Three years ago today, a gunman slaughtered 49 people during Latin night at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, and in remembrance of this occasion Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent out an official proclamation completely ignoring the existence of Hispanics or the LGBTQ community.
The original DeSantis proclamation
The proclamation, which ordered all flags to be lowered at half mast across the state, only referenced the "Orlando and Central Florida community," which is pretty embarrassing when you consider that even former Governor Rick “I took two days to even mention gay people after Pulse”
Scott included the LGBTQ community in last year’s proclamation.
This omission did not go over well, and was immediately noticed by advocates and State Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith.
“[DeSantis] has stripped any mention of the #LGBTQ community in remembering #Pulse,” Eskamani wrote in a tweet. “This is completely straight-washed and an insult to [House District 47]. Based on these side-by-side proclamations, Governor Rick Scott was a better friend to LGBTQ Floridians than DeSantis.”
Eskamani also pointed how badly it would go over if the mayor of Pittsburgh didn’t mention the Jewish community in a proclamation about last year’s white supremacist attack at the Tree of Life synagogue.
After getting dragged on social media all night, DeSantis posted a new message to Twitter early Wednesday morning, which included the LGBTQ community and later referred to the snub as a "staff error."
“Today we mourn the loss of life of 49 innocent victims of an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando that targeted the LGBTQ and Hispanic community, and Florida as a whole,” said the tweet. “In honor of their memory, I am ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff.”
While this is a good start, Eskamani also wants action.
"I appreciate the corrected Pulse proclamation reissued by Governor Ron DeSantis that mentions LGBTQ people and latinx communities," said Eskamani in a statement. "It’s a step in the right direction but now is the time for real policy change to reflect our state’s commitment to equality: The Governor should pass an Executive Order to provide protections to LGBTQ state workers this month and push the legislature to pass the Competitive Workforce Act during the 2020 legislative session. Actions speak louder than words and Florida’s LGBTQ community deserve more than just a corrected proclamation."
Combined with Panhandle Republican Mike Hill not apologizing for laughing at the thought of killing gay people and fundraising off his callous remarks, it would appear the Florida GOP is off to a great start to Pride month.
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