SAY-Yes to Second Chance

SAY-Yes to Second Chance:   Through our hard work, we will restore the ability to vote to nearly 1.5 million Floridians.  Petitions due by 12/1/17 See Ivan, Steve, or Sandy for more data.



August 5th Manasota LGBTA Dems, DRC-Diversity & Unity—  sent 21 people plus friends in our core group to Naples to see Drew Lynch Perform.   We had most of the VIP tickets and had untold number of friends also to join core group from though out Florida. We have many great photos on social media.  A  Hi-lite & congrats to Sara & Kate on your engagement on the stage at “Off-The-Hook”; most in the audience didn’t realize what was going on when they exchanged rings.  Audience was focused on DJ asking the two to leave stage, and confused into thinking part of the show.

August 12th Rand’s Memorial Service—  Trinity MCC was packed by hundreds to honor Rand & his partner Ben, and his children and other family.  (Note: They made history in Manatee County as 1st LGBTA couple to be married.)

August 12th & 13th DRC (Diversity) Orlando State Meeting—  Reception & Dinner  plus great evening of clubbing with our Orlando hosts. Two Democratic  Candidates spoke at dinner.

August 16th Manatee LGBTA Dem Caucus Meeting—  We met with new Radio Program Producers; multiple people missed meeting due to vacations & other events.

August 18th -20th Florida LGBTA Dems State Meeting in Tallahassee —  We Networked  with LGBTA Dems from across Florida, & potential  Dem State officials at this weekend event; hearing speeches by all 3 announced governor candidates.

August 28th Manatee Delegates Elected for Florida Dem. State Conf.   (Oct. 27th thru 29th) Multiple members of Manatee LGBTA Caucus are delegates.


Cruises & Tours Planning for 2018 & 2019

Cruises & Tours Planning for 2018 & 2019— We (multiple Progressive NGOs) we have added more trips: another Cuba Trip 2018; Trans- Atlantic Cruise from Spain 2018; U.K. in summer 2019;   Plus many more  shorter adventures. See Steve to be added to list and see sample videos of previous Cruises & Tours.

Posted in Uncategorized | Edit

June-21st  Caucus Agenda

June-21st  Caucus AGENDA:   6:00pm  Opening & Introductions; 

1) Officer /Board  Reports  

2) Verification of names for Board Election 7-19-17 

3) Volunteers  for various Dem Party Requested Activities   

4) Events Participation & Volunteers  for Remainder 2017 Calendar Year (& funds from State Caucus/Dems?) 

5) Open Discussions: Impact of Georgia Special Election ALSO: DOES This sound interesting?  Ongoing & Specific  Major LGBT Financial contributions in New Mexico, then Colorado were contributing factors to helping turn those states purple & blue, &  is Texas next? We will discuss what could be!  (NM, oil heir; Col. Software Billionaire; now Texas food Billionaire & a friend of fast food chain major owner!)

Large Coin Collection

Large Coin Collection—  We have an  associate who is interested in selling their collection (over 1800+ coins).  Do we have anyone with expertise to help assure seller gets fair price?

Posted in Uncategorized | Edit

Global Cruises & Tours 2018 & 2019 Released Planning

Global Cruises & Tours 2018 & 2019 Released Planning:   Multiple Progressive NGOs serving thousands globally for 17+ years with combined cruises & tours and bring PROGRESSIVE people together, have just announced some of our 2018 & 2019 schedules. We are NOT travel agents; and use any reimbursements from cruises to expand the experience for our participating NGOs & volunteers.  We are not only unique in being very Progressive thinking global groups, but also having many younger college educated people  in our groups, along with sometimes world renown authors, actors, political  backgrounds, and entertainers, from multiple countries.  If you are interested in being place on one of our email list and learning more for either your specific NGO or just yourself, please email  Also please feel to see a recent video of one of our Global Cruises & Tours, where a few in this group participated in a world history making event.  Thanks, and click link to see video. 2015 Cruise link:


Preview YouTube video GA Tours 2015

GA Tours 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Edit

June  21st – Manatee LGBTA Dem Caucus Meeting

June  21st – Manatee LGBTA Dem Caucus Meeting— 6:00pm . Please email if you plan to attend!!!  NEW TEMP meeting locations, until Dem Headquarters completes move to NEW Building,  probably July/August.  Meet at Riverside Café , 955 riverside Dr., Palmetto, Fl. 34221.

Posted in Uncategorized | Edit


City of Bradenton City Council Candidate Forum

Posted on September 30, 2016by ManateeLGBTA

When:  Wednesday, October 19, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

Where:  Manatee Democratic Party Headquarters, 902 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton

What:  A forum between City of Bradenton City Council Candidates

Why:  To allow candidates to present their platforms to the community and allow the Caucus to address important subjects affecting our community.

PLEASE NOTE:  All City Council Candidates have confirmed attendance!

Please RSVP as soon as possible.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

City of Bradenton Mayoral Debate

Posted on September 13, 2016by ManateeLGBTA

When:  Wednesday, September 21, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

Where:  Manatee Democratic Party Headquarters, 902 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton

What:  A debate between City of Bradenton Mayoral Candidates

Why:  To allow candidates to present their platforms to the community and allow the Caucus to address important subjects affecting our community.

PLEASE NOTE:  Candidates Eleuterio Salazar, Jr. and Warren Merriman have confirmed attendance.  Current Mayor Wayne Poston has refused our invitation and our offer to accommodate his schedule.  Additionally, he has refused to be present at the Manatee Black Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum!

Please RSVP as soon as possible.


Aug 30th Primary Straw Poll Results

Posted on August 24, 2016by ManateeLGBTA

The Manatee LGBTA Democratic Caucus is proud to announce the following Straw Poll Results. In the August 30th Primary, the membership secret voted and the following candidates have received the majority support of our Caucus.

US Senate: Alan Grayson with 57.14%
US House – District 16: Split Vote
Brent King for U.S. Congress 50%
Jan Schneider 50%
Florida House District 70: Split Vote
Christopher John “CJ” Czaia for State Representative district 70 50%
Dan Fiorini 50%
Board of CC District 1: Corie Holmes 83.33%
Board of CC District 5: Kathleen Grant for Commission District 5 75%
School Board District 1: Edward G. Viltz for School Board 80%
School Board District 3: Dave “Watchdog” Miner 66.67%
Amendment 4: Yes 100%

Congratulations to all the candidates!

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Straw Poll for Primary Election

Posted on August 20, 2016by ManateeLGBTA

As a caucus chartered by the Florida Democratic Party we are not able to endorse candidates in a Primary Election.  We are, however, able to conduct a Straw Poll of our membership.  Please take  few moments now and take our straw poll.  We will close the straw poll on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 11:59pm and will announce the results on Wednesday, August 24, 2016.  Thank you for your help!

Click Here to Participate in the Straw Poll


Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Thank you!

