Pulse Massacre Inspires Florida GOP Officials to Back LGBT Protections

Nearly two dozen Central Florida Republican officials signed a resolution calling for laws banning discrimination against the LGBT community.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that, “In a show of solidarity after the Pulse massacre, nearly two dozen Republican officials in Central Florida recently signed a resolution calling for laws banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs unveiled the measure last week during a speech at the Orange County Republican Executive Committee’s Lincoln Day dinner, headlined by Gov. Rick Scott.


In an interview, Jacobs said it emerged from a promise she made to the families of the 49 people killed at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.


“I gave them my word I would do everything I could to make sure … that their lives and their love changes something for the better,” she said.


The one-page, nonbinding resolution states that its signers “support efforts of Florida businesses and individuals to pass legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification.”


Scott was not asked to sign the document, but it was signed by state Reps. Mike Miller and Rene Plasencia; U.S. Rep. John Mica; several Orange County and Orlando commissioners; several mayors; and Orange School Board Chairman Bill Sublette, among others.


Gay rights advocates described the resolution as a step in the right direction, though one questioned whether it was specific enough to spur action.


Jacobs said she was surprised how many local Republican officials were eager to sign on. In less than a day, 22 had done so, she said.


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