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.
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.
Democratic Lawmaker Says Florida Gov. Scott Used Zika, Hurricane as Excuses to Not Sign Promised LGBT Protections
Activists Say Rick Scott Promised an Executive Order After Pulse. It's Been a Year, but No Action.
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.
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.
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: Kenzie Helmick, Orlando-Based Intern
#HonorThemWithAction Reaches 147 Million
Note from Equality Florida's Nadine Smith:
You weren't at Pulse. You live hundreds, even thousands of miles away. You donated to the victims fund and attended vigils. Your social media post uses the hashtag #HonorThemWithAction. You are sending thoughts and prayers and love to the families of those killed, to those wounded, and those who escaped whose injuries are not visible.