Posted on August 17, 2016by ManateeLGBTA

The Manatee LGBTA Democratic Caucus would like to thank everyone that attended the Florida House District 70 Debate tonight. It was a very engaging and enthusiastic debate! We would also like to thank the 2 candidates who attended Christopher John “CJ” Czaia for State Representative district 70 and Dan Fiorini For District 70. We also thank Brian Atkins for representing Wengay “Newt” Newton, though it would have been nice to have had the candidate in attendance (disappointing!). Stay tuned and plan now for our next debate, Septemeber 21 at 6pm!

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Florida House District 70 Debate

Posted on August 4, 2016by ManateeLGBTA

We have invited all three Democratic candidates: CJ Czaia; Dan Fiorini; & Wengay Newton

Please consider this your formal invitation to our Florida Democratic District 70 Debate in Manatee County.

We have scheduled debate at Manatee Democratic Headquarters for August 17th (Wednesday) 6pm. We are hoping all

three candidates will participate. Location 902 Manatee Ave. east , Bradenton, Fl. 34208

We are polling both our caucus and other clubs and caucus to finalize format, but rest assured we are trying to be fair to all candidates.

We hope to finish format discussions within next few days.

Please confirm your attendance at your earliest.

Due to seating limits, we need confirmation of number of attendees, in case we need to change venue.


Steve Ryan

Chair Manatee LGBTA Caucus


Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Social Gathering and Business Meeting February 17, 2016

Posted on February 6, 2016by ManateeLGBTA


Manatee LGBTA Dems will hold their monthly meeting & A FREE lite MEAL at Manatee Democratic Headquarters at  902 Manatee Avenue East;  on Wednesday  6:30pm  2-17-16. (If you have not been there before, you enter on 9th street side of building.)

Randy has arranged a speaker from our “Trans” Community who will give us some insight in related issues. We are also hoping those who have yet to renew memberships will do it at this meeting. Since food is being served this time it would be helpful if you would RSVP no later than noon Monday 2-15-16; so we know how much food to order.

We may have a very friendly Hillary & Bernie debate after our speaker talks, if time allows.  Otherwise at next meeting we will discuss more in detail for those supporting both candidates. (Remember we are NOT like the other party, we are ALL working for Democratic values.)

Thanks and looking forward to seeing you


Steve Ryan;  Chair Manatee LGBTA Dems  941-748-8404

P.S. You are safe in bringing friends for education; Randy has promised me there will be no attempt to convert people to “Trans”; as some of our less educated people believe happens.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Social Gathering on May 28th with Manatee LGBT Dems and Allies

Posted on May 26, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

The Manatee LGBTA Democratic Caucus is hosting a social gathering for Manatee LGBT and allied Dems!

Come join us a 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2015 for a Manatee LGBT and Allies Dems Social at:

Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar
801 Riverside Dr. E.
Bradenton, FL 34208

You do not have to be a member to come enjoy the fun!  Come out and join us!

Posted in UncategorizedEdit


Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Manatee LGBT Dems Social

Posted on April 20, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

The Manatee GLBTA Democratic Caucus is hosting a social for Manatee LGBT Dems!

Come join us a 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2015 for a Manatee LGBT Dems Social at:

O’Bricks on Old Main
427 12th St. W.
Bradenton, FL 34205

You do not have to be a member to come enjoy the fun!  Come out and join us!

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Next Caucus Meeting – Thursday, March 26, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.

Posted on March 23, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus Statement on HB 583

Posted on February 17, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus Statement on Florida House Bill 583 (HB 583)

February 13th, 2015  Dave Cutler

The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus stands united with our partners the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida and equality-minded Floridians throughout the state in strongly opposing blatantly transphobic House Bill 583.

This legislation would force transgender Floridians to use public facilities that do not correspond with their gender identity and expression, exposing them not just to personal and public shame, but also to fines and potential jail time.  It could also put young children at risk by prohibiting a parent or guardian of the opposite sex from assisting them in a public restroom corresponding to their gender or one not specifically designated for family use.

Terry Fleming, President of the Caucus, issued this statement:  “House Bill 583 introduced by Miami Republican Frank Artiles discriminates against transgender people and interferes with local government home rule authority.  This harmful bill is just the latest example of Republicans using the power of government to humiliate and harass people they view as second-class citizens.”

As of this statement, the legislation has no co-sponsors.  The Caucus urges our members, supporters and friends across the state to contact their legislators and urge them to vote NO should this discriminatory legislation come up for vote either in committee or before the full House chamber.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Next Caucus Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.

Posted on February 17, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

Image | Posted on February 17, 2015 by ManateeLGBTAEdit

Equality Florida Launches #DiscriminationExists Campaign to Raise Awareness

Posted on February 2, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

SOURCE:  Equality Florida


Equality Florida Institute

#DiscriminationExists – Join the Conversation

Friend, did you know same-sex couples who wed over the weekend could find themselves fired today simply because of who they love?

While January 6 was a remarkable day in history – as the freedom to marry came to Florida – we realize there is still work to be done to ensure full equality for LGBT Floridians.

It’s surprising to realize that in this day and age, it is actually still perfectly legal under the laws of our state to discriminate against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. That’s why we are joining the Equality Federation in a week-long education campaign – #DiscriminationExists – to highlight the fact that despite our recent victories, Florida still needs to update its laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Florida is 1 of 29 states that does not clearly protect LGBT people from discrimination despite the fact that 73% of Floridians support a statewide sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination law.

No one should have to live in fear of being fired because of who they love or denied housing for being their authentic self.

Join the #DiscriminationExists campaign by telling your story and help highlight the need for statewide protections. Sharing our stories plays an important role in changing the hearts and minds of Floridians, showing them that discrimination does exist. Have you been fired from your place of work, denied housing, or denied a service for being an LGBT individual? Share your experience with us by clicking here.


Nadine Smith
CEO, Equality Florida

P.S. Use #DiscriminationExists on Facebook and Twitter this week and visit for samples of what to post on social media. 

Having trouble reading this email? Click here.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Manatee County Clerk to Begin Issuing Marriage Licenses on Jan. 6th

Posted on January 2, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

The Manatee County Clerk of Courts will begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples, including same-sex couples, on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, according to an update on the Clerk’s official website.

The changes sweeping across Florida’s Clerks of Courts comes on the heels of a federal district court order yesterday that clarified the unconstitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Screen Shot of Manatee County Clerk’s website, Jan. 2, 2015

The Clerk’s office will be open on Tuesday, January 6th, starting at 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. — the office’s normal business hours.

In other news, earlier this week, Publix announced it will extend benefits to same-sex spouses.


Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Private: Federal Court Issues Ruling Confirming Unconstitutionality of Florida’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Posted on January 2, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

The federal trial court with jurisdiction over the issue has issued a clarification of its earlier ruling on gay marriage in Florida.

The January 1, 2015 order in Brenner et al v. Scott, etc., et al, “holds unconstitutional the Florida ban on same-sex marriage,” “does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other applicants,” “but as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses. As in any other instance involving parties not now before the court, the Clerk’s obligation to follow the law arises from sources other than the preliminary injunction.”

The case involves a same-sex couple seeking a marriage license in Washington County in northern Florida.  The consolidate case also includes other same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions wishing to see their marriages legally recognized in Florida, and an association representing similar individual.

