Open Letter From Florida LGBT Leaders Calling on Marco Rubio to Not Attend Anti-LGBT Rally

Dear Senator Rubio,

Two months ago, the single largest mass shooting in American history occurred in Orlando, targeting the LGBT and Latinx community. LGBT Americans have overcome unimaginable obstacles in their fight for equal rights in this country, and the immense weight of this tragedy will have a profound impact.

In response to the Pulse attack, you focused on how to launch your reelection campaign rather than how you could help your LGBT constituents and their families. Now, as the two month anniversary of the tragedy approaches, you’ve chosen to commemorate the date by speaking at an Orlando rally that opposes equal rights for LGBT Americans.

Senator Rubio, your presence as a guest of honor at a conference featuring vehemently anti-LGBT organizations and speakers legitimizes their discriminatory efforts to deny equal rights to all Americans. Your decision to stand with those who would deny us equality after refusing to stand with your LGBT constituents adds insult to injury.

In the wake of the Pulse shooting, the need for more love, tolerance, and inclusion has never been greater. Your choice to return to Orlando and lend your voice to those who stoke fear and division is unacceptable.

As your constituents and members of Florida’s LGBT community, we urge you to act in the best interest of all Floridians and not attend this rally.


Terry Fleming, President of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Vivian Rodriguez, President of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida
Carlos Guillermo Smith, former Orange County Democratic Executive Committee Chair
Darden Rice, Vice Chair, St. Petersburg City Council

August Membership Meeting with Tallahassee City Commission Candidates

The next meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, at 6:30pm. Our guest speakers include Luther Lee, Scott Maddox, and Bruce Strouble, candidates for Tallahassee City Commission, Seat 1, and Curtis Richardson, candidate for Tallahassee City Commission, Seat 2. Come join the fun and learn more about these important offices.

The membership meeting will be held at Milano Pizzeria, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, and is open to all Democrats.

Grab a friend and join us for an informative and entertaining session! We hope to see you there!


Judicial Candidates Night with Monique Richardson and Layne Smith

Capital Equality, in partnership with The Family Tree LGBT Community Center, will be hosting a non-partisan Judicial Candidates event featuring Monique Richardson and Layne Smith, candidates for Leon County Judge, Seat 2.

The event will be held at Milano Pizzeria, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, at 6:30pm on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

Grab a friend, a slice of pizza, and join us for casual conversation and an opportunity to learn more about these candidates and the role of a Leon County Judge.

Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus Endorsements

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus is proud to announce the following endorsements:

  • President – Hillary Clinton
  • Congress – Debbie Wasserman Schultz, District 23
  • Congress – Bob Poe, District 10
  • State House – Carlos Guillermo Smith, District 49
  • State House – Beth Tuura, District 47

Hillary Clinton has demonstrated not just support for the LGBT community, but a willingness to fight for equality. While in the Senate, she consistently supported legislation to prohibit discrimination, fight against hate crimes and to allow for LGBT individuals to serve their country openly.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been a consistent voice for equality in the US House, championing legislation to enhance the rights of LGBT individuals everywhere. She has consistently supported the Caucus and we thank her for that.

Bob Poe is not only running to be the first openly LGBT Congressman from Florida, but also would make history as the first HIV-positive member. We applaud him for his efforts to reduce the stigma that has come with that status.

Carlos Guillermo Smith is no stranger to the Florida Legislature, having served as the legislative aide to former State Rep Joe Saunders. He would be the first openly LGBT Latino member of the State House.

Beth Tuura would be the first openly lesbian member of the State House, a much needed voice in the legislature.

Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus Welcomes Gala Keynote Speakers

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus is thrilled to announce that joining us for our 2016 Leadership Gala in Fort Lauderdale will be keynote speakers Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, D-NY & Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook as well as guest speaker DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Congressman Maloney was elected to represent New York’s 18th Congressional District in 2012 and reelected in 2014. He is the first openly LGBT member of Congress from New York. He is the co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Robby Mook is the first openly LGBT campaign manager of a major presidential campaign. His efforts have made Hillary Clinton the first woman to become the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. His other successes include managing the successful reelection campaign of US Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and election of Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.

Precinct Committeemen & Committeewomen Filing Deadline & Election

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus would like to remind everyone that the deadline for filing to run for Precinct Committeemen & Committeewomen for the Democratic Party is this Friday, June 24, at noon.  You can find the form to file here, get it notarized and then take it to your county’s Supervisor of Elections to file.  Your name will appear on the Aug 30 primary ballot in your precinct.  The winners will be electing county party leadership in December.

Pulse Nightclub

Vigil Tonight at the Capitol for Pulse Tragedy

UPDATE: Due to a possible weather threat, the venue has changed to First Presbyterian Church, 110 N Adams St.

Please join us as we come together with all those in the Tallahassee LGBT community this evening for a vigil to honor victims and all those impacted by the tragic shooting this weekend at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

Participating organizations include Equality Florida, Capital Equality, The Family Tree, the Islamic Center of Tallahassee, Mickee Faust, the Tallahassee LGBT Greek Council, and the City of Tallahassee. Remarks will be made by members of these organizations, as well as Mayor Andrew Gillum.

The vigil begins at 6:30pm on the steps of the Old Capitol. In the event of rain, the location will move to First Presbyterian Church, 110 N Adams St.

Get more information at

Pulse Nightclub

Response to Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando

Andy Janecek, President of Capital Equality, a chartered chapter of the Florida Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies Democratic Caucus, has released the following statement in response to the horrific acts of terror that took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier this morning:

“The thoughts and prayers of our members are with the Orlando community and all those affected by this senseless tragedy. Since the early days of the LGBT equality movement, bars and restaurants catering to LGBT clientele have served as social hubs and resources for our community. The terroristic acts that have taken place this morning have tarnished our feelings of safety and security within a space that many of us have frequented,” said Janecek.

He added, “Not since the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969, has our community been attacked so aggressively in a space that we called our own. In this time of sadness, we call on all members of the human race, to remember that we share this world as one. Our society is diverse, but we all respond to sadness in the same way. We must work together, as one common family, to rid the world of terrorism and hate and to restore equality and justice for all.”

June Membership Meeting with Clay Ketcham, Akin Akinyemi, Doug Will, Gwen Marshall, Barry Brooks, and Bill Bogan

The next meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at 6:30pm. Our guest speakers include Clay Ketcham, Akin Akinyemi and Doug Will, candidates for Leon County Property Appraiser, and Gwen Marshall, Barry Brooks and Bill Bogan, candidates for Leon County Clerk of Court. Come join the fun and learn more about these important offices.

As this is also our annual meeting, we will be voting on a new budget for the upcoming year and finalizing our organization’s strategic plan. Please take a moment to review this document and provide feedback at the meeting.

The membership meeting will be held at Milano Pizzeria, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, and is open to all Democrats.

2016 LGBT Pride Month

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus wishes all of our members, friends and supporters a happy and safe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month!

We take time this month to honor all those who have fought to ensure that we are able to be honest and open about our selves, our lives and our families.

From those who fought for basic human decency at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to those who won the battle for nationwide marriage equality at the Supreme Court, we thank everyone who has helped advance equality for all! We also thank President Obama for all he has done to advance LGBT equality, including the annual Presidential Proclamation for LGBT Pride Month!

“LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them.”
– President Barack Obama

While we still have work to do, we encourage everyone to visit Pride celebrations in cities all over Florida! Get active and continue the fight for equality for all Floridians!

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