Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Hannah Willard, Public Policy Director
One Year Later: Governor Scott Refuses To Protect LGBTQ People From Discrimination
ORLANDO, FL — One year ago Equality Florida called on Governor Rick Scott to issue an executive order protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Floridians from discrimination. In the days following the horrific shooting at Pulse Nightclub that claimed the lives of 49 people, a majority of whom were LGBTQ and Latinx young people, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization urged the governor to take action by signing an executive order to protect state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“In the aftermath of the Pulse massacre, Equality Florida met with Governor Scott’s staff and asked him to issue an executive order banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “With the simple stroke of a pen, the Governor could demonstrate his commitment to combatting discrimination of any kind and ensuring that Florida is a place that welcomes and respects everybody, including members of the LGBTQ community.”
Equality Florida was joined by community advocates, business leaders, and clergy who also called on the Governor to take meaningful action in the wake of the Pulse massacre.
“After a year of back and forth with the governor’s office, it is clear he has no intention of keeping his promise to the LGBTQ community. We hoped Governor Scott would finally take action to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination after the worst mass shooting in our history, but he has failed to do so. He must be held accountable for his inaction,” saidHannah Willard, public policy director of Equality Florida.
Days before the one-year mark of the Pulse massacre, Governor Scott issued a statement proclaiming Monday, June 12th as “Pulse Remembrance Day” and acknowledged that the attack was directed at the "LGBTQ and Hispanic” communties. But the governor continues to refuse to take meaningful action to protect LGBTQ state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida.
“LGBTQ Floridians deserve more than symbolic gestures; we call on the Governor to keep his promise and take immediate action to do what is in his power to send a message that Florida is not a place that will permit discrimination of any kind, especially after the worst anti-LGBTQ attack in our nation's history,” added Willard.