The order further notes, “There should be no debate, however, on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case.”

The full ruling is published below, and is available here, courtesy of Equality Florida.

Additional resources:

ACLU Press Release

Blog Statement, Equality Florida






RICK SCOTT, etc., et al.,




In this consolidated case, the plaintiffs challenge provisions of the Florida
Constitution and Florida Statutes banning same-sex marriage. Two plaintiffs are
unmarried; they seek issuance of a Florida marriage license. The other plaintiffs
are individuals (and an association representing individuals) who were married in
other jurisdictions and seek recognition of their marriages in Florida. The
defendants, all in their official capacities, are the Secretary of the Florida
Department of Management Services, the Florida Surgeon General, and the Clerk
of Court of Washington County, where the two unmarried plaintiffs reside.

A preliminary injunction is in place and has been for more than four months.
It holds unconstitutional the Florida ban on same-sex marriage. Now the Clerk has
filed an emergency motion to clarify the preliminary injunction. She asks whether
the injunction requires her to issue marriage licenses to all qualified same-sex
applicants or only to the two unmarried plaintiffs.

The founders of this republic adopted a Constitution and a system for its
enforcement. When there are disagreements about what the Constitution requires,
those who are affected may seek a definitive ruling in court. These plaintiffs did
that in this case. The Secretary and Surgeon General—as duly empowered
officials of the State of Florida, represented by the Attorney General—joined issue.
So did the Clerk. The result was an explicit ruling that Florida’s same-sex-
marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The United States Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals had stayed
similar rulings in other cases. I stayed the ruling in this case while those stays
were in effect and for 91 more days—long enough to allow the defendants to seek
a further stay in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and, if
unsuccessful there, in the United States Supreme Court. The defendants did that.
They lost. The United States Supreme Court allowed the ruling in this case to take

History records no shortage of instances when state officials defied federal
court orders on issues of federal constitutional law. Happily, there are many more
instances when responsible officials followed the law, like it or not. Reasonable
people can debate whether the ruling in this case was correct and who it binds.

There should be no debate, however, on the question whether a clerk of court may
follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this
case. And a clerk who chooses not to follow the ruling should take note: the
governing statutes and rules of procedure allow individuals to intervene as
plaintiffs in pending actions, allow certification of plaintiff and defendant classes,
allow issuance of successive preliminary injunctions, and allow successful
plaintiffs to recover costs and attorney’s fees.

The Clerk has acknowledged that the preliminary injunction requires her to
issue a marriage license to the two unmarried plaintiffs. The Clerk has said she
will do so. In the absence of any request by any other plaintiff for a license, and in
the absence of a certified class, no plaintiff now in this case has standing to seek a
preliminary injunction requiring the Clerk to issue other licenses. The preliminary
injunction now in effect thus does not require the Clerk to issue licenses to other
applicants. But as set out in the order that announced issuance of the preliminary
injunction, the Constitution requires the Clerk to issue such licenses. As in any
other instance involving parties not now before the court, the Clerk’s obligation to
follow the law arises from sources other than the preliminary injunction.

For these reasons,

The motion to clarify, ECF No. 99, is granted. The preliminary injunction is
clarified as set out in this order.

SO ORDERED on January 1, 2015.

s/Robert L. Hinkle
United States District Judge

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Florida Marriage Equality Legal Documents

Posted on January 1, 2015by ManateeLGBTA

Florida Marriage Equality Legal Documents


Summary of the Florida Cases

Freedom to Marry summary – Florida


Brenner v. Scott, Grimsley v. Scott

**Jan. 1, 2015 – Court order on the Scope of the Preliminary Injunction

Dec. 31, 2014 – Amicus brief, NCLR and Equality Florida Institute

Dec. 30, 2014 – Scriveners’ error petition and corrected filing

Dec. 29, 2014 – Amicus brief, Florida Family Action, Inc. (FFAI) in opposition

Dec. 29, 2014 – Grimsley plaintiffs’ response to motion for clarification

Dec. 29, 2014 – NCLR and EQFLI Amicus brief in support

Dec. 29, 2014 – DMS response to Clerk of Courts’ motion for clarification

Dec. 29, 2014 – Plaintiffs’ response to Clerk of Courts’ motion for clarification

**Dec. 24, 2014 – Lamda Legal amicus brief in support 

Dec. 23, 2014 – Memo to County Clerks from National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Equality Florida

Dec. 23, 2014 – Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders amicus brief in support

Dec. 23, 2014 – Historians of Marriage amicus brief in opposition

Dec. 23, 2014 – NAACP amicus brief in support

Dec. 23, 2014 – Anti-Defamation League amicus brief in support

Dec. 23, 2014 – Women’s Legal Organizations amicus brief in support

Dec. 22, 2014 – Massachusetts et al (15 States and the District of Columbia) amicus brief in support

Dec. 22, 2014 – Prof. Gary Gates amicus brief in support

Dec. 22, 2014 – Family Law and Conflict of Laws Professors amicus brief in support

Dec. 22, 2014 – GLAD amicus brief in support

Dec. 21, 2014 – David Boyle amicus brief in support

**Dec. 19, 2014 – U.S. Supreme Court denies stay

Grimsley plaintiffs’ opposition to application to stay the preliminary injunction

**Dec. 19, 2014 – Prof. Carlos Ball amicus brief in support 

Dec. 19, 2014 – American Psychological Association et al (7 associations) amicus brief in support

Dec. 19, 2014 – American Sociological Society brief in support

Dec. 19, 2014 – Episcopal Bishops et al amicus brief in support

Dec. 19, 2014 – Columbia Law School Clinic amicus brief in support

Dec. 19, 2014 – Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights etc. amicus brief in support

Dec. 18, 2014 – Family Law Professors amicus brief in opposition

Dec. 18, 2014 – Historians of Anti-Gay Discrimination in support

Dec. 17, 2014 – OutServe-SLDN et al amicus brief in support

Dec. 16, 2014 – Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic amicus brief in support

**Dec. 15. 2014 – Greenberg Traurig law firm memo to Court Clerks, “Addendum to July 1, 2014 Memo”

Dec. 3, 2014 – Court Order – Motion to stay pending appeal denied

Nov. 21, 2014 – FFAI amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – American College of Pediatricians amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Lighted Candle Society amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Ryan T. Anderson amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops et al amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Robert George et al amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Alliance Defending Freedom amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Concerned Women for America amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Scholars of Federalism and Judicial Restraint amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 21, 2014 – Marriage Law Foundation amicus brief in opposition

Nov. 18, 2014 – Florida’s Motion to Extend Stay of Preliminary Injunction Pending Appeal

Oct. 24, 2014 – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s opposition to plaintiffs’ motions to lift the stay

Sep. 4, 2014 – Appeal by FDH Sec. John Armstrong, FDMS, and the Washington Co. Clerk of Courts

**Aug. 21, 2014 – Court Order Granting Preliminary injunction with temporary stay

Jul. 1, 2014 – Greenberg Traurig law firm memo to Court Clerks, “Clerks’ Duties”



Preliminary motion

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Caucus Holiday Theatre Outing on Dec. 13

Posted on December 3, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

The Manatee GLBTA Democratic Caucus will host a theatre outing on Saturday, December 13 at the freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Members and friends of the Caucus will enjoy an unusual version of A Christmas Carol at the freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL.  Tickets are $31 ($28 discounted for seniors, students, teachers, and military).

