Main | Monday, September 13, 2010

FL Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist Set To Announce Broad Support For LGBT Rights

Trailing GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio by several points in the polls, FL Gov. Charlie Crist will today announce support for a long list of LGBT rights, but not marriage equality. On a list exclusively attained by Raw Story, Crist gives the thumbs-up to gay adoption, ENDA, civil unions, and repealing DADT. Crist's announcement also includes the following:
Federal Safe Schools Improvement Act
As Commissioner of Education I was the first statewide official to support anti-bullying protections that specifically enumerated the most frequent manifestations of bullying in our schools. Everyone who has children or who has worked with students knows that anti-gay taunts are used relentlessly on our campuses. We need to address the epidemic of bullying and create safe learning environments for every single student.

The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act
I've been a consistent supporter of providing legal protections for gay couples. Like most Americans I believe the government should make it easier, not harder, for people to take care of their loved ones.

Uniting American Families Act
Family reunification has been the foundation of U.S. immigration law but U.S. citizens who are gay cannot sponsor their partners for family-based immigration. As a consequence, many same-sex, bi-national couples are kept apart or torn apart sometimes even separating parents from their children. This bill, which I support, humanely addresses a problem that disproportionately impacts Floridians.

Equal Access to COBRA Act
I strongly support this act which mandates that employees, their partners and dependent children be allowed to continue participation in their employer-sponsored health coverage.

Appropriations for HIV/AIDS Programs
I believe we must make combating HIV/AIDS a priority by harnessing all possible resources to prevent new infections, provide meaningful access to quality care and treatment, boost research to find a cure and address the global crisis.
Equality Florida's Nadine Smith is ecstatic: "It's great to hear a sitting governor take such a strong stand on equality issues. This is the first time in Florida's history that a sitting governor has taken these public positions on a wide range of LGBT equality issues. It marks a shift in the debate in our state."

RELATED: In 2008 Crist endorsed Florida's Amendment 2, which enshrined anti-gay marriage discrimination into the state constitution when it squeaked into law by less than 2 points. One month later LGBT activists demonstrated outside of Crist's wedding to Halloween costume heiress Carole Rome, to whom Crist had abruptly become engaged when it seemed that he was on John McCain's short list as a possible running mate. It was Crist's fifth engagement and second marriage. Crist's first wife, Amanda Morrow, has come out as a lesbian and now lives with a female partner.

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