World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. On this day, communities all over the world work to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS, to encourage HIV testing, and to emphasize the importance of medical care and treatment for those living with HIV/AIDS.

According to the Florida Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS Section, Florida has been heavily impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The state continues to rank third in the nation in the cumulative number of AIDS cases (126,581 in 2012) and second in the nation in the cumulative number of HIV cases (49,058 in 2012). The Florida Department of Health estimates that approximately 130,000 individuals are living with HIV disease in Florida. Of those persons living with HIV disease, 49% are black, 29% are white and 20% are Hispanic. Men represent 70% of the cases. Persons over the age of 45 years represent 60%.

Florida is losing the battle against HIV/AIDS. We must elect compassionate leaders to all levels of political office who will work to end this epidemic while providing adequate funding and care to Floridians living with HIV/AIDS.

To learn more about the status of HIV/AIDS in Florida, or to find testing sites and local events in your area to recognize World AIDS Day, visit


Statement on Shooting at FSU

In light of the senseless tragedy that took place on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee earlier this morning, we send thoughts and prayers to our Capital City chapter members and friends, as well as the students and families affected by this event.

Today, we are all #FSUnited!

Board Action Regarding Transgender Inclusion

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday night, the Board of Directors of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus directed the Bylaws Committee to seek input and provide recommendations for changes to the organization’s bylaws, including membership forms, policies, and procedures, that foster a more inclusive environment for transgender Democrats in Florida.

“We will be reviewing all language we use relating to gender in order to make sure we are fully inclusive and representing the entire spectrum of the GLBT community,” said Caucus President Sally Phillips. “Thanks to Terri Sharp for helping us start this important conversation.”

Additionally, a breakout session has been scheduled during the organization’s membership meeting in February to seek additional input about this important issue from members representing chapters all over the state.

Lighted Candle

A Message on Transgender Day of Remembrance

As you may know, November 20th each year is dedicated to remembering those transgender people we have lost. It is so very hard to know exactly how many we lose every year. Police reports often refuse to acknowledge the transgender person by any other than their birth names in their reports. Often, family members try to cover or ignore their transgender status, thinking that admitting it would be an embarrassment greater than even suicide. Still, others are lost who have hidden who they are, and remain unknown. In cases of suicide, children are discovered to have been transgender only when their parents clean up their rooms. For such a small community that we are, we suffer a very large amount of abuse, discrimination and death. Until people begin to really see us for who we are, this horrible trend will continue.

Today, there are many tears I will shed over lives not lived, talents lost, smiles to never be seen, and laughter that will not fill the air. My heart sinks in the grief, for loved ones left behind, both those who accepted and those who rejected. I turn to my faith and find the power to forgive, the strength to stand, and the determination to educate. I’m resolved to show love in the face of hate. I ask you to join me.

I ask that today you light a candle. Take a look into its flame, and for that moment feel the warm spirits that left us too soon. As an outspoken transgender woman, I cannot tell you that one day I, myself, might not be lost to violence. I cannot say that about any of my transgender friends who have become my family. One day, with your help, I pray that I can live without fear. I pray for the day WE ALL CAN.

Terri Sharp
Proud Transgender Florida Democrat

Click here for a comprehensive list of Transgender Day of Remembrance events taking place all over the state compiled by our friends at Equality Florida.

Regional Meetings and Elections

The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus has announced dates and locations for the upcoming regional meetings. These regional meetings are held to elect one male and one female director, as well as their respective alternates, from each region. Later, at the biennial meeting held in each odd-numbered year, statewide officers are elected.

Regional meeting dates and locations are provided below.

Read more »


The polls are close…have you cast your ballot?

Early voting is winding down and election day is right around the corner – have you cast your vote in this year’s elections?

The rights of LGBTQ+ Floridians are on the line this November 4th!

While Governor Rick Scott is busy dodging “fans” and standing in the way of marriage equality and as Attorney General Pam Bondi desperately tries to defend her actions following a blasting piece by the New York Times, both Democratic and Republican voters throughout the state are lining up at the polls to make their voices heard! Enough is enough. The time for equality is NOW!

Your vote is crucial and every vote counts! If you haven’t already, make sure you vote this November! For polling locations and answers to your voting questions, contact your local Caucus chapter or Supervisor of Elections.

Love is Love: It’s Time Rick Scott and Pam Bondi Stop Standing in the Way of Equality

Today, FDP Political Director Christian Ulvert, State Representative Joe Saunders, and Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus President Sally Phillips held a conference call in response to the overturning of Florida’s marriage equality ban, and called on Rick Scott to end his defense of this bigoted law.