A portion of ticket sales goes to support Prism Youth Initiative, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting LGBTQ youth

The show starts at 2:00 p.m.  Those wishing to carpool will meet at 12:30 p.m. at the Manatee Democratic Headquarters, 6233 14th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34207, to ride together.

Attendees will join in a convivial lunch outing after the show at O’Bistro, 6661 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL.

For more information, contact Sandra Gander at

See the flyer, below, for more information.

FLYER – Holiday 2014 Theatre and Dinner Event

Please join other LGBT Democrats as together we work to make a difference!  Feel free to email us for more information.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Caucus Meeting – Thursday, Oct. 23 @ 6:30 p.m.

Posted on October 23, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

The next meeting of the Manatee GLBTA Democratic Caucus will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Manatee Democratic Headquarters.  The agenda is here.

The Manatee GLBTA Democratic Caucus meets monthly, on the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

Meetings last until approximately 7:30-7:45 p.m., at which time members adjourn to a nearby restaurant for a social hour.

Meetings are held at the Manatee Democratic Headquarters, located at:

Manatee GLBTA Democratic Caucus
c/o Manatee County Democratic Party

6233 14th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34207


Please join other LGBT Democrats as together we work to make a difference!  Feel free to email us for more information.


Posted in UncategorizedEdit

ACTION ALERT: Marriage Equality Pressure Mounts on FL Gov. Rick Scott, AG Pam Bondi

Posted on October 7, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

The following is a statement and call to action from Equality Florida.


SOURCE: Equality Florida, Oct. 6, 2014



 Subscribe to the Equality Florida Blog

Posted to on October 6, 2014 – 11:17am by brittany, Equality Florida


Send Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi an email urging them to stop the appeals and put an end to Florida’s ban on marriage for loving same-sex couples across the state. To send an email, click here.


Today’s action sends a clear message to Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi: Respect the ruling of 5 Florida judges and end marriage discrimination now.

In light of today’s action, we call on Pam Bondi and Rick Scott to immediately announce they will now drop their senseless appeals. There is no reason to wait another day or waste another dollar crusading to keep discrimination in place in Florida.

For Florida, this ruling eliminates the last refuge for Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott to hide behind.

Attorneys General and Governors across the country, aware of their duty to protect the basic rights of their residents, have declined to defend anti-gay marriage bans precisely because it is clear to them that these laws are both morally and constitutionally indefensible.

Florida is now in the unhappy position of being among the last states in our nation to get right on one of the civil rights issues of our day. How low on that list of shame will Pam Bondi and Rick Scott force Florida to fall?

Today’s action is a victory for loving couples in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia where Federal courts have struck down bans on marriage equality as unconstitutional.

In addition, it leaves in place the circuit court rulings from the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits, meaning couples in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming will soon be able to marry as well. They will soon join the other 19 states and the District of Columbia where the discriminatory bans have been overturned.

Four years ago, on September 22, 2010, a day Charlie Crist describes as one of his proudest moments as an elected official, an appeals court declared Florida’s notorious ban on adoption by gay and lesbian people unconstitutional.

Crist showed true leadership, responding the same day by calling for an immediate end to the ban and paving the way for thousands of prospective parents to begin adopting the children they loved.

Rick Scott and Pam Bondi face a nearly identical scenario today. End the appeals.  Let thousands of Florida’s loving couples enjoy the same legal protections as every other married couple in our state.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Lower Courts’ Marriage Equality Decisions to Stand

Posted on October 6, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to take up any of the various marriage equality cases previously decided by lower courts, essentially allowing their decisions to stand and ensuring marriage equality in an array of additional states.

The following series of five insightful articles is from SCOTUSblog, which provides premier commentary on the decisions and inner workings of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).  


SOURCE: SCOTUSblog (Oct. 6, 2014, 10:41 AM); Amy Howe, Today’s orders: Same-sex marriage petitions denied (UPDATED).

1)  Today’s orders: Same-sex marriage petitions denied (UPDATED)

This morning the Court issued additional orders from its September 29 Conference.   Most notably, the Court denied review of all seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  This means that the lower-court decisions striking down bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia should go into effect shortly, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in those states and any other state with similar bans in those circuits.  Indeed, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (who had declined to defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriage) indicated this morning on Twitter that, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the mandate in the Virginia cases would issue at 1 p.m., at which point “marriages can then begin.”  In a statement (h/t The Indiana Law Blog), Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (who had defended his state’s ban) indicated that, as a result of today’s orders, “the 7th Circuit now can issue a mandate in the [Indiana] case – essentially, an order that the 7th Circuit’s earlier ruling can take effect. Once a mandate is issued by the 7th Circuit – which could happen later this week – county clerk’s offices will be required by federal court order to issue marriage licenses to otherwise eligible same-sex applicants, and same-sex marriages previously granted by other states will be legally recognized in Indiana.”  And just a few minutes ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued orders that lifted the stay of the mandate in the Utah and Oklahoma proceedings (h/t:  Chris Geidner via Twitter).

The Supreme Court had issued the first round of orders from the September 29 Conference last Thursday, adding eleven new cases to its docket for the new Term.  Many people had anticipated that one or more of the same-sex marriage petitions might be on that list, but the Court did not act on any of them at the time.  Last month Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had suggested that the Court might not step into the controversy at this point, because there was no disagreement among the lower courts on that issue.  Today her prediction proved true, with the Court denying review (without any comment) of the seven petitions:  Bogan v. Baskin (Indiana); Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin); Herbert v. Kitchen (Utah); McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia); Rainey v. Bostic (Virginia); Schaefer v. Bostic(Virginia); and Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma).


SOURCE: SCOTUSblog (Oct. 6, 2014, 12:48 PM); Suzanne Goldberg, Symposium: The Supreme Court’s opt out means more marriage equality but continuing harms to gay and lesbian couples

2)  Symposium: The Supreme Court’s opt out means more marriage equality but continuing harms to gay and lesbian couples

Suzanne B. Goldberg is a professor at Columbia Law School.

Amazement mixed with anxiety and cautious optimism. That’s how I felt nearly twenty years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert. in Romer v. Evans, a case in which I was co-counsel for Lambda Legal.

In that moment, it was hard to be confident that the Justices would strike down Colorado’s ban on antidiscrimination protections for gay people, given Bowers v. Hardwick’s antigay moralizing, which upheld Georgia’s sodomy law in 1986 and remained the law of the land.

Even still, gay rights advocates reasonably feared that efforts to strip basic antidiscrimination protections from gay people would escalate if the Court did not step in to review Romer. Indeed, similar measures had been or were actively under consideration in more than a dozen states during that period.

Today’s wholesale refusal by the Court to address the marriage equality question takes place in a very different world. The cases are unquestionably urgent – especially to those who suffer daily injury and indignity in states where their marriages are treated as nonexistent.

