By LAURA DUBBINSAssociated PressThe florid sheriff of Broward and Palm Beach County, Fla., on Tuesday issued a rare public statement slamming two of his offices for allegedly discriminating against LGBTQ citizens and claiming he was only protecting the county’s reputation.
It all started last week, when the two Florida sheriff’s offices sent letters to Broward’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) asking for assistance with the countywide Transgender Resource Center.
In the letter, which was sent to the department’s Human Resources Office, Browards sheriff’s office claimed that the center “does not have sufficient staffing” and “is not a place for the LGBTQ community.”
The letter was accompanied by a photograph of a florist in a pink dress.
In the photo, the florists sign reads: “If you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person living in Florida, you need to know that you have a place here.”
Browards officials denied the allegations, but said in a news release that the letter was “not an accurate portrayal of what ODS does.”
In his letter, Palm Beach Sheriff Richard M. Parker said that he had been notified of the letter by the Transgender Resource Organization (TRO) and that the two offices were not acting in an “anti-LGBTQ manner.”
“This letter from ODS and the other two offices does not accurately reflect what our agency does,” Parker said in the release.
“While we do not agree with ODS, we are not anti-LGBT.
We work with and support the LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud of the many, many positive accomplishments that we have made for the transgender community.””
The Office of Supervisor of Public Safety is committed to being a welcoming, welcoming community,” the sheriff said.
“We strive to be as inclusive as possible.”
Parker also said that ODS is a “cooperative agency” and that “all requests for assistance are handled with respect.”
The countywide center provides services for the community to provide support, referrals, and other services.
The center also helps people with gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation issues.
Browards ODS spokesman Chris Sartaro said that the department “does have a few issues with the ODS regarding the letter,” but that the letters were sent “in a way that was consistent with the agency’s policy.”
He said that while ODS was not denying the letter’s allegations, it is a step in the right direction.
“We don’t want to have any issue, but it’s certainly a step forward,” Sartarro said.
“I don’t know if this will be a problem going forward, but this is an example of a company who’s taking a proactive approach,” he added.
The FLDS, a polygamous, polygamous sect, was established in the United States in the early 19th century.
It is the largest Mormon sect in the world and is led by Warren Jeffs, the son of a former Mormon bishop.
It was founded by his wife, Kimball.