Two years ago, Governor Rick Scott promised to sign an executive order that would protect Floridians from discrimination on the basis of their for sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBTQ activists say. Scott never delivered on that promise, and now a civil rights group is going through the state rulemaking process to have the non-discrimination policy implemented.
Equality Florida has filed the Petition for Rulemaking with the Florida Department of Management Services, requesting that the agency craft a rule that prohibits such discrimination against state workers. The state has 30 days to either start developing a rule or deny the petition.
Officials with Equality Florida met with Scott administration officials just a few weeks after the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre, where 49 people were killed in the gay Orlando club.
The subject of that Tallahassee meeting: asking for an executive order from Scott banning LGBTQ discrimination in the state workforce. Despite assurances from the state officials that it would be addressed, Equality Florida says that Scott has refused invitations to meet with state employees and Pulse survivors about establishing an Executive Order.
“Governor Scott broke his promise, and when he was caught not telling the truth, he suddenly claimed the Executive Order he committed to wasn’t necessary,” says Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. “If he really believes those protections exist, he should have no problem showing everyone the written guidelines he has provided staff to ensure compliance. That is why we have filed this administrative petition. No more vague words. We want a clear policy.”