But unlike twenty years ago, when there was legitimate concern that anti-gay laws might spread around the country, few serious observers would predict that today’s cert. denial will reverse the national trend – both in public opinion and in the courts – that profoundly favors marriage equality.

From that standpoint, one might say that no grave harm has been done by the Court’s decision to refuse review of marriage cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits. In fact, the Court’s cert. denials have significantly expanded the number of states in which same-sex couples can marry by allowing lower court rulings in favor of gay and lesbian couples to stand.

In keeping with those rulings, marriage should soon be authorized for same-sex couples not only in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, whose cases were on appeal, but also in the other states covered by those circuits where marriage is not already in place: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming. By some estimates, an additional fifty-one million Americans will live in states that will soon have marriage equality, bringing the total number of states to thirty in all.

As a result, by the time another marriage case reaches the high court, the balance will have tipped even more toward the inevitability of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Still, with these genuinely positive consequences, there is another side to the cert. denial that leaves many observers somewhat stunned – not so much surprised by the Court’s decision as disheartened by it.

The denials are not surprising; the Court regularly denies review when there is no conflict among the circuits below. In the marriage cases, there is not only no conflict but also virtual unanimity among the forty-plus decisions by federal and state courts in marriage cases since June 2013, when the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s federal non-recognition provision in Windsor v. United States.

But however rational, an explanation for the Court’s cert. denial does not address the depressing result for many same-sex couples who had hoped for an end to the harms they suffer by being treated as legal strangers in their home states. And, of course, these harms are not limited to the couples themselves. In Windsor, Justice Kennedy famously invoked the harms – both financial and dignitary – to children whose parents cannot marry or have their marriages recognized.

In addition, governments and businesses now know that their constituents and employees will continue to suffer under the nation’s patchwork approach to marriage rights for the foreseeable future.

So, where to go from here? Back in the spring of 2013, even before Windsor was decided, TIME magazine had declared its view in a cover story: “Gay Marriage Won: The Supreme Court Hasn’t Made Up Its Mind But America Has.”

Eventually, another marriage equality case will reach the high court. There are, of course, no guarantees that the Justices will track public opinion – which shows that more than half of Americans support marriage rights for same-sex couples. Yet Windsor’s logic, which recognized that DOMA’s targeted denial of marriage rights caused real harms to gay and lesbian couples for no legitimate reason, gives every reason to think that the same majority will one day reject similar discrimination by states.

I continue to believe that the question is not whether the Court will recognize same-sex couples’ freedom to marry, but when. Today’s cert. denial leaves that question hanging longer than many anticipated, and brings no end to the suffering of same-sex couples who live in places where they are prevented from marrying or having their marriages recognized. But the cert. denial also means joy for those who live in the new “freedom to marry” states, and one more step forward for a nation that continues to work toward fulfilling its promise of equality for all.


SOURCE: SCOTUSblog (Oct. 6, 2014, 3:35 PM).  Lyle Denniston, Many more same-sex marriages soon, but where? (UPDATED).

3)  Many more same-sex marriages soon, but where? (UPDATED)

UPDATE Monday afternoon.  Within hours after the Supreme Court denied review in these cases, the Fourth Circuit put its ruling in the Virginia case into immediate effect (see here) and the Tenth Circuit did the same in its rulings in both the Oklahoma and Utah cases (see orders here and here).  The Seventh Circuit has yet to act.



With not a single dependable hint of its own constitutional view of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court in one fell swoop on Monday cleared the way for gays and lesbians to wed in a batch of new states — starting first in five more states, and probably adding six more in the coming weeks.  If that happens in all eleven, it will mean that same-sex marriages would then be legal in thirty states and Washington, D.C.

In seven one-line orders, released without explanation and with no report on how any Justice voted, the Court surprisingly refused to review any same-sex marriage case now before it and, in the process, prepared to lift a series of orders that had delayed such marriages while the issue remained in the Court.   Almost no one had expected that to happen.

It may take a few weeks for the Court’s action to take effect in real-world terms, in the geographic areas where federal appeals courts have struck down bans in five states — the decisions that the Justices have now left intact.  Because those appeals court rulings are binding on all federal courts in their regions, those decisions almost certainly dictate the outcome in six more states.

Here is the lineup, as of Monday (this could change if other federal appeals courts issue rulings in coming days or weeks):

First, as a direct result of Monday’s action, same-sex marriages can occur when existing lower-court rulings against state bans go into effect in Virginia in the Fourth Circuit, Indiana and Wisconsin in the Seventh Circuit, and Oklahoma and Utah in the Tenth Circuit.

Second, such marriages can occur when the court of appeals rulings are implemented in federal district courts in three more states in the Fourth Circuit (North and South Carolina and West Virginia) and in three more states in the Tenth Circuit (Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming).  The other states in the three circuits where bans have been struck down had already permitted same-sex marriage, under new laws or court rulings (Illinois, Maryland, and New Mexico, which have been counted among the nineteen states in that category).

Third, four other circuits — the Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh — are currently considering the constitutionality of same-sex marriages.  Of those, the Ninth Circuit — which had earlier struck down California’s famous “Proposition 8″ ban and uses a very rigorous test of laws against gay equality — is considered most likely to strike down state bans.  If that happens, it would add five more states to the marriages-allowed column (Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada), which would bring the national total to thirty-five.

The reaction in those four circuits could depend upon how they interpret what the Supreme Court did on Monday.

If the Court is not likely to uphold any state ban, either on same-sex marriage in the first place or recognition of existing such marriage, lower courts may see good reason to fall in line.  The Court’s actions, however, do not set any precedent, so lower courts are technically free to go ahead and decide as they otherwise would.

If they interpret the denials of review as providing no guidance whatsoever, then they would feel free to proceed without reading anything into what the Court has in mind.

It is very hard, however, to interpret the Justices’ actions as having no meaning.  Here are the reasons why the denial orders were such a surprise:

First, for all seven petitions, both sides had urged the Court to grant review — a rare thing, and one that almost never fails to assure review.

Second, last year the Court had agreed to decide on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, but wound up not deciding that issue because of a procedural defect in the appeal in that case (involving California’s “Proposition 8″).   That was a sign that the Justices were prepared to confront the basic issue, at least at that time.

Third, during this year, the Court itself has three times blocked lower court rulings striking down state bans — an indication that the Justices did not want same-sex marriages to occur until they had weighed in on their constitutionality.

Fourth, the Court surely knew what the practical impact would be of turning aside all seven petitions — that is, the early implementation of same-sex marriages in a good many more states, without the Court ever having ruled on the core question and, in fact, with the Court having never said anything, one way or the other, on that basic issue.

Fifth, all of the new cases test the scope of the Court’s reasoning last year in striking down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  That decision, in the case of United States v. Windsor, did not deal with the core issue of same-sex marriage, but it ruled strongly in favor of equality in federal programs for same-sex couples who already were legally married under state law.  In almost all of the nearly unanimous flow of lower court decisions since then striking down state bans, the judges have relied upon Windsor‘s rationale.  By denying review Monday, the Court has not questioned that use of the Windsor decision.

