Florida Governor Charlie Crist Asked to Issue Executive Order Prohibiting Discrimination

West Palm Beach, Florida – The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has requested Florida Governor Charlie Crist to issue an Executive Order to provide “equal employment opportunity in state employment to all qualified individuals regardless of personal characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, familial status, or marital status.”

The Council, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988, is dedicated to dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. “Equality in employment affects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Floridians every day,” said Council President Rand Hoch.

The Council’s request follows the issuance of a comprehensive executive order on August 11 by Delaware Governor Jack Marshall.  A copy of the executive order may be viewed at http://governor.delaware.gov/orders/exec_order_8.shtml.

“The time has come for Governor Crist to join the growing list of governors who have assured the citizens of their states that discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression is unacceptable,” said Hoch.

“Discrimination in any form is wrong and I will not stand for it as Governor,” Marshall said as he signed  his executive order.

“I am proud to issue this executive order.  It sends a clear signal that Delaware’s state government does not tolerate discrimination and is serious about fostering an inclusive working environment,” said Marshall.  “Delaware’s government must reflect the rich diversity of the citizens it serves.”

According to Hoch, similar executive orders have been issued by the governors of thirty states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

In the Council’s letter to Florida’s governor, Hoch reminded Crist that at the 2008 Republican Governor’s’ Association conference he told his colleagues that “there are a lot of issues people care about deeply that affect their lives in a real way every single day” and that “the people of our states have entrusted us to do what is right – not just for the benefit of Republicans but for all the people we serve.”

Crist also told the assembled Republican Governors that “embracing cultures and lifestyles will make us a better party and better leaders,” according to Hoch.

Although the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has sent Governor Crist more than a dozen letters on issues of equality of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community over the past three years, Crist has yet to respond.

A copy of the Council’s August 12 letter to Governor Crist has been posted on the Council’s Blog at http://pbchrc.blogspot.com.

Source Press Release


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