In the News

'Last month Gov. Rick Scott issued a proclamation declaring June 12 Pulse Remembrance Day “in recognition of the 49 innocent lives lost in the horrific attack on Pulse nightclub” in Orlando a year earlier. He directed state flags to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset and asked state residents to pause for a moment of silence.

Central Florida’s faith leaders called on Gov. Rick Scott on Monday to honor a pledge his aides reportedly made in the weeks after the Pulse massacre to protect LGBT state employees from discrimination.

Source: WESH 2

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Florida faith leaders and members of the LGBTQ community came together Monday to make one request of Governor Rick Scott:

"To make good on his promise to enact non discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers employed by the state of Florida. It is a simple request," the Rev. Rudolph Cleare said.

It is a promise, the group claims, the governor made when he came to visit Orlando more than year ago and just days after the Pulse Nightclub massacre.

"Saying he promised to do something after Pulse and the gay community is still waiting, a congregation of Orlando faith leaders Monday called on Gov. Rick Scott to sign an executive order banning anti-gay discrimination in state government.

Under Florida law, it's still legal to deny housing, refuse service and fire people from their jobs because they identify as LGBTQ, says the Rev. Terri Steed Pierce. Equality Florida and other LGBTQ advocates have been asking Scott for months to add "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to anti-discrimination protections for state employees.

One year ago I witnessed hell. Standing in a dark bathroom at Pulse nightclub, I choked down tears, held onto a dozen trembling bodies, and breathed in gun smoke. We were unarmed; we were under attack.

But the sad reality is, the LGBTQ community is no stranger to attacks. In 2017, it is legal for Floridians to be denied housing, public accommodations, and even fired simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In the 21st century, employers can hand us a pink slip for the person we fall in love with.

Source: WCTV-TV

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- LBGTQ activists say Governor Rick Scott broke his promise to do more to protect against discrimination after the Pulse night club shootings.

Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the shooting, says even in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in recent history, little to no progress has been made in the state.

Nadine Smith, co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, has also watched her family evolve.

"When I came out to my family — they found a letter— I was in my teens and it was the last day I lived under their roof. My father and I didn't speak for years after I came out," said the 51-year-old. But he walked her down the aisle in 2009 and even appeared in a commercial advocating gay marriage in 2016.

On June 12, 2016, my son Christopher Leinonen was murdered because of who he was. Christopher and his boyfriend, Juan Ramon Guerrero, were at an LGBTQ nightclub, a safe space for their community — a place that, until that horrific night, was free from the fear and discrimination found in so many other aspects of their lives. But a deranged gunman fueled by hatred and armed with an assault rifle killed Christopher, Juan and 47 other innocent, loving people.

Source: News4Jax

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Officials with Equality Florida and the Florida Democratic Party are criticizing Gov. Rick Scott for failing to issue an executive order protecting LGBTQ individuals from employment and housing discrimination.

Leon County Democratic Party Chairman Andy Janecek said the Legislature as a whole has failed the LGBTQ community when it comes to protecting employment rights.

A year after a gunman targeted the gay nightclub Pulse on "Latin Night" and murdered 49 people, LGBTQ advocates say Gov. Rick Scott broke his promise by failing to sign an order that would protect state employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Equality Florida is accusing Gov. Rick Scott of breaking a promise made last year to the organization that he would issue an executive order protecting LGBTQ state employees from discrimination in hiring and contracting.

Now the Florida Democratic Party is piling on.

In the wake of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, Gov. Rick Scott’s staff told LGBTQ rights activists in backroom meetings that he would sign an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in state hiring and contracting.

One year later, it’s a promise Scott hasn’t kept, says state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat and former lobbyist for Equality Florida, which advocates on behalf of Florida’s LGBTQ community.

Activists Say Rick Scott Promised an Executive Order After Pulse. It's Been a Year, but No Action.

Source: WFTV

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In the days and months after the June 12, 2016, Pulse nightclub attack, support for the LGBTQ community in Florida was at an all-time high.

As that support peaked, groups such as Equality Florida and individuals including state Rep. Carlos Guillermo-Smith were assured that Gov. Rick Scott would be signing an executive order to protect state employees and government contractors from discrimination.


Written By: Susan Miller

Even in some states that saw a flurry of “good bills,” the failure of these to win approval was disappointing, activists say.

Written by: Mitch Perry

Last month, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners voted to include the LGBT community with other protected classes in connection with employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions and county contracting and procurement. The move was hailed by activists who have considered the county to be somewhat in the dark ages when it came to LGBT rights.

Source: Flagler Live

Almost exactly a year ago–on Nov. 7, 2013–the U.S. Senate voted 64-32 to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The proposed law would have banned workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people (LGBT). Florida’s Bill Nelson, a Democrat, voted for it. Marco Rubio, a Republican, voted against. Nevertheless, 10 Republican senators joined 52 Democrats and two independents to vote approval. It was a rare show of bi-partisan support.