"Florida GOP Doesn’t Think Gay People Deserve ‘Equal Justice and Equal Opportunity’"
Earlier this month, newly-inaugurated Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) kicked off his term by issuing a narrow non-discrimination order for state employees, which addressed only race, gender, creed, color and national origin and did not provide protections for sexual orientation. Now, Cooper Levey-Baker of the Florida Independent discovers that the Florida Republican National Committee is up with a new website which calls for “equal justice and equal opportunity for all,” except for gay people:
In equal right, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex or national origin.
Florida has already been recognized by eQualityGiving.com for being one of the least gay-friendly states in America, and until recently it was the only state to explicitly prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting. In 2008, the state amended its constitution to prohibit gays and lesbians from seeking civil unions, much less marriage.
In December, however, Equality Florida released a report claiming that the recent repeal of the adoption ban and additional laws protecting gay people in various levels of government ranked the state “among the top five states in the nation in protecting its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered citizens from discrimination.” The report found that “the majority of Florida’s citizens also now live in communities that have ordinances outlawing discrimination in both employment and housing based on sexual orientation,” and Floridians are protected by a 2008 state law which tries to prevent bullying in public schools based on sexual orientation. One out of three Floridians “can also take advantage of domestic partnership registries or public employee domestic partner benefits.”
However, if the Florida GOP’s website and the Governor’s executive order are any indication, equality may once again be on the decline in the state. The national GOP’s 2008 platform didn’t include gay people either. “We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes,” that document read.