LGBTA Democratic Caucus Statement on World AIDS Day

Today we commemorate those who have lost their lives to AIDS, a disease that knows no geographic or demographic boundaries. AIDS impacts every community around the globe in some way or another, and we remain optimistic that life-saving drugs are getting to those who need them, even in the most remote corners of the world.

The LGBT community has been in the forefront fighting for visibility, treatment, and equity in research dollars since AIDS was first reported in the 1980s. We fostered a global effort that continues today.

We have every expectation that one day we will eradicate this disease. We mustn’t stop talking about AIDS. We mustn’t turn away our focus, nor slow down our efforts to end AIDS and comfort those living with it. Our success will be tied to the strength of our vigilance. That’s our challenge.

RELEASE: LGBTA Caucus on Florida Sponsors of LGBT Elder Americans Act

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians, today commended Florida Members of Congress for cosponsoring HR 4222, The Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2017. Rep. Darren Soto (FL-9) today signed on as a cosponsor, joining Florida Reps. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23). The bill, introduced by Crist, Deutch and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), has 11 other cosponsors from around the country.

HR 4222 amends the Older Americans Act of 1965 to provide equal treatment of LGBT older individuals in access to healthcare and other essential services.

The bill is named for Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz, West Palm Beach residents who have been together since 1974 and married since 2011. While Ruthie was a teacher at a Brooklyn high school in 1988, she and Connie sued the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits, ultimately winning their case in 1994. A documentary about their lives, Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House, premiered at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and won six best documentary awards within a year. Ruthie and Connie have been visible advocates and symbols for LGBT equality.

“Florida’s LGBT seniors demand our respect and our support,” said Elizabeth McCarthy, Legislative Director of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus. “The Older Americans Act has been the guidebook for seniors in America for decades, and revising it to ensure LGBT seniors are treated fairly in their golden years is a necessity. We thank Rep. Soto and the Members who have signed on already, and encourage the rest of the Florida delegation to join them.”

Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus Statement on 2017 Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, representing Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, issued the following statement from President Terry Fleming on the 2017 Transgender Day of Remembrance:

“On this day every year we honor the memories of our transgender brothers and sisters who have lost their lives due to hatred or prejudice. Sadly, the numbers keep climbing. So far this year, 25 transgender men and women have been murdered in the US, surpassing the 23 murdered in all of 2016.

“Violence against the LGBT community is on the rise, and violence against transgender Americans increased 43% from 2015 to 2016, according to the 2016 Hate Crimes and Statistics Report recently released by the FBI, which tracks data from more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies across the country. Clearly, transgender Americans are under attack. In the tense political environment we currently inhabit, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that all Americans — whoever they are, wherever they live, and however they choose to express themselves — are treated with respect and dignity, and able to be safe in their communities.”

FLORIDA LGBTA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS ENDORSES RUTA JOUNIARI FOR HOUSE DISTRICT 72

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, an arm of the Florida Democratic Party representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Democrats, has endorsed Ruta Jouniari in House District 72. The special election is scheduled for December 5, 2017.

“Democrats across the country, and especially here in Florida, are on a winning streak, and we intend to keep that going by electing Ruta Jouniari,” said Terry Fleming, president of the Caucus. “Ruta’s business background and experience in health care will bring needed leadership in Tallahassee for her Sarasota constituents.”

More information on Ruta Jouniari can be found on her website, www.voteforruta.com.

November Membership Meeting with Superintendent Rocky Hanna

The next meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at 6:30pm. Our special guest is Leon County Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna.

The membership meeting will be held at Milano Pizzeria, 514 W. Tharpe 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!

December 2017-January 2018

 

Tuesday December 5, 2017,

Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County Holiday Party will be tonight at Hamburger Mary’s Restaurant, 2901 Tyrone Boulevard, St Petersburg, FL, 33710 from 6:30-8:30 PM.  Delicious appetizers.  Cash Bar.  Join us for seasonal cheer!

Saturday December 9, 2017

AIDS Walk. Come to Vinoy Park in downtown St Petersburg at 9AM to march with the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County.

