Florida's largest LGBT rights advocate on Thursday endorsed Democrat Charlie Crist for governor.

Equality Florida Action PAC, the political wing of Equality Florida, described Crist as a “pro-equality” candidate in making its endorsement.

“The early endorsement reflects the urgency of electing a Governor who will speed progress when it comes to equality, not stand in the way of fairness,” Stratton Pollitzer, chair of Equality Florida Action PAC, said in a statement.

Pollitzer added: “Florida is at a critical moment in our struggle to end discrimination, and the next Governor will have a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in our state. Charlie Crist has taken a clear stand for equality and fairness and is delivering a message that will inspire the growing pro-equality majority in our state to stand on the right side of history.”

“I am honored & grateful to be endorsed by @EqualityFL and @HRC. Let's make FL more fair,” Crist tweeted to his more than 18,700 followers.

The 57-year-old Crist has a complicated relationship with the LGBT community. In 2006, Crist signed a petition to put Florida's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the ballot. Voters approved the ban two years later.

Since leaving the Republican Party – with a pit stop as an independent – Crist has reversed course, apologizing for supporting the ban and stating that chief among his reasons for leaving the GOP was its opposition to gay rights.

“As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole,” Crist told gay weekly Watermark Online earlier this year. “I just didn't fit. But I tried, until I couldn't do it any more... until I had to say, 'Enough is enough.'”

Crist officially became a Democrat in late 2012.