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- Trump rescinded Title IX protections for transgender students.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.
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.
Membership Meeting – Wednesday, January 8, 2020
The Pride Center
Minutes From Last Meeting
Proposed Updates to Bylaws – Summary Sheet
Bylaws Red Lined with Changes
June 28, 1970 – Community members in New York City march through the local streets to recognize the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This event is named Christopher Street Liberation Day and is now considered the first gay pride parade.
March 26, 1973 – First meeting of “Parents and Friends of Gays,” which goes national as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in 1982.
December 15, 1973 – By a vote of 5,854 to 3,810, the American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the DSM-II Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
1974 – Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly LGBT American elected to any public office when she wins a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council.
1974 – Elaine Noble is the first openly gay candidate elected to a state office when she is elected to the Massachusetts State legislature.
January 14, 1975 – The first federal gay rights bill is introduced to address discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill later goes to the Judiciary Committee but is never brought for consideration.
March 1975 – Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich reveals his sexual orientation to his commanding officer and is forcibly discharged from the Air Force six months later. Matlovich is a Vietnam War veteran and was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. In 1980, the Court of Appeals rules that the dismissal was improper. Matlovich is awarded his back pay and a retroactive promotion.
January 9, 1978 – Harvey Milk is inaugurated as San Francisco city supervisor, and is the first openly gay man to be elected to a political office in California. In November, Milk and Mayor George Moscone are murdered by Dan White, who had recently resigned from his San Francisco board position and wanted Moscone to reappoint him. White later serves just over five years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
1978 – Inspired by Milk to develop a symbol of pride and hope for the LGBT community, Gilbert Baker designs and stitches together the first rainbow flag.
October 14, 1979 – The first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights takes place. It draws an estimated 75,000 to 125,000 individuals marching for LGBT rights.
March 2, 1982 – Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
November 30, 1993 – President Bill Clinton signs a military policy directive that prohibits openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military, but also prohibits the harassment of “closeted” homosexuals. The policy is known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
November 1995 – The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act goes into effect as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The law allows a judge to impose harsher sentences if there is evidence showing that a victim was selected because of the “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.”
December 3, 1996 – Hawaii’s Judge Chang rules that the state does not have a legal right to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry making Hawaii the first state to recognize that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same privileges as heterosexual married couples.
April 1997 – Comedian Ellen DeGeneres comes out as a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine, stating, “Yep, I’m Gay.”
October 6-7, 1998 – Matthew Shepard is tied to a fence and beaten near Laramie, Wyoming. He is eventually found by a cyclist, who initially mistakes him for a scarecrow. He later dies due to his injuries sustained in the beating.
April 26, 2000 – Vermont becomes the first state to legalize civil-unions between same-sex couples.
June 2003 – The US Supreme Court strikes down the “homosexual conduct” law, which decriminalizes same-sex sexual conduct, with their opinion in Lawrence v. Texas. The decision also reverses Bowers v. Hardwick, a 1986 US Supreme Court ruling that upheld Georgia’s sodomy law.
May 17, 2004 – The first legal same-sex marriage in the United States takes place in Massachusetts.
September 6, 2005 – The California legislature becomes the first to pass a bill allowing marriage between same-sex couples. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill.
October 25, 2006 – The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
May 15, 2008 – The California Supreme Court rules in re: Marriage Cases that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional.
November 4, 2008 – Voters approve Proposition 8 in California, which makes same-sex marriage illegal.
August 4, 2010 – Proposition 8 is found unconstitutional by a federal judge.
September 20, 2011 – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed, ending a ban on gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
May 9, 2012 – In an ABC interview, Obama becomes the first sitting US president to publicly support the freedom for LGBT couples to marry.
September 4, 2012 – The Democratic Party becomes the first major US political party in history to publicly support same-sex marriage on a national platform at the Democratic National Convention.
November 6, 2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician and the first Wisconsin woman to be elected to the US Senate.
June 26, 2013 – In United States v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court strikes down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits. The high court also dismisses a case involving California’s Proposition 8.
October 6, 2014 – The United States Supreme Court denies review in five different marriage cases, allowing lower court rulings to stand, and therefore allowing same-sex couples to marry in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin. The decision opens the door for the right to marry in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
July 27, 2015 – Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates announces, “the national executive board ratified a resolution removing the national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees.”
May 17, 2016 – The Senate confirms Eric Fanning to be secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay secretary of a US military branch. Fanning previously served as Defense Secretary Carter’s chief of staff, and also served as undersecretary of the Air Force and deputy undersecretary of the Navy.