 

 Thursday January 18, 2018

 

The monthly meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County will be held at the Democratic Party Offices at 2250 First Avenue North in St Petersburg.  We begin with a pre-meeting social with light snacks and beverages, at 6:30 PM followed by the business meeting at 7:00 PM.  Bring a friend!

 

 

October Membership Meeting with State Attorney Jack Campbell

The next meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at 6:30pm. We’ll be continuing our discussion on DIRECT FILE, a statutory provision that allows prosecutors to choose whether a case will be heard in juvenile or adult court, and the impact this has on Florida’s youth. This month’s special guests include State Attorney Jack Campbell and Victor Williams of the 2nd Circuit Public Defender’s Office.

The membership meeting will be held at Milano Pizzeria, 514 W. Tharpe Street, Tallahassee, and is open to all Democrats.

Fall 2017 Endorsements

St Petersburg Matters to All Pinellas!

Party Oct 9th at Queen’s Head

 The government of the City of St Petersburg matters to everyone in Pinellas, both because of the influence that extends beyond the City limits and because St Pete is a crucial partner to the work of the Pinellas County Commission. The progress we have made as an LGBT community in the past few years has been outstanding, and we don’t want to slide backwards into darker days. For these reasons, the Stonewall Dems urge everyone in Pinellas County and beyond to lend a hand to elect our endorsed candidates

The membership of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County have voted to endorse a slate of candidates in the St Petersburg Municipal races. All candidates completed written surveys on equality issues and were interviewed at length by the organization’s Elections committee. We count on members, allies, and the public to support these candidates and assist in their campaigns.

 Endorsed Candidates Are:

 For Mayor—Rick Kriseman

For City Council:

Darden Rice

Barclay Harless

Gina Driscoll

 These candidates need your help, including your financial contributions, to stay competitive. Please come out to our fundraiser at The Queens Head on Oct 9th. Come by early and drop off a check and still make the TIGLFF movie @ 7:00 at AMC Sundail. If you attend, please, please consider a donation….even $5.00 will help.

 

Rick Kriseman – Mayor

Background: Rick has been a long-time supporter of Equality issues; he helped passed the first Human Rights Ordinance in St. Petersburg in 2002, and promoted pro-LGBT legislation while in the FL House of Representatives. He will continue to take a stand to protect the rights of the LGBT community within city government and in partnership with other Florida municipal leaders. He’s conducting a positive campaign focusing on issues rather than opponents and hopes to lead the city council as a team to get more done than in the past. He’s a Stonewall Dems Professional Member thru his law firm, Lucas Green & Magazine.

 

Darden Rice – City Council, District 4

Background: Darden has been active in politics and public life for many years. She was the first openly gay candidate for St. Pete City Council in 2005, and has just stepped down as president of the League of Women Voters to run in this race. She hopes to strengthen the city’s ability to attract high-paying jobs and to address the concerns of the various neighborhoods, to ensure that all citizens and constituencies are represented. She is a strong supporter of LGBT rights and has long been active in progressive political organizations.

 

 

 

Capital Equality Democratic Caucus Statement on Leon County Schools Handling of a Teacher Requesting to be Addressed with Gender-Neutral Title

The Capital Equality Democratic Caucus is disappointed in how Leon County Schools and Superintendent Rocky Hanna have handled the issue of a teacher’s request to be addressed by a gender-neutral title and pronouns. The school district had an opportunity to demonstrate one of their core values – compassion and respect – and failed to do so.

We hope that the resolution that has been reached is appeasing to all parties, and that the teacher was not in any way pressured to accept a transfer as an alternative to punishment or termination. It would be a poor example for students, teachers, and staff if Leon County Schools violated their own nondiscrimination policy which enumerates protection from discrimination on the basis of “sex (including transgender, gender nonconforming and gender identity).”

September Membership Meeting Cancellation

Due to the threat and expected impacts of Hurricane Irma on the Tallahassee area, the September 13th general membership meeting with guests Victor Williams and State Attorney Jack Campbell has been cancelled. We will attempt to reschedule these speakers for a future date.

Hurricane Irma: Prepare and Stay Aware

Recent updates have suggested that Hurricane Irma may bring hurricane-strength winds to North Florida. For latest updates, shelter information, evacuation maps and important contacts, visit FloridaDisaster.org.

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