Who We Are

The Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

The Florida Democratic Party (hereinafter, “FDP”) has chartered its statewide Caucus for Florida LGBTQ+ Democrats, which has continued under various names since its creation (hereinafter, “state Caucus”).

This chapter is chartered by the state Caucus as its Manatee County chapter and is subject to and derives its authority from the state Caucus and the state Caucus’s charter from the FDP.

The name of this chapter of the state Caucus – a chapter composed of Manatee County Democrats who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other sexual orientation or gender non-conforming minority, and their allies is the Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.


The vision of the Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is for Democrats to be elected to effectively lead and serve the nation, state, county, and local communities where every person who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or any other sexual orientation or gender non-conforming minority (hereinafter, “LGBTQ+”) has full equal rights, liberties, freedoms, opportunities, and inclusivity without discrimination and can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, in the community, and in public.


The mission of the Manatee LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is to promote Democratic Party and LGBTQ+ electoral, civic, and public policy objectives, to make endorsements specific to Manatee County, and to serve as a beacon for and resource on LGBTQ+ issues for members of the Democratic Party and residents of Manatee County.


This chapter shall engage in activities and actions designed to accomplish the following objectives —

A. Regarding the principle that no natural person shall be deprived of equal rights based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression:

  1. Promote the candidacy of Democrats specifically committed to this principle.
  2. Educate about, advocate for, and encourage the passage of legislation and other measures to secure such rights.
  3. Promote the candidacy of Democrats specifically committed to such legislation and other measures to secure such rights.
  4. Foster a spirit of understanding of these and other issues of interest to the extended LGBTQ+ community.

B.  Regarding civic, electoral, political, and governmental affairs:

  1. Engage in actions designed to stimulate active interest and engagement in civic, political, electoral, and governmental affairs, including outreach to other registered and not-yet registered voters who may share our values.
  2. Encourage and facilitate voter registration, voter mobilization, and voter turnout.

C.  Regarding Democratic Party officeholders and candidates:

  1. Engage with Democratic Party officeholders and candidates regarding issues of concern to Manatee County LGBTQ+ Democrats.
  2. Endorse Democratic Party candidates who demonstrate worthiness of such endorsement.
  3. Support and elect duly selected nominees of the Democratic Party in national, state, and local campaigns who are not opposed to the equal rights of LGBTQ+ persons.

D.  Regarding the Democratic Party:

  1. Promote goodwill between LGBTQ+ Democrats and the broader Democratic Party.
  2. Ensure inclusion of LGBTQ+ Democrats throughout and at all levels of the Democratic Party.
  3. Ensure regular, active participation by this chapter in Democratic Party meetings and events, including, local, regional, and statewide.
  4. Strengthen and further the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party.
  5. Provide reasonable and ongoing financial support to this chapter, and to Democratic Party organizations.

E.  Regarding the state Caucus:

  1. Ensure regular, active participation by this chapter in state Caucus meetings and events, including regional and statewide.

F.  Regarding LGBTQ+ Democrats:

  1. Promote civic, electoral, and Democratic Party participation among LGBTQ+ Democrats.
  2. Help foster a sense of community for LGBTQ+ members of the Democratic Party.

G.  Regarding the LGBTQ+ and local communities:

  1. Promote goodwill between this chapter and the LGBTQ+ community at large, including through participation by this chapter in LGBTQ+ community and other public events.

Caucus Issues

Federal Issues

  • Enact the Uniting American Families Act (UAF)
  • Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and enact relationship recognition for all families.
  • Enact a comprehensive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Florida Statewide Issues

  • Continue to defend adoption rights in Florida.
  • Seek the enactment of comprehensive human rights legislation providing basic civil rights anti-discrimination provisions for all LGBTQ+ people in Florida in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
  • Ensure HIV/AIDS educational requirements.

Local Issues

  • In the absence of complete federal or statewide civil rights anti-discrimination provision, see the enactment of a countywide human rights ordinance (HRO) to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, or veteran status.


Officers and members of the Caucus Board of Directors are elected for two-year terms.  Elections are held in February of odd-numbered years.

Caucus Officers and Board of Directors*

    • Chair:  Kent Noel
    • Vice Chair for Operations: Randall Coleman
    • Vice Chair for Membership and Programs: Daniel Coppinger
    • Secretary: Diana Cowans
    • Treasurer: Cheryl Thomas
    • Rob Hall
    • Anthony Hardie (Parliamentarian)
    • Dave Nicholas
    • Dan Thomas (IT and Communications)

    *Terms are February 2021-February 2023