Sixth, four Justices filed vigorous dissents in the Windsor case, and their votes would have been enough to grant review in any new case brought to it.  If they, in fact, did vote to grant, that was not noted on the orders.  Moreover, without some assurance of getting a fifth vote when the issue was actually decided, they may have decided to hold off, at least for the time being.

Whatever happens in the near term will have some confusion and a great deal of uncertainty, especially for same-sex couples who now go ahead and get married, but that would not compare to the confusion that would arise if the Court at some point in the future were to grant review of a case and uphold a ban on same-sex marriage.  What would happen in the states where marriage had become available, and what would happen to those who married based on Monday’s actions and their aftermath?

Presumably, officials in states that wanted to reinstate bans could apply to reopen closed cases,  based on the new authority that the Supreme Court, in such event, had provided.  That might well be an invitation to legal chaos.


SOURCE:  SCOTUSblog (Oct. 6, 2014, 5:09 PM); Andrew Hamm, Afternoon round-up: Today’s orders in the same-sex marriage cases.

4) Afternoon round-up: Today’s orders in the same-sex marriage cases

This morning the Court issued additional orders from the Justices’ September 29 Conference, including orders in which it denied review of all seven petitions arising out of challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage. Writing for this blog, Amy Howe discusses the denied petitions, and Lyle Denniston reviews the consequences of those denials in the different states. Suzanne Goldbergweighed in on the significance of the denials as part of our symposium.

Other early coverage of the orders in the same-sex marriage cases comes from Pete Williams and Daniel Arkin at NBC News, Ariane de Vogue of ABC News, Mark Sherman at the Associated Press, Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed, Ashley Fantz and Bill Mears at CNN (also with an op-ed by Jeffrey Toobin), Dennis Romboy of Deseret News, Brian Dickerson of Detroit Free Press, Shannon Bream at Fox News, Benjamin Goad of The Hill, Allissa Wickham of Law360, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Kaveh Waddell at National Journal, Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Bill Chappell at NPR, Josh Gerstein at Politico, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Brent Kendall of The Wall Street Journal, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, Lisa Keen of the Keen News Service, and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News.

Early commentary on today’s denials comes from Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, Garrett Epps of The Atlantic, Ilya Shapiro at Cato at Liberty, the National Constitution Center staff at the Constitution Daily, Ruthann Robson at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Ryan Anderson at The Daily Signal, Nate Silver and Allison McCann at FiveThirtyEight, Alison Sacriponte at Jurist, George Zornick at The Nation, Amy Davidson at The New Yorker, Mark Joseph Stern at Slate (also here), Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo, Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress, Jonathan H. Adler of The Volokh Conspiracy, German Lopez of Vox, Steve Klepper at the Maryland Appellate Blog, Ed Mannino at his eponymous blog, Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog, and Noah Feldman for Bloomberg View.

Other coverage of today’s orders focused on a communications glitch at the Court that left reporters without thirty pages of today’s order list. The Associated Press covered the issue, as did Marcia Coyle at The National Law Journal, with commentary coming from Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog.


SOURCE:  SCOTUSblog (Oct. 6, 2014, 6:55 PM); Amy Howe, First Monday surprise on same-sex marriage: In Plain English.

5) First Monday surprise on same-sex marriage: In Plain English

In June 2013, in United States v. Windsor, a divided Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which until then had defined “marriage” – for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs – as a union between a man and a woman.  The Court’s five-to-four decision meant that same-sex couples who had been married in states where same-sex unions were permitted would have the same right as opposite-sex couples to, for example, file joint federal tax returns.

But on the same day, the Court sidestepped a ruling on whether the Constitution includes a right to marry someone of the same sex.   Also by a vote of five to four, it ruled instead that supporters of California’s ban on same-sex marriage did not have a right to defend the ban on appeal when state officials had chosen not to do so.  Within days, same-sex marriages resumed in California.

We all assumed that the issue would be back again at the Court before too long, and that expectation only increased as lower federal courts around the country started to rely on the Court’s decision in Windsor to strike down other states’ bans on same-sex marriage – in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin.   All told, by last Monday the Court had before it seven different petitions asking the Court to weigh in on whether states can prohibit same-sex marriage.  With all of the parties on both sides in all of the cases in agreement that the Supreme Court should take up the question, review seemed inevitable.

Until this morning at 9:30, when the Court turned down all seven of the petitions, without comment.   It was an unusually chaotic scene in the Court’s press room even for a big announcement day.  The Court reveals which cases it will or will not review in a document known as the “order list.”  Today’s order list was particularly long:  over eighty pages.  The problem for reporters today was that over a third of those pages – roughly thirty pages – were missing from the hard copy that was distributed to them.  And the electronic version of the order list, which might have filled in the gaps, was not yet available (or at least very difficult to find) on the Court’s newly revamped website.  But eventually it became clear that the same-sex marriage petitions had been denied, and the analysis kicked in:  why did the Court decide to turn down all seven petitions, and what does this mean going forward?

On the first question – why did the Court decide to deny review, when it had granted review in the Proposition 8 case less than two years ago? – all we can do is speculate.  Although the Justices do sometimes write short opinions to explain why they are not reviewing a particular case (or why they think the Court should have reviewed the case), they don’t have to, and no one opted to do so today.  A few weeks ago, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had suggested that the Court might pass on the cases this time around because all of the federal appeals courts that have considered the issue so far have struck down state bans, eliminating any need for the Court to step in to resolve disagreements among the lower courts (a factor that the Court often considers in deciding whether to grant review).  But that probably isn’t the whole story.  After all, the Justices often take cases even though there is no division among the lower courts because at least four of them (the number needed to grant review) think that there is nonetheless an important issue at stake.  (Bush v. Gore comes to mind here.)

Strategy may have also played a role in the decision to deny review.  The Court’s four more liberal Justices – Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan – may have been content to leave well enough alone, from their perspective.  Put another way, they may have preferred to let the tide of decisions striking down state bans continue to flow steadily, rather than risk a broader decision which might turn back that tide altogether.

What is harder to imagine is why some of the Court’s more conservative Justices didn’t join forces to grant review.  Indeed, it was nearly impossible to fathom that they would allow the lower-court decisions striking down state bans on same-sex marriage to go into effect without a fight, even if (as the conventional wisdom has surmised) they remained concerned about their ability to persuade Justice Anthony Kennedy to join them in upholding the bans.   But apparently they did, and we may never know the full story until a Justice’s private papers are released, many years from now.

The second question – what happens next – requires less guesswork.  The short answer is that same-sex marriage will be legal in the five states whose bans were at issue before the Court.  Things are already moving quickly.  In Indiana, county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples this afternoon, and same-sex marriage ceremonies started in Virginia just after 1 p.m. today.

But today’s orders will have a broader impact as well.  Specifically, because the Court let stand the lower court decisions striking down the five bans, those decisions and their reasoning become the law of the land for other states whose federal appeals are heard by the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth (Virginia), Seventh (Indiana and Wisconsin), and Tenth (Utah and Oklahoma) Circuits.  This means that, although they were not directly before the Court, bans in North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming are also effectively dead.  That would bring the number of states where same-sex marriages are legal to thirty.

