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LGBT Group Turns To Rule Making For Discrimination Protection

Gov. Rick Scott, undated.
Gov. Rick Scott

Equality Florida wants protection from discrimination for LGBT state workers. The organization’s executive director, Nadine Smith, claims Governor Rick Scott said he would consider an executive order protecting such workers following the Pulse night club shooting. But she says that never happened.

“He is now claiming that he didn’t have to keep that promise because there is already existing law. And to that we say show us, don’t tell us,” Smith says.

In a statement the governor’s office says LGBT workers are already protected by federal guidelines.

Meanwhile, former state worker Barry Munroe says he often worried about how his bosses viewed his sexual orientation.

“There is pressure where you don’t know whether or not a personnel action taken was because you are gay. Is it because you have a picture of your loved one up in your office? Was there some other reason why a personnel action was made that was averse to you," Munroe says.

Munroe says other groups have protections, why not the LGBT community? Efforts to put such protections in state law have failed in the legislature several years in a row. Now the gay rights group Equality Florida wants the Department of Management Services to create new rules prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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