TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Along the 800 or so miles of highway from Key West to Pensacola, there’s a stark difference in attitudes about the LGBT community.
Key West is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country and attracts 450,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender tourists a year. In Pensacola, a small LBGT community center called Equality House was forced to close because of a lack of funding after less than three years.
These are two extremes of a Florida where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Forty-one cities and counties have ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but that leaves nearly half of Florida with no protections in place. The Republican-led state government refuses to consider statewide LGBT protections.