St. Pete College garners support for changing diversity policy to reflect LGBT inclusiveness

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The Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County are commending the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees and President William D. Law, Jr. on their LGBT inclusiveness.

The Board of Trustees recently amended the language to the Commitment to Diversity portion of the St. Pete College Mission Statement to specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity. ?his is a positive and important decision that was made by St. Petersburg College?said Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County President Rick Boylan, ?GBT individuals, especially students and employees, can now be assured that St. Petersburg College will not tolerate discrimination based on either sexual orientation or gender identity.??he terms Gender Identity are often left out of the equation, it? refreshing to see such an important and strong statement from St. Petersburg College.?/span>

According to the proposal, the new wording of the non-discrimination policy is:

The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College affirms its equal opportunity policy in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Educational Equity Act and all other relevant state and federal laws, rules and regulations. The College will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status,sexual orientation, gender identity, or against any qualified individual with disabilities in its employment practices or in the admission and treatment of students. Recognizing that

sexual harassment constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex and violates this Rule, the College will not tolerate such conduct.

It? important that organizations, especially educational institutions, specifically state that they prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression?says Boylan, ?e need more organizations to take such an instrumental step toward inclusiveness and equality to recognize the value of all citizens.?/span>

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.