To be sure, there are four other federal appeals courts that are currently considering challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  A ruling by at least one of them that states can prohibit same-sex marriage would create the kind of disagreement among the lower courts that might spur the Court to grant review.  But meanwhile thousands of same-sex marriages are likely to take place in the states where it is now permitted, and public support for those marriages will probably continue to grow.  So even if at some later point in time there are four Justices willing to take on the same-sex marriage question, it may be too late to put the genie back in the bottle.  Time will tell.



Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Terri Wonder has been Voting All Her Life

Posted on October 4, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

October 4, 2014


Dear Citizens:

The tornado of libelous claims packaged in mass mailers has begun.

Carol Whitmore has resorted to paying for and approving a false statement that claims: “Terri Wonder has voted only twice in her life.”

What is she afraid of?

Whitmore also made the same false claim in debates on October 1st and 2nd. I twice corrected her during these debates, but she has refused to stop. She then sent out a postcard with the same false claim on it.

From the outset of this campaign, I have maintained that I have lived in Manatee County for most of my adult life, with one recent exception being my time away from home as a US Army Civilian working for our military in other parts of the country and deployed in Iraq.

I have voted in other counties and more than the two times in Manatee County that Whitmore claims. During my work with the military, I lived in Virginia for a long period of time. I also have trained in other military installations around the country. I had registered to vote in Virginia but was later transferred back to Florida, where I re-registered to vote in 2012.

I have endured many disruptions to my personal life in order to serve our country. Is Whitmore impugning my patriotism? Is she trying to damage my reputation in her quest for a third term?

Evidently, Whitmore did not do her homework, or she would have seen from the resume posted on my website that I have lived in other places. She should have checked.

I was warned the smear campaign would be mean-spirited, but I did not think my opponent would make libelous claims in print. My mass mailers don’t even mention her name at all.

For the record, I’m not AWOL. I’m standing tall for the masses of disenfranchised citizens who deserve respect from their elected leaders.





The Terri Wonder 2014 Campaign is a grass-roots cause that champions the public interest and not just special interests that dominate local politics and decision-making. I’m doing all the right things: attending special events, conducting key leader engagements, and meeting people by walking door-to-door throughout the county. Your contributions will help pay for campaign signage, advertising, and mass mailings. Just click on Terri Wonder Official Campaign Website or mail a check to Terri Wonder Campaign 2014, 312 Bryn Mawr Island, Bradenton, Florida 34207.

SOURCE:  Email received Oct. 4, 2014, from the Terri Wonder campaign: “Political advertisement paid for and approved by Terri Wonder, Democrat, Manatee County Commissioner-at-Large, District 6. Contributions not deductible for federal income tax.”

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Terri Wonder for Manatee County Commission

Posted on October 4, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

Terri Wonder







“I’m the grand-daughter of Polish-immigrant farmers from Archer, Florida, and the daughter of a farmer and radio repairman from Alachua, Florida. How could I not love Old Florida? A county that spends millions each year in tourist taxes marketing Old Florida must ensure that over-development and deep injection wells for toxic waste under our aquifer do not ruin Old Florida.  –Terri Wonder


Your vote for Terri Wonder in November 2014 is a vote for a commissioner who knows that Manatee County’s ability to remain an attractive place to live, work, and play is directly related to its ability to not put peoples’ quality of life at risk.

  • Respect the unique way of life of localities such as Terra Ceia, Myakka City, Duette, Waterline Road, and other communities that must maintain their rural character to survive.
  • Recognize that wetlands, mangroves, seagrass, rivers, lakes, and other natural resources are capital assets that sustain our tourism and agricultural economies—and our lives.
  • Demand fiscally responsible development that keeps taxes low and doesn’t devalue existing homes and farmland.
  • Prevent your taxes from being used as slush funds for Corporate Welfare schemes and Pork Barrel projects.
  • Protect citizens’ right to quiet, safe enjoyment of their neighborhoods and streets from increased traffic congestion and road deficiencies.
  • Ensure that over-development does not hamper the use of I-75 as a hurricane evacuation route (I-75 is already being used as a local road, as opposed to a state or national highway route).


**Text taken verbatim from a Political advertisement approved by and paid for by Terri Wonder, Democrat, for Manatee County Commissioner-at-Large, District 6.



Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Exciting Events – Can You Come?

Posted on September 28, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

Do you want to:  

Help elect pro-LGBT Democrat for Governor Charlie Crist!

Help elect equality-minded Democrat George Sheldon for Florida Attorney General to replace the current bigotry occupying that office!

Help elect Democrat Terri Wonder to the Manatee County Board of Commissioners, where only one of the seven Commissioners is currently a Democrat!


Here’s what you can do to help:

First, there are several Charlie Crist for Governor events coming up here on the Suncoast on Monday, Sep. 29, 2014.  Meet Charlie Crist at any or all of these!

1)  Manatee Fundraiser with Charlie Crist.  Mon., 9/29, 12:30-2:00 p.m at the Beach Bistro, 6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach (Anna Maria Island), FL.  Host, $500; General, $100.

2) Phone Bank with Charlie Crist.  Mon., 9/29, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Sarasota Democratic Headquarters, 7358 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, FL.

3)  Sarasota Fundraiser with Charlie Crist.  Mon., 9/29, 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the Social Eatery & Bar, 1219 1st St., Sarasota, FL.  Host, $500; General, $50.

Next, there are volunteer opportunities where YOUR help can really make a difference: 

  1. A)  Manatee Phone Bank. Volunteers are needed now to call prospective voters, using a prepared script, to provide information about early voting and to help draw out every single vote, because this race is going to be very

Until November 4th, these special, critically important phone banks will be at the Manatee Democratic Headquarters (6233 14th St. W., Bradenton, FL) every:

  • Tuesday  6:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Thursday6:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday  2:00-4:00 p.m., or/and 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  1. B)  Information Table Staffing at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office(across from Desoto Mall).  Volunteers are needed for three-hour shifts to staff an information table, hand out literature at the table, and engage people who stop by the SOE office.  The Republicans already have about 6-8 staff at all times.

The shifts are on any day from Monday, October 27 through Saturday, November 1st, from 7:00-10:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 1:00-4:00 p.m., and 4:00-7:00 p.m. To sign up, contact Mary Bass, Manatee Democratic Party, at (941) 748-8536.  Drop-by volunteers are also welcome.

There are just 36 days left before the November 4th election.  Let’s do this!

Please join us at any or all of these events, and if you can, encourage your spouse, partner, roommates, family members, and friends to do the same.

-Manatee GLBTA Democratic Caucus

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Charlie Crist Will Fight for LGBT Marriage Equality

Posted on September 27, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

The following is Charlie Crist’s position on equality, taken without editing from the official campaign website of Charlie Crist, Democrat for Governor:



Charlie believes that all Floridians should be able to marry the person they love. He stands with Florida’s LGBT community, and as Governor, he will fight for marriage equality. Equality is a basic question of justice.

