Join us on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 as we stream the Broward County School Board Candidates Forum on Facebook. 7:00pm
Join the Dolphin Democrats, Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida for an afternoon of mobilizing Equality Voters before the Florida Presidential Preference Primary on Tuesday, March 17th. Bring your smart phone, tablet, or computer for a text bank encouraging LGBTQ people and our allies to vote for pro-Equality candidates in 2020. The stakes couldn’t be higher this election cycle and we need your help to mobilize our members and supporters.
RSVP Here: https://www.mobilize.us/hrc/event/258131/
Contact us with questions at [email protected]
Wilton Manors, FL – At their Feb. 12 membership meeting, the Dolphin Democrats endorsed Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo for mayor of the city. In 2004, Castillo was elected to the Pembroke Pines City Commission, becoming the first Hispanic American elected to serve on the commission in 30 years. He has served four times as Vice Mayor.
Castillo has also served as a member of the Broward County Charter Review Commission. He is a former chair and current member of the Broward County Planning Council; the Broward MPO; and the Broward County Tourist Development Council. Other board experience includes board member emeritus – Hispanic Unity of Florida; Broward County Juvenile Justice Board; Broward County Health Facilities Authority; Family Central; and Women in Distress.
The Dolphin Democrats encourage Castillo and the Pembroke Pines City Commission to continue efforts to further enhance LGBTQ+ equality for residents and visitors alike. Specifically, it has been suggested the City work to increase its score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The current score for the City of Pembroke Pines is 71 out of 100. The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work there.
See Castillo’s completed endorsement questionnaire HERE
Save the Date – Join us on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at our 2020 Awards Gala & Silent Auction. at The Dalmar Hotel – Ft. Lauderdale
Tickets on sale now: https://www.dolphindems.org/2020-awards-gala/
For immediate release
February 25th, 2020
Contact: Alfredo Olvera
President, Dolphin Democrats
Dolphin Democrats Mourn the Loss of Wilton Manors Mayor, Past President, and Board Member Justin Flippen.
Wilton Manors, FL – The Dolphin Democrats are deeply saddened by the passing of Wilton Manors Mayor, past President, board member, and friend Justin Flippen. Justin was a fierce champion for the LGBTQ community and a proud Democrat. Justin had a lot of titles, but never left out his time as our President. He always reminded us that he got his start in political activism with the Dolphin Democrats. We are heartbroken by this loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone who loved him.
May he rest in peace.
Wilton Manors, FL – Members of the Dolphin Democrats conducted a Presidential Preference Primary Straw Poll at their Feb. 12 monthly meeting. Michael R. Bloomberg won the straw poll garnering 32 percent of the votes. Coming in second was Pete Buttigieg at 25 percent, and third was Elizabeth Warren at 23 percent. Amy Klobuchar received 8.51 percent of the vote; Joe Biden received 6.38 percent; Bernie Sanders received 4.36 percent; and Tom Steyer received 0 percent.
“We’re always looking for ways to excite LGBTQ+ Democrats in Broward County,” said Alfredo Olvera, President of the Dolphin Democrats. “The straw poll is a fun and exciting way to energize Democrats and find out the pulse of our caucus, but I want to stress it is not an official endorsement of the organization.
“I encourage all LGBTQ+ Broward Democrats to fight for their respective candidates with all their heart and passion, but in the end, we must come together to defeat President Trump.”
The Dolphin Democrats’ mission this election year is to Unite, Ignite, and Win.
The Dolphin Democrats will conduct a second and final straw poll at their Wednesday, March 11 membership meeting.
For more information, please visit https://www.dolphindems.org
The Dolphin Democrats will be holding their Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Included in the agenda will be the following:
- Election of 5 Directors to the Board – with terms ending on 02/2022
- Election of a Secretary – with terms ending on 02/2021
- Endorsement of one candidate to Mayor of Pembroke Pines
- Public Defender Candidates Forum.
To minimize consumption of paper, we encourage all our members to review the following online:
We look forward to seeing all our members and guests at the meeting. Doors will open at 6:30pm
Opinion by Dolphin Democrats’ Alfredo Olvera in the South Florida Sun Sentinel
In its Jan. 27 op-ed in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Log Cabin Republicans claimed, “Trump is the most pro-gay president in U.S. history.” That is an outrageous statement.
As is so often the case with Trump, his statements contradict his actions. Yes, Trump has made statements that imply support for the LGBTQ+ community. However, his policies have consistently chipped away at the rights of the most marginalized people in our country, particularly the transgender community.
- Trump banned LGBTQ+ refugees entering the United States.
- Trump rescinded Title IX protections for transgender students.
- Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military.
- Trump signed an executive order laying the groundwork to discriminate against LGBTQ+ citizens based on religion.
- Trump stated Title VII, which protects against employment discrimination, does not extend to LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Trump rolled back protections for incarcerated transgender people.