June 24, 2016 – Obama announces the designation of the first national monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The Stonewall National Monument will encompass Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the sites of the 1969 Stonewall uprising.
June 30, 2016 – Secretary of Defense Carter announces that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military.
August 5-21, 2016 – A record number of “out” athletes compete in the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The Human Rights Campaign estimates that there are at least 41 openly lesbian, gay and bisexual Olympians — up from 23 that participated in London 2012.
November 9, 2016 – Kate Brown is sworn in as governor of Oregon, a day after she was officially elected to the office. Brown becomes the highest-ranking LGBT person elected to office in the United States. Brown took over the governorship in February 2016 (without an election), after Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned amidst a criminal investigation.
June 27, 2017 – District of Columbia residents can now choose a gender-neutral option of their driver’s license. DC residents become the first people in the United States to be able to choose X as their gender marker instead of male or female on driver’s licenses and identification cards. Similar policies exist in Canada, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, and Nepal.
November 7, 2017 – Virginia voters elect the state’s first openly transgender candidate to the Virginia House of Delegates. Danica Roem unseats incumbent delegate Bob Marshall, who had been elected thirteen times over 26 years. Roem becomes the first openly transgender candidate elected to a state legislature in American history.
February 26, 2018 – The Pentagon confirms that the first transgender person has signed a contract to join the US military.
March 4, 2018 – Daniela Vega becomes the first openly transgender presenter in Academy Awards history.
November 6, 2018 – Democratic US Representative Jared Polis wins the Colorado governor’s race, becoming the nation’s first openly gay man to be elected governor.
April 2, 2019 – Lori Lightfoot becomes the first black woman and openly gay Mayor of America’s third largest city, Chicago.
April 14, 2019 – Army Vet. and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, becomes the first openly gay candidate to run for President of the United States.
May 17th, 2019 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Equality Act, a civil rights bill that provides non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, public spaces, education, jury services, credit, and federal funding.
LATELY IN FLORIDA…
November 22, 2016 – Carlos Guillermo Smith is sworn in as a member of the Florida House of Representatives (District 49), becoming Florida’s first openly gay Latino legislator.
March 13, 2018 – Dean Trantalis is elected as Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay Mayor.
November 6, 2018 – Sabrina Javellana is elected to the City Commission of Hallandale Beach, serving as the city’s youngest (21) and first openly bisexual Commissioner.
November 6, 2018 – Jane Bolin is elected to the City Commission of Oakland Park, serving as the city’s first openly bisexual Commissioner.
November 13, 2018 – the city of Wilton Manors swears in the first all LGBTQ City Commission in the history of Florida, led by Mayor Justin Flippen, Vice Mayor Tom Green, Commissioner Julie Carson, Commissioner Gary Resnick, and Commissioner Paul Rolli
January 18, 2019 – Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, implements nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity within her agency. This marks the first time that a member of Florida’s Cabinet provides protections on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity.
March 21, 2019 – Commissioner Nikki Fried appoints Nik Harris as Florida’s first LGBTQ Consumer Advocate, working to address discrimination and fraud targeted at the LGBTQ community of Florida and to raise awareness on opportunities within the agriculture industry.
April 23, 2019 – Jane Castor becomes Tampa’s first openly gay Mayor and the first gay woman to lead a major Florida city.
Written by Zachary Durand
REMEMBERING THE UPRISING 06/28/1969
Fifty years ago, engaging in queer behavior in public (holding hands, kissing, and even dancing with someone of the same sex) was illegal in New York City, as it was for most of the United State, but in the early morning of June 28th, 1969, a common police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the heart of the Greenwich Village in New York City, turned violent when Police began to manhandling employees and patrons out of the bar, arresting 13 people, and brutalizing those resisting arrest with batons.
Sick of the decades-long harassment and social discrimination that the LGBTQ community faced in New York, patrons and city residents began to throw bottles, bricks, and debris at the Police. The small but agitated group soon became a large and agitated force, and within minutes, a violent riot with Police broke out involving hundreds of New Yorkers. The nine officers, ironically enough, sought refuge from the crowd inside the Stonewall until a fire had started outside of the bar.
Five days of spontaneous protests ensued in lower Manhattan following the morning of June 28th in what has become known as “The Stonewall Riots,” blazing as a catalyst for the modern gay rights movement in America.
Fifty years later, the location of the Stonewall Inn and its surrounding Christopher Park, streets and sidewalks are now protected as a national United States monument. The City of New York will also play host to World Pride, June 28th thru June 30th, welcoming the LGBTQ community from all corners of the globe to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
Written by Zachary Durand