The Boca Raton City Council unanimously appointed openly gay teen Tyler Morrison to the city’s community relations board after he passionately spoke out against a 46-year-old anti-discrimination policy.
South Florida Gay News reports:
Boca Raton became the only city in Palm Beach County to opt-out of protecting its LGBT employees when it passed Ordinance 5161 in January 2011. Morrison, a gay 17-year-old Boca resident, introduced himself to the City Council at its Nov. 14 meeting. Once there, he urged the council members to update a 46-year-old anti-discrimination policy to include protection for the city’s LGBT employees.
When city council member Constance Scott supported Morrison and asked the rest of the council what prevented them from moving into the 21st century, Morrison cried.
Morrison’s dedication and passion impressed the city council who appointed him to the board at a December 11 meeting. Tyler had to miss the meeting as he was busy playing the oboe at his high school’s holiday concert, but he learned of his new position through a Facebook comment by Rand Hoch, the President of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council.
“This makes you, probably, the youngest openly gay appointed public official in Florida,” Hoch wrote. “Congrats.” Hoch had encouraged Morrison to apply for the position, noting the lack of LGBT representation on the board.
“I’m not so interested in the title or being the first this, or first that,” Morrison said. “It doesn’t matter unless I do something about it. I’m looking forward to what I can do.”
Tyler will focus on expanding LGBT rights in the city, starting with the anti-discrimination policy. But his political ambition doesn’t end there — Morrison wants to run for mayor in March 2014, something both Hoch and Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie agree is definitely a possibility…with a little more time and experience, that is.
“I would like to speak with him about that,” Haynie told SFGN. “I really want to educate him on what kind of a commitment that truly is too. But for now I think board service is the perfect place for him.”