- Trump has endangered the very freedoms and lives of our community.
The President of the Broward Log Cabin Republicans, Andrew Brett, attacked the Dolphin Democrats for being partisan and for not praising a man who continuously commits atrocities against our community.
The hypocrisy is jarring.
It is the Republicans who have been silent, hence complicit, in every attack this administration has carried out on the LGBTQ+ community and minorities. It is the Republicans who were silent in 2019 when at least 25 transgender and gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means.
It is because of organizations such as the Dolphin Democrats — who actively fight to protect the rights of marginalized communities — that we have an informed community and pro-equality local elected officials.
It is because of organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Florida, and S.A.V.E., who lobby fiercely on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, that we have protections like marriage equality.
It is because of organizations such as TransInclusive Group, The Pride Center, and SunServe that we can have safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people in Broward County.
It is because of the Democratic Party and the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, who directly advocate to pass pro-LGBTQ+ ordinances and legislation, that our communities have human rights protections.
Where have the Republicans been when their own LGBTQ+ members needed protection? Our community is in peril, and once again, Log Cabin Republicans have placed their party over their own community.
The Dolphin Democrats will continue the work we started in 1982. We will continue to fight for equality and for equity.
We will continue to advocate to ensure that all voices, and not just the privileged ones, are heard.
We will continue to unite to ensure every member of the LGBTQ+ community has a seat at the table no matter their socioeconomic status, religious belief, national origin, or racial background.
We encourage every LGBTQ+ person to show the Trump administration that enough is enough by registering to vote and showing up on Election Day. It is only when we ignite and unite that we will win.
List of Anti-LGBTQ+ Actions by the Trump Administration:
November 5, 2019: The Department of Labor proposed to exempt the TRICARE health care program for military dependents and retirees from requirements not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is not immediately apparent whether TRICARE intends to make any changes in its benefits policies. Currently, TRICARE covers hormone therapy and counseling for transgender retirees and dependents, but DOD interprets the TRICARE statute to exclude transition-related surgery regardless of medical necessity.
November 1, 2019: the Department of Health and Human Services announced it would not enforce, and planned to repeal, regulations prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion in all HHS grant programs. These include programs to address the HIV, opioid, and youth homelessness epidemics, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in other health and human service programs.
November 1, 2019: the Department of Education published final regulations permitting religious schools to ignore nondiscrimination standards set by accrediting agencies.
September 19, 2019: The Department of Health and Human Services cancelled a plan to explicitly prohibit hospitals from discriminating against LGBTQ patients as a requirement of Medicare and Medicaid funds.
August 16, 2019: The Department of Justice filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that federal law “does not prohibit discrimination against transgender persons based on their transgender status.”
August 14, 2019: The Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would radically expand the ability of federal contractors to exempt themselves from equal employment opportunity requirements, allowing for-profit and non-profit employers to impose “religious criteria” on employees that could include barring LGBTQ employees.
July 15, 2019: The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced an interim final rule that would block the vast majority of asylum-seekers from entering the United States, with deadly consequences for those fleeing anti-LGBTQ violence.
July 8, 2019: The Department of State established a “Commission on Unalienable Rights” aimed at narrowing our country’s human rights advocacy to fit with the “natural law” and “natural rights” views of social conservatives, stating it would seek to “be vigilant that human rights discourse not be corrupted or hijacked or used for dubious or malignant purposes.” (Shortly thereafter, the State Department official tasked with coordinating the new commission was fired for “abusive” management including homophobic remarks.)
July 3, 2019: The Department of Housing and Urban Development removed requirements that applicants for homelessness funding maintain anti-discrimination policies and demonstrate efforts to serve LGBT people and their families, who are more likely to be homeless.
May 24, 2019: The Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed rule that would remove all recognition that federal law prohibits transgender patients from discrimination in health care. Courts across the nation have ruled otherwise.
May 22, 2019: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a plan to gut regulations prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in HUD-funded homeless shelters.
May 14, 2019: President Trump announced his opposition to the Equality Act (H.R. 5), the federal legislation that would confirm and strengthen civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans and others.
May 2, 2019: The Department of Health and Human Services published a final rule encouraging hospital officials, staff, and insurance companies to deny care to patients, including transgender patients, based on religious or moral beliefs. This vague and broad rule was immediately challenged in court.
April 19, 2019: The Department of Health and Human Service announced a proposed rule to abandon data collection on sexual orientation of foster youth and foster and adoptive parents and guardians.
April 12, 2019: The Department of Defense put President Trump’s ban on transgender service members into effect, putting service members at risk of discharge if they come out or are found out to be transgender.
March 13, 2019: The Department of Defense laid out its plans for implementing its ban on transgender troops, giving an official implementation date of April 12.