As Governor, Charlie will work with the bipartisan coalition currently working to pass employment non-discrimination laws. This is important for businesses working to recruit the best and brightest talent to Florida.


SOURCE:  Charlie Crist, Democrat, for Governor:, retrieved 9/27/2014.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Democratic Attorney General Candidate George Sheldon “On the Right Side of History”

Posted on September 27, 2014by ManateeLGBTA


George Sheldon, Democrat, for Attorney General:  “Pam Bondi is on the “Wrong Side of History”

Just hours after Bondi intervened in two more cases challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declared that Utah’s ban violated same-sex couples’ fundamental right to marry.

Americans are Putting Aside Hostility and Bigotry Against the LGBT Community

As with Americans of the 1950s and 1960s who quietly turned away from racial hatred and segregation, Americans today are putting aside the hostility and bigotry that have discriminated against the LGBT community for all too long. Supporters of these bans are even arguing “states’ rights,” just as slave states did in the nineteenth century, before the Fourteenth Amendment promised equal protection of the laws.

Bans on gay marriage in 13 different states have been struck down since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. Indiana’s was struck down just two days ago. It’s not just federal courts, either – the state supreme courts in New Jersey and New Mexico have struck down their state bans. A state judge in Arkansas ruled the same way. Federal judges have struck down the bans in 10 states – Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

No state’s ban on gay marriage has been upheld. Not one.

But Pam Bondi is popping up everywhere to defend Florida’s ban.

People don’t have to wonder how I would handle this issue, because the record is very clear. Thirty-seven years ago, very few members of the Florida Legislator were willing to stand up against a very public campaign to stop gay people from adopting children. I voted against that legislation.

Thirty years later, as Secretary of the Department of Children and Families I presided over lifting the ban on gay adoption as head of the state agency charged with enforcing that ban on gay adoption.

It is time for a new Attorney General who knows that equality is for all Americans.

See the New York Times article of June 25, “Appeals Court Rejects Utah’s Ban on Gay Marriage, Prodding Supreme Court.” 


This article is reprinted without editing from the official campaign website of George Sheldon, Democrat, for Attorney General:,george-sheldon-slams-bondi-for-being-on-the-wrong-side-of-history

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Democrat Sheldon Responds To AG Bondi’s Gay Marriage Prejudice

Posted on August 31, 2014by ManateeLGBTA

Sheldon Responds To AG Bondi’s Gay Marriage Prejudice Actions

Pam Bondi is doubling down on her defense of prejudice against the families of Florida.She has expanded her defense of Florida’s ban on gay marriage by unnecessarily intervening in two more court cases in our state.

The Attorney General of Florida has no business defending a case that harms the citizens of our state.

This is no different from an Attorney General defending racial segregation half a century ago. Defending prejudice was wrong then and it is wrong now.

This egregious act is another example of why Floridian’s deserve an attorney for them, not for Rick Scott.

This article is reprinted without editing from the official campaign website of George Sheldon, Democrat, for Attorney General:,george-sheldon-responds-to-ag-bondi’s-gay-marriage-prejudice-actions

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Statement on Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll’s Rationale Regarding Her Alleged Lesbianism

Posted on July 22, 2012by ManateeLGBTA

TAMPA — As a community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender-people, we continually hear the horrifying statistics whereby LGBT people, especially Black LGBT people, suffer anti-gay bullying, discrimination in housing and employment, hate crimes, higher rates of suicide, unconscionable marginalization and random victimization at the hands of people who don’t understand or value the diversity that makes our country strong.

“As a proud Lesbian, I was outraged when Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll perpetuated homophobic social stigma to defend herself from accusations surrounding an alleged inappropriate sexual liaison with her female travel aide — a state employee. In doing so, Carroll has wrongly stereotyped all women,” states Sally Phillips, President of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus.

Click Here To Read More

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

In Suburb, Battle Goes Public on Bullying of Gay Students

Posted on October 2, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

Six students brought a lawsuit contending that school officials have failed to stop relentless antigay bullying and that a district policy requiring teachers to remain “neutral” on issues of sexual orientation has fostered oppressive silence and a corrosive stigma.

Click here for full story

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Suicide Draws Attention to Gay Bullying

Posted on October 2, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

Jamey Rodemeyer contributed a video to the “It gets better” campaign.  He endured taunts and slurs at school.  Apparently the bullying left him desperate for a way out.

Click here to read the full story.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

State GLBTA Democratic Caucus Meeting In Key West

Posted on July 25, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

N.Y. becomes sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage!

Posted on June 27, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

N.Y. becomes sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage After days of contentious negotiations and last-minute reversals by two Republican senators, New York became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly identical bill here two years ago.

Full story (from msnbc)

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

From Equality Florida: We Are Winning!

Posted on June 21, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

We are winning!

In the last 12 months, we’ve protected over 2 million more Floridians from discrimination. That’s a lot – and it brings our statewide total to ten million protected – but we won’t be done until every single Floridian knows they can never be fired or evicted from their home for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

We hold our annual Equal-a-thon during pride season each summer because winning Equality for all of us starts with one person, you.

Will you join our Equal-a-thon with a gift of just $15 right now? Or for a gift of $35 or more get cool equality gear like a hat or t-shirt.

Everything we do at Equality Florida, every student we defend against bullying, every law we pass, every champion we elect to represent us – every single thing is possible because someone like you cares enough to volunteer or make a donation.

We’re 100% people powered, and we need you.

We are winning. We have toppled Florida’s notorious ban on gay and lesbian adoption. We are passing new policies to protect our community almost every month. And strong majorities of our fellow Floridians believe we should be free from discrimination, safe from bullying and violence, and able to have the same legal rights for our families and children.

The success of our Equal-a-thon is vital to continuing our winning streak – especially now with what has been described as the most right-wing state government in Florida in a generation running Tallahassee. The path to Equality has always been a steep one here in Florida, but with you on our team we will get there together.

We’ve set an aggressive goal of Raising $72,000 by June 30th. Please support equality with a gift of $15, $35, $50 or more today.


Stratton Pollitzer
Deputy Director

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Super Bowl hero warns of ‘anarchy’ if NY approves gay marriage

Posted on June 21, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

Full Story From CNN

Former New York Giants receiver David Tyree’s celebrated catch in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLII was pivotal to his team’s victory. Now out of football, he is trying to claim a last-minute win over another foe — same-sex marriage.

On the same day that the New York State Assembly approved a same-sex marriage bill, Tyree warned of dire consequences if the legislation becomes law.

The bill’s passage would “be the beginning of our country sliding toward … anarchy,” he said………

Posted in UncategorizedEdit

Meet and Greet with Nadine Smith & Sally Phillips

Posted on March 19, 2011by ManateeLGBTA

Lov-A-Da-Coffee: 2127 Cortez Rd W., Bradenton, Fl 34208 (Click Here For Google Map)

Tuesday, April 5th, 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Who Will Be Speaking:

Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida, Speaking on Equality Rights
Sally Phillips, President, Florida GLBT Caucus, on Why Build a Caucus?

Finger foods provided; Coffee, Tea and Soda will be for sale.

Posted in UncategorizedEdit