Pulse nightclub

Rep. Smith: Scott ignored LGBTQ community post-Pulse

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith accused Gov. Rick Scott of failing the LGBTQ community, a year after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub left 49 people — many of them young, gay and Hispanic — dead.

Smith, an Orlando Democrat who is gay and Hispanic, said Scott has both “evolved” and “regressed” on LGBTQ issues in the year since the attack on the Orlando club. Smith”s comments, made at a Center for American Progress Action Fund panel discussion earlier this month, were posted online by his re-election campaign yesterday.

“Months go by, Pulse falls off his radar. I sat in the House chamber on the first day of the Legislative session, where the number one topic in his address to the Legislature was the attack at Pulse,” Smith says. “He spoke about the tragedy at length. Not once did he acknowledge or mention the LGBTQ community that was directly impacted.”

Smith goes on to say that Scott and his team promised to take action to sign an executive order to protect state employees from LGBTQ discrimination, but never followed up.

Asked about Smith’s comments, Scott’s office provided the following statement:

“Florida is a state that doesn’t tolerate discrimination of any form. In accordance with federal guidelines, Florida state agencies do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and state employees should not be discriminated against in any way. Our office will continue to review ways we can work to eliminate discrimination of any kind.”


Rick Scott after shootings: Orlando “challenged like never before”

The news is still developing but Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings’s office confirmed “multiple fatalities” after shootings in Orlando this morning.

Gov. Rick Scott, in Panama City for a ceremonial bill signing, issued a statement expressing empathy for the city, still reeling from last year’s massacre at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead.

Scott’s statement:

“Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before. I have been briefed by our law enforcement officials on this tragic incident and Ann and I are praying for the families who lost loved ones today. I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence. I will remain in contact with the Orlando law enforcement community throughout the day as more information is made available.”