Originally published on Advocate.com December 18 2003 1:00 AM ET
Gay employees will be protected from workplace discrimination and harassment under policies adopted by Orange County, Fla., commissioners on Tuesday. The new rules shield county workers from bias in hiring, promotions, and on-the-job treatment because of their sexual orientation, the Orlando Sentinel reports. County leaders said it was already their practice to be fair with all employees and applicants. The new policy simply puts it in writing.
"We have a long history in Orange County of not discriminating against anybody," county chairman Rich Crotty said after the commission approved the policies on a 6-0 vote. Added local activist Michael Slaymaker: "It's a victory for Orange County employees."
The city of Orlando passed a nondiscrimination policy for its workers in 2000. Shortly thereafter, gay activists successfully pushed for a controversial ordinance extending that protection to workers employed by private businesses in Orlando.