Democratic candidate Adam Gentle has picked up an endorsement from LGBTQ Victory Fund in his bid to capture the seat representing House District 120 this year.
The group, self-described as “the only national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ people” to public office, endorsed Gentle and some 80 other LGBTQ candidates across the country on Thursday.
Gentle would be just the eighth openly LGBTQ lawmaker to serve in the Florida Legislature if elected and would be the fourth currently serving.
“Adam’s commitment to smart public policy that addresses the real concerns of constituents makes him the best candidate in this race,” LGBTQ Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker said in a statement. “When he wins in November, Adam will become a vital LGBTQ voice for equality in Florida.”
As Gentle sees it, there is a dire need for more LGBTQ leadership in the Legislature, as evidenced by a Republican proposal critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would limit how teachers and school staff can discuss gender, sexual orientation and sexuality in classrooms. It would also enable parents to sue school districts they believe have violated the bill’s rules.
The LGBTQ community is “under attack in Florida” with the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Gentle said in a statement.
“It’s a disgusting ploy by Republican legislators to score points with extremists but for our community, it has devastating, real-world consequences,” he said. “This endorsement sends a message that the LGBTQ community will not back down. In 2022, we will elect members from our community and LGBTQ champions to put an end to these bigoted policies and focus back on the issues that impact Florida families.”
A lawyer in private life focusing on anti-corruption, Gentle started this election cycle running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional District.
He switched focus to unseating incumbent Republican state Rep. Jim Mooney in January, saying he wanted to focus on home rule. He’ll first face Primary foe Daniel Horton-Diaz, a fellow Democrat and lawyer.