In light of the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (“PBCHRC”) sent a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis asking him to amend his 2019 Executive Order Reaffirming Commitment to Diversity in Government to specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.
PBCHRC is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Over the past three decades, PBCHRC has been responsible for the implementation of more than 140 laws and policies providing equal protections, rights, and benefits for the LGBTQ community.
This was not the first time PBCHRC had made the request.
“By taking such action, you can assure all Floridians that the State of Florida remains committed to providing equal employment opportunity in state government to all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or marital status,” wrote PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch.
Just hours after taking office on January 8, 2019, DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 19-10 – Reaffirming Commitment to Diversity in Government. However, the executive order only included age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status or disability.
PBCHRC had made similar requests of Governor Charlie Crist and Rick Scott prior to their first days in office; however, they too fell on deaf ears.
Over the years, LGBTQ-inclusive executive directives had been issued by Republican and Democratic Governors in more than 30 states, including, but possibly not limited to Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.