“Although the judge’s ruling clearly outlined exactly why Florida’s marriage equality ban is unconstitutional, Rick Scott and Pam Bondi are still trying to stand in the way of equality,” said FDP Political Director Christian Ulvert. “It is well past time the Scott administration end their bigoted crusade against loving couples like me and my husband Carlos. Why can’t Rick Scott understand what the majority of Floridians already know – love is love.”

“For too long, Rick Scott has deflected, bobbed, and weaved on the civil rights issue of our time, and Floridians have a right to know where he stands,” said Representative Joe Saunders. “We want to know if Rick Scott is going to stand on the right side of history or play the same politics as usual by refusing to even take a position. So far Scott has shown absolutely no leadership on this issue, and Florida deserves better.”

“While this ruling is a tremendous step forward for marriage equality in our state, the fight is not yet over,” said Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus President Sally Phillips. “Rick Scott and Pam Bondi must end their taxpayer-funded defense of this discriminatory law. The majority of Floridians support equality and it’s time our leaders in Tallahassee did the same.”


ENDA Tele Town Hall with Congressman Cicilline

The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus and U.S. Representative David Cicilline invite you to participate in a statewide conference call to discuss the status of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Sign on to learn more about how a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has impacted the legislation and why a growing number of LGBT groups have withdrawn their support.

U.S. Representative Cicilline is a member of the House Committee on The Judiciary as well as the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. In order to support the free flow of information on this call, invitations are being limited to members of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus and its local chapters.

Registration for this event is now closed.

Bondi Continues Bigoted Stand Against Marriage Equality

Today, the Florida Democratic GLBT Caucus and the Florida Democratic Party released the following statement on Attorney General Pam Bondi’s continued defense of Florida’s gay marriage ban:

“Today, six loving couples stood in an Miami courtroom seeking justice and equality. Instead, they were subjected to the Scott administration’s bigoted defense of Florida’s ban on marriage equality. Floridians deserve better than Bondi and her allies’ discriminatory, divisive, and false logic. This kind of hateful bullying isn’t allowed in our classrooms and it should have no place in our courtrooms,” said Sally Phillips, President of the GLBT Caucus.

“This is the first step in the legal struggle to bring marriage equality for Florida. The brave couples who have stood up to the hateful rhetoric coming from Rick Scott and Pam Bondi deserve our admiration and respect. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, Floridians saw Rick Scott and Pam Bondi fighting for discrimination, plain and simple. Floridians deserve better,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant.

2014 Summer Membership Meeting and Conference

Register Now for Summer Membership Meeting and Conference

The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus is pleased to announce plans for our upcoming Summer Membership Meeting and Conference, held July 18 – 20, 2014, in Melbourne, Florida!  The membership meeting will include general Caucus business as well as discussion and voting on proposed bylaws amendments.  As always, there is no cost to attend the membership meeting.

Additionally, the Caucus will host an informative conference designed to educate members and strengthen local chapters.  The tentative conference agenda is listed below, subject to change:

Friday, July 18th

  • 6 to 8pm: Evening Reception

Saturday, July 19th

  • 8 to 9am: Continental Breakfast and Registration
  • 9 to 9:45am: Financial Planning for GLBT Couples – Presenter: Alan Jotkoff
  • 9 to 9:45am: VAN Training – Presenter: Denise Gore
  • 10 to 10:45am: Voter Registration Training – Presenter: Denise Gore
  • 10 to 10:45am: Chapter Development – Presenter: Andy Janecek
  • 11 to 11:45am: General Session – Medical Marijuana (Amendment 2) – Presenter: Jodi James
  • 12 to 1pm: Lunch (Speakers Perry Thurston and David Cox)
  • 1 to 4pm: Membership Meeting
  • 2pm: Coffee Break
  • 7pm: Soiree at Cold Keg

Sunday, July 20th

  • 8am: Breakfast
  • 9 to 9:45am: Environmental Activism – Beth McMillen – Marine Resource Council
  • 9:45 to 11:45am: Transgender Issues – Presenter: Gina Duncan
  • 12pm: Speaker Nan Rich
  • 1pm: Adjournment

The conference registration fee of $50 includes a Friday night welcome reception with cash bar hosted by the Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee, a continental breakfast on Saturday morning sponsored by Jotkoff & Associates, a Saturday night soiree at the Cold Keg in Melbourne, and a Sunday breakfast buffet!

The host hotel, Holiday Inn Melbourne – Viera Conference Center, has established a discounted room rate of $79 per night for this event.  Reservations can be made online by clicking this link before Wednesday, July 9th.

Members attending the membership meeting, conference, or both, are encouraged to register in advance.  There is no fee to attend the membership meeting.

Conference registration is now closed.

July 18 – 20, 2014
Location: Holiday Inn Melbourne – Viera Conference Center
8298 North Wickham Boulevard
Melbourne, FL 32940

Join us as we prepare for victory in November, 2014!

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