January 23, 2019: The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights granted an exemption to adoption and foster care agencies in South Carolina, allowing religiously-affiliated services to discriminate against current and aspiring LGBTQ caregivers.
November 23, 2018: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) erased critical guidance that helped federal agency managers understand how to support transgender federal workers and respect their rights, replacing clear and specific guidance reflecting applicable law and regulations with vaguely worded guidance hostile to transgender workers. While this guidance change did not change the rights of transgender federal workers under applicable law, regulations, Executive Orders, and case law, it is likely to cause confusion and promote discrimination within the nation’s largest employer.
November 19, 2018: The Department of State appealed a court order directing it to issue a passport with a gender-neutral designation to a non-binary, intersex applicant.
October 25, 2018: U.S. representatives at the United Nations worked to remove references to transgender people in UN human rights documents.
October 24, 2018: The Department of Justice submitted a brief to the Supreme Court aruging that it is legal to discriminate against transgender employee, contradicting court rulings that say protections under Title VII in the workplace don’t extend to transgender workers.
October 21, 2018: The New York Times reported that the Department of Health and Human Services proposed in a memo to change the legal definition of sex under Title IX, which would would leave transgender people vulnerable to discrimination.
August 10, 2018: The Department of Labor released a new directive for Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) staff encouraging them to grant broad religious exemptions to federal contractors with religious-based objections to complying with nondiscrimination laws. It also deleted material from an OFCCP FAQ on LGBT nondiscrimination protections that previously clarified the limited scope of allowable religious exemptions.
June 11, 2018: Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that the federal government would no longer recognized gang violence or domestic violence as grounds for asylum, adopting a legal interpretation that could lead to rejecting most LGBT asylum-seekers.
May 11, 2018: The Bureau of Prisons in the Department of Justice adopted an illegal policy of almost entirely housing transgender people in federal prison facilities that match their sex assigned at birth, rolling back existing protections.
April 11, 2018: The Department of Justice proposed to strip data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity of teens from the National Crime Victimization Survey.
March 23, 2018: The Trump Administration announced an implementation plan for its discriminatory ban on transgender military service members.
March 20, 2018: The Department of Education reiterated that the Trump administration would refuse to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity, countering multiple court rulings reaffirming that transgender students are protected under Title IX.
March 5, 2018: The Department Housing and Urban Development Secretary announced a change to its official mission statement by removing its commitment of inclusive and discrimination-free communities from the statement.
February 18, 2018: The Department of Education announced it will summarily dismiss complaints from transgender students involving exclusion from school facilities and other claims based solely on gender identity discrimination.
January 26, 2018: The Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that encourages medical providers to use religious grounds to deny treatment to transgender people, people who need reproductive care, and others.
January 18, 2018: The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights opened a “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” that will promote discrimination by health care providers who can cite religious or moral reasons for denying care.
December 29, 2017: President Trump fired the White House Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. The transgender community is disproportionately affected by HIV.
December 20, 2017: President Trump nominated Gordon P. Giampietro to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Giampietro called marriage equality “an assault on nature.” Giampietro’s nomination was eventually withdrawn.
December 14, 2017: Staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were instructed not to use the words “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” in official documents.
October 6, 2017: The Justice Department released a sweeping “license to discriminate” allowing federal agencies, government contractors, government grantees, and even private businesses to engage in illegal discrimination, as long as they can cite religious reasons for doing so.
October 5, 2017: The Justice Department released a memo instructing Department of Justice attorneys to take the legal position that federal law does not protect transgender workers from discrimination.
October 2, 2017: President Trump nominated Kyle Duncan to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Duncan has dedicated his career to limiting the rights of transgender people, and even defended the anti-trans parties in the North Carolina’s infamous HB2 debacle and the school district that discriminated against Gavin Grimm.
September 7, 2017: The Justice Department filed a legal brief on behalf of the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing for a constitutional right for businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and, implicitly, gender identity.
September 7, 2017: President Trump nominated Gregory G. Katsas to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Katsas played a central role in helping Trump ban qualified transgender people serving in the military.
September 7, 2017: President Trump nominated Matthew J. Kacsmaryk to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Kacsmaryk opposes LGBTQ protections in housing, employment, & and health care, and called transgender people a “delusion.”
September 7, 2017: President Trump nominated Jeff Mateer to become a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Mateer called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan” and openly supported debunked and dangerous “conversion therapy.” Mateer’s nomination was eventually withdrawn.
August 25, 2017: President Trump released a memo directing Defense Department to move forward with developing a plan to discharge transgender military service members and to maintain a ban on recruitment.
July 26, 2017: President Trump announced, via Twitter, that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
July 26, 2017: The Justice Department filed a legal brief on behalf of the United States in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or, implicitly, gender identity.
