Florida governor and independent U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist is set to endorse a broad package of gay rights, including adoption rights, the right to serve openly in the military, and employment nondiscrimination, as early as this week. The Raw Story obtained a copy of the position paper, in which Crist does not reverse his opposition to marriage equality and instead maintains support for civil unions.
"The document provided to RawStory.com includes Crist's vocal support for gay couples, including hospital visitation, inheritance and adoption rights; opposition to the ban on gays serving in the military; support for anti-discrimination laws and appropriations for HIV and AIDS programs," reported the outlet.
Crist, who is married, was a subject of the 2009 documentary Outrage, which exposed closeted politicians, both alleged and confirmed, who vote against gay rights.
According to Raw Story, Crist also uses the position paper to endorse the Federal Safe Schools Improvement Act, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, the Uniting American Families Act, the Equal Access to COBRA Act, and appropriations for HIV/AIDS programs.
Nadine Smith, director of Equality Florida, welcomed the announcement from Crist.
"It's great to hear a sitting governor take such a strong stand on equality issues," she told Raw Story. "This is the first time in Florida's history that a sitting governor has taken these public positions on a wide range of LGBT equality issues. It marks a shift in the debate in our state."