Charlie Crist Receives Endorsement From LGBT Group

In 2008, the ban of same-sex marriage was voted into the Florida constitution, the end of a process that was kick-started two years prior, when then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed a petition to get that prohibition approved.

Six years later, the LGBT advocacy group Equality Florida is taking the state to court, claiming the ban is unconstitutional.

And, on Thursday, that same group announced that it is backing Charlie Crist to become the next governor of Florida.

You can't make this stuff up. Not in Florida.

The Equality Florida Action PAC officially endorsed Crist by calling him a governor who will be aggressive in getting equality moving in the state.

"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," said chair of the PAC Stratton Pollitzer, via a release. "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."

For his part, Crist has publicly acknowledged his shame in signing that petition when he was governor the first time around.

"Would I do it today? No," Crist told the Tampa Bay Times back in December. "I think the best way to judge where my heart is, is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor -- restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature, that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is -- and the boss is the people of Florida."

One of those things was in 2000, when, as commissioner of education, Crist stepped up as the first elected official to support an antibullying bill that specifically included protections for LGBT students.

Crist received a lot of heat from his then-fellow GOPers, but he remained a supporter.

Also, as governor, Crist fought the Department of Children and Families to stop the enforcement of the antigay adoption ban.

And last May, Crist posted this on his Facebook, officially announcing his support of marriage equality in Florida:

"Charlie Crist's position on marriage equality reflects the evolution of Florida voters," Pollitzer said on Thursday.

Politzer then added, "The next Governor is likely to appoint four Supreme Court Justices, and we cannot afford to leave our Supreme Court in the hands of a Governor who refuses to recognize even the most basic rights for LGBT people. We encourage every Floridian who values basic human rights to support Charlie Crist for Governor."

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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