucus membership voted to co-endorse in the CD-23 race:

  • Ben Sorensen
  • Jared Moskowitz

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

“There was a clear contrast of visions in Broward County this weekend. While Republicans promote despicable culture wars and ignore the skyrocketing cost of living in Florida, the candidates we endorsed today will fight for LGBTQ+ equality and focus on the pocketbook economic issues that will improve the lives of all Floridians.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Campaign Director Dave Cutler highlighted the Caucus’s commitment to winning:

“We endorse candidates who believe in full equality for LGBTQ+ Floridians, and these candidates demonstrate that commitment. Our community is energized, and our members are ready to work as hard as we can to ensure equality champions win in August and November. With LGBTQ+ lives at stake, none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines.”

# # #

LGBTQ+ Democrats Announce First Endorsements for 2022 Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2022

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its first round of endorsements for the 2022 election. After a careful review of statements, support, and records, the Caucus membership voted to make the following endorsements:

Congressional Incumbents

• Rep. Al Lawson – District 2
• Rep. Darren Soto – District 9
• Rep. Kathy Castor – District 14
• Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick – District 20
• Rep. Lois Frankel – District 22
• Rep. Frederica Wilson – District 24
• Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – District 25

Challenger Candidates Without Primaries

• Kimberly Walker – U.S. House, District 12
• Eric Lynn – U.S. House, District 13
• Jan Schneider – U.S. House, District 16
• Dr. Cindy Banyai – U.S. House, District 19
• Christine Alexandria Olivo – U.S. House, District 26
• Adam Hattersley – CFO
• Eunic Ortiz, State Senate – District 18
• John Navarra, State House – District 28
• Lindsay Cross, State House – District 60
• Janet Varnell Warwick – State House, District 61
• Forest Blanton, State House – District 84

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

“At a time when the LGBTQ+ community is facing a relentless onslaught of hateful attacks from Republicans, it is critical that we elect leaders who will fight for LGBTQ+ equality at all levels of government. We urge voters to elect these candidates because without you, we lose. LGBTQ+ lives and families are hanging in the balance.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Campaign Director Dave Cutler highlighted the Caucus’s commitment to winning:

“We are proud to endorse these candidates, incumbents and challengers both, who have demonstrated a commitment to full equality for LGBTQ+ Floridians. We look forward to assisting them in their campaigns in whatever way we can and encourage voters to elect them.”

# # #

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Floridians to the Florida Democratic Party. The Caucus is a statewide organization with chapters in 25 counties across Florida from Pensacola to Orlando to Miami – including most major metropolitan areas and many rural counties in between.

LGBTQ+ Democrats Rally Against Moms for Liberty National Convention in Tampa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2022

Convention features homophobic and transphobic far-right elected officials and speakers preaching hate and bigotry

TAMPA, FL – Florida’s LGBTQ+ Democrats, elected officials and candidates will rally in opposition to the national convention of Moms for Liberty in Tampa on Friday, July 15 at 4pm. The Moms for Liberty convention coincides with the Florida Democratic Party’s Leadership Blue, and both events are being held at the JW Marriott in downtown Tampa. The focus of the rally is to highlight Moms for Liberty’s radical and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ agenda, which has been enacted by Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida and is being replicated in other states with Republican governors. Moms for Liberty aims to erase LGBTQ+ people from public life, and LGBTQ+ Democrats are fighting back.

WHAT
Rally in opposition to the Moms for Liberty national convention

WHO
LGBTQ+ Leaders, Elected Officials and Candidates
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
Sally Phillips, President, Hillsborough County LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
Stephen Gaskill, President, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

WHEN
Friday, July 15
4pm

WHERE
Dick Greco Plaza
505 Water Street
Downtown Tampa (across from the JW Marriott)

# # #

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Floridians to the Florida Democratic Party. The Caucus is a statewide organization with chapters in 25 counties across Florida from Pensacola to Orlando to Miami – including most major metropolitan areas and many rural counties in between.

A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus