STATEMENT: Governor DeSantis Excludes LGBTQ Protections from Non-Discrimination Executive Order

Tallahassee, FL -- Equality Florida has called for a meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, following the governor’s issuance of an Executive order that excludes LGBTQ protections. DeSantis’ order comes at a time when two GOP Governor’s have issued LGBTQ inclusive Executive Orders and when his predecessor was roundly criticized for failing to keep his promise of adding the protections in the wake of the massacre at the gay nightclub, Pulse.

With Executive Order 1910, DeSantis has reaffirmed existing protections but fumbled the opportunity to take a clear stand that discrimination in any form will not be acceptable during his administration.

Following the tragedy at Pulse nightclub, Equality Florida called for protections for LGBTQ state employees and then-Governor Rick Scott committed to establishing these protections. He broke that promise while governors in other states have stepped up. In the last month, Governor’s in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan have issued sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive executive orders on non-discrimination in state government.

“Equality Florida is deeply disappointed to see that LGBTQ employees and contractors have been left out of the Governor’s executive order,” said Joe Saunders, Senior Political Director for Equality Florida. “It’s hard to believe that Governor DeSantis and his staff are not aware of the LGBTQ communities call for these protections following the Pulse tragedy and therefore it is hard to interpret this as anything less than a purposeful omission. As Governors across the country establish these critical protections for LGBTQ families, this order draws a stark contrast. We look forward to a dialogue with Governor DeSantis about why LGBTQ employees have been omitted from this critical policy and how he plans to make sure that all Floridians, regardless of who they are or who they love, can be protected from discrimination.”

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