September 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Crist to endorse array of pro-LGBT bills: report

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist is set to endorse an array of pro-LGBT legislation pending before Congress, according to a leaked document obtained by Raw Story.

Crist, the current governor of Florida who is running to represent the state in the Senate, is reportedly set to make the officially make the document public as early as this week.

The document outlines Crist’s support for a variety of pro-LGBT legislation, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Uniting American Families Act.

Federal Safe Schools Improvement Act

As Commissioner of Education I was the first statewide official to support anti-bullying protections that specifically enumerated the most frequent manifestations of bullying in our schools. Everyone who has children or who has worked with students knows that anti-gay taunts are used relentlessly on our campuses. We need to address the epidemic of bullying and create safe learning environments for every single student.

The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

I’ve been a consistent supporter of providing legal protections for gay couples. Like most Americans I believe the government should make it easier, not harder, for people to take care of their loved ones.

Uniting American Families Act

Family reunification has been the foundation of U.S. immigration law but U.S. citizens who are gay cannot sponsor their partners for family-based immigration. As a consequence, many same-sex, bi-national couples are kept apart or torn apart sometimes even separating parents from their children. This bill, which I support, humanely addresses a problem that disproportionately impacts Floridians.

Equal Access to COBRA Act

I strongly support this act which mandates that employees, their partners and dependent children be allowed to continue participation in their employer-sponsored health coverage.

Appropriations for HIV/AIDS Programs

I believe we must make combating HIV/AIDS a priority by harnessing all possible resources to prevent new infections, provide meaningful access to quality care and treatment, boost research to find a cure and address the global crisis.

The document also states Crist’s support for efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well as his opposition to the statute in Florida barring adoption by gays.

Absent from the document is Crist’s position on same-sex marriage. He’s said he supports Amendment 2 in Florida, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and marriage-like unions in the state that voters approved in 2008.

Still, the document says Crist supports civil unions:

“I believe that the government should not make it harder for people to take care of their loved ones. I believe civil unions that provide the full range of legal protections should be available to gay couples. That includes access to a loved one in the hospital, inheritance rights, the fundamental things people need to take care of their families.”

The 2009 documentary film “Outrage” asserts that Crist is gay. He is currently married and the ex-wife of his first marriage now lives with her lesbian partner, according to Raw Story.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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