A new ranking by an LGBT advocacy group rates the Sunshine State Number 47 out of 51 when it comes to equality for its gay citizens.
This number is especially notable since Florida ranks among the top 10 states for donations made to national, state and local LGBT organizations.
The group, founded in 2005, provides free services and advice to individuals and groups with an aim of achieving legal equality for LGBT Americans.
Only the first of the goals has been realized, with the passage last October of the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
“We are a deeply Red state in terms of our legislature,” says Stork, who was Mayor of Wilton Manors from 2002 to 2004.
Under the organization’s criteria, a state is awarded one point for each Equality Goal it meets. Half a point is given for the partial achievement of a goal. Since repeal of DADT is a federal goal, the maximum number of points a state can earn is six.
Florida received a score of 1.5 points, placing it near the bottom of the list of rankings; only Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee scored lower.
There is no statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity or expression.”
Both the Florida Constitution and state laws prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying their partners.
Ex-Mayor Stork says that one avenue of redress for these inequalities would be the passage in November of Amendments 5 and 6 to the Florida Constitution.