Florida’s Ted Deutch was selected as a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus for the 115th U.S. Congress.
Overall, 102 lawmakers joined the caucus, which is co-chaired by six openly LGBT representatives. Those chairs are: Jared Polis (CO-02), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), and Mark Takano (CA-41).
“While we’ve made significant progress in recent years, we still have more work to do and must protect the progress we’ve made,” said Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat. “Our caucus continues to work to ensure every American has the fundamental freedom and opportunity to pursue the American Dream.”
Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Other Florida representatives in the caucus include Charlie Crist (FL-13) Lois Frankel (FL-22), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27).
Of the 102 members, only two are Republicans and both – Curbelo and Ros-Lehtinen -- are from Florida.
According to its mission statement, the caucus serves as a resource to Congress, their staff and the public on LGBT issues, working to extend equal rights, repeal discriminatory laws, eliminate hate-motivated violence and improve the health and well-being of all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Meanwhile, Deutch will host town halls in Pompano Beach and Wilton Manors this weekend to meet with constituents of congressional district 22 and provide updates of the going-ons in Washington. The Pompano Beach town hall begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at E. Pat Larkins Community Center, 520 NW 3rd Street. On Sunday, Deutch appears at the Pride Center, 2040 North Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, at 2 p.m.
On Friday morning, the congressman attended a tree planting ceremony in Fort Lauderdale in observance of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat. While there is much change taking place in the nation’s capital, Deutch assured Fort Lauderdale residents, the bonds between the U.S. and Israel remain strong.
“The one thing that is wholly unaffected by any of the discussions and new directions and arguments and debates is the strength of the relationship between the United States and the State of Israel,” Deutch said.