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