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Equality Means Business is a project of Equality Florida & the Equality Florida Institute. We are the largest civil rights organization in Florida dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. For more information call 813-870-3735.

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Embracing and celebrating the diversity of a community creates the foundation for building an inclusive culture where all individuals can feel valued, respected and empowered to fulfill their life’s purpose and passionately live their version of the American Dream.

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Kevin Beckner, the first openly gay elected official in Hillsborough County, was elected to the Hillsborough County Commission in 2008, and reelected in 2012. He is a native of Indiana, a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University. In 2013, Commissioner Beckner attended Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executive Leadership program as a David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow through the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute.  

 

As County Commissioner, Kevin advocated for and championed the following LGBT rights and protections: 

  • Repeal of the County policy banning the recognition of gay pride

  • The formation of a County Diversity Advisory Council that includes LGBT membership categories;

  • Amendment to the Human Rights Ordinance to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression; 

  • Establishment of a countywide Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance; and

  • Domestic Partner and Same-Sex Spouse Employee Health Benefits; 

 

Kevin has also been a strong advocate for at-risk-youth and public safety. He created the Juvenile Justice Task Force that is credited with expanding the Civil Citation program for youth. He has introduced and passed ordinances that shut down pill mills and reduced epidemic insurance fraud related to staged auto accidents. He spearheaded the formation of a countywide violence prevention initiative to reduce violent crime using a public health approach grounded in science. 

 

He is a member of Tampa Rotary, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Hillsborough County Civil Service Board.

 

Kevin enjoys traveling and spending quality time with his spouse of 19 years, Gil.

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