July 13, 2017: President Trump nominated Mark Norris to the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Norris has worked to make it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and even worked to discriminate specifically against transgender kids.
June 14, 2017: The Department of Education withdrew its finding that an Ohio school district discriminated against a transgender girl. The Department gave no explanation for withdrawing the finding, which a federal judge upheld.
May 2, 2017: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a plan to roll back regulations interpreting the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provisions to protect transgender people.
April 14, 2017: The Justice Department abandoned its historic lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s anti-transgender law. It did so after North Carolina replaced HB2 with a different anti-transgender law known as “HB 2.0.”
April 4, 2017: The Departments of Justice and Labor cancelled quarterly conference calls with LGBT organizations; on these calls, which had happened for years, government attorneys shared information on employment laws and cases.
March 31, 2017: The Justice Department announced it would review (and likely seek to scale back) numerous civil rights settlement agreements with police departments. These settlements were put in places where police departments were determined to be engaging in discriminatory and abusive policing, including racial and other profiling. Many of these agreements include critical protections for LGBT people.
March 2017: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) removed links to four key resource documents from its website, which informed emergency shelters on best practices for serving transgender people facing homelessness and complying with HUD regulations.
March 28, 2017: The Census Bureau retracted a proposal to collect demographic information on LGBT people in the 2020 Census.
March 24, 2017: The Justice Department cancelled a long-planned National Institute of Corrections broadcast on “Transgender Persons in Custody: The Legal Landscape.”
March 13, 2017: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that its national survey of older adults, and the services they need, would no longer collect information on LGBT participants. HHS initially falsely claimed in its Federal Register announcement that it was making “no changes” to the survey.
March 13, 2017: The State Department announced the official U.S. delegation to the UN’s 61st annual Commission on the Status of Women conference would include two outspoken anti-LGBT organizations, including a representative of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM): an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
March 10, 2017: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it would withdraw two important agency-proposed policies designed to protect LGBT people experiencing homelessness. One proposed policy would have required HUD-funded emergency shelters to put up a poster or “notice” to residents of their right to be free from anti-LGBT discrimination under HUD regulations.
The other announced a survey to evaluate the impact of the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative, implemented by HUD and other agencies over the last three years. This multi-year project should be evaluated, and with this withdrawal, we may never learn what worked best in the project to help homeless LGBTQ youth.
March 8, 2017: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) removed demographic questions about LGBT people that Centers for Independent Living must fill out each year in their Annual Program Performance Report. This report helps HHS evaluate programs that serve people with disabilities.
March 2, 2017: The Department of Justice abandoned its request for a preliminary injunction against North Carolina’s anti-transgender House Bill 2, which prevented North Carolina from enforcing HB 2. This was an early sign that the Administration was giving up defending trans people (later, on April 14, it withdrew the lawsuit completely).
March 1, 2017: The Department of Justice took the highly unusual step of declining to appeal a nationwide preliminary court order temporarily halting enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. The injunction prevents HHS from taking any action to enforce transgender people’s rights from health care discrimination.
February 22, 2017: The Departments of Justice and Education withdrew landmark 2016 guidance explaining how schools must protect transgender students under the federal Title IX law.
January 31, 2017: President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch has a history of anti-transgender rulings.
January 20, 2017: On President Trump’s inauguration day, the administration scrubbed all mentions of LGBTQ people from the websites of the White House, Department of State, and Department of Labor.
For immediate release
Jan. 13, 2020
Contact: Alfredo Olvera
President, Dolphin Democrats
Statement in Response ahead of the Log Cabin Republicans Wilton Manors Press Conference
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Donald Trump is no friend of the LGBTQ+ community. The Trump Administration has been abysmal for LGBTQ+ individuals in this country. He has actively worked to roll back protections and hard-fought wins achieved by our community. Below are a few of his numerous damaging policies:
- He has not officially recognized Pride Month.
- He withdrew protections for transgender individuals under Title IX.
- He signed an executive order focused on “religious liberty,” setting the groundwork to allow discrimination against the LGBTQ+ Community based on religious beliefs.
- Trump’s Justice Department stated that Title VII, which protects against employment discrimination, does not extend to LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military.
It is incumbent upon all organizations, regardless of their political stance, to be truthful to their memberships and to the public. As the oldest LGBTQ+ political organization in Florida, the Dolphin Democrats take that responsibility very seriously. A vote for Donald Trump in 2020 is a vote against the safety, freedom, and independence of the LGBTQ+ Community. Anyone claiming otherwise is selling a bill of false goods.
We remain committed to the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and rights. We will continue to uplift the most marginalized in our community; to register voters; to reach out to and educate our community; and to partner with allies who share our values. The 2020 election is too important to be distracted by President Trump, the Republican Party and the Log Cabin Republicans. We will stay focused on the real goal: Electing a pro-equality Democrat as president who represents the values of all Americans.