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Nikki Fried taps FDOT attorney to be LGBTQ liaison

“Today is a new day in our state.”
People wave rainbow flags during a protest against proposed changes to the constitution that would prevent future recognition of same-sex marriages, in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Romania will hold a referendum on October 6-7 after three million Romanians signed a petition demanding a constitutional amendment redefining marriage "as the union between a man and a woman", which is currently defined as a union between "spouses." (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
People wave rainbow flags during a protest against proposed changes to the constitution that would prevent future recognition of same-sex marriages, in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Romania will hold a referendum on October 6-7 after three million Romanians signed a petition demanding a constitutional amendment redefining marriage "as the union between a man and a woman", which is currently defined as a union between "spouses." (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Published Mar. 21, 2019

The state is getting its first advocate for LGBTQ consumers, thanks to Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

Nik Harris, currently a senior attorney at the Florida Department of Transportation, was appointed to serve as the department's liaison to Florida’s LGBTQ community, "raising awareness on opportunities within the agriculture industry," according to a Thursday press release.

Harris previously served as Assistant General Counsel at FDOT and as Claims Administration Director for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

Harris, who has been an attorney since 2004, has been involved with the Human Rights Campaign as a member of the Board of Governors and the LGBTA Democratic Caucus, among other things.

She received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University and her law degree from Florida State University. In 2013, she moved to South Florida where joined the Human Rights Campaign.

According to the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus website, Harris is an avid golfer and traveler.

“Historically, the State of Florida has turned a blind eye to discrimination against our LGBTQ community – but today is a new day in our state," Fried said in a statement Thursday. "We’re building a Department that represents all Floridians, and it’s paramount that LGBTQ Floridians have a voice in defending their safety, economic security, and well-being."

The appointment follows Fried’s motion in January to adopt a sexual orientation and gender identity workplace discrimination policy.