The Governor of Florida failed to mention the LGBT+ community while speaking about the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando in his annual State of the State address.
Governor Rick Scott has been criticised by LGBT+ activist groups for omitting that the United State’s worst mass shooting in history was a direct attack on the gay community.
Equality Florida has released a statement expressing their disappointment with Governor Scott’s speech.
“While we are glad the governor spotlighted the Pulse tragedy, we are deeply disappointed that when talking about the worst anti-LGBTQ attack in our nation’s history, our governor failed to acknowledge the LGBTQ community in any way.
“Governor Scott spoke about the horror our state experienced in the wake of the attack, the heroism of Orlando’s first responders, and the pain of families who lost loved ones.
“What we didn't hear was any mention of the LGBTQ community targeted in this murderous rampage which occurred on Latin night.”
The statement went on to say that prejudice against the gay community must be addressed.
“Unfortunately, under Florida law it remains legal to fire LGBTQ people, evict us from our homes, and deny us service at a public business just because of who we are.
“When our own state government fails to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, it sends a message that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is acceptable and it plants the seeds for future hate violence against us.
Governor Scott also mentioned that he has recommended $6 million in the Florida state budget be put towards counter-terrorism measures.
Equality Florida has suggested instead that measures be introduced to protect the LGBT+ community in the state.
“We urge Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to honor those killed in Orlando with action by ensuring that LGBTQ Floridians are treated fairly and equally under the laws of our state.”