ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis is rejecting criticism that he didn't include the LGBTQ community in a non-discrimination executive order.

DeSantis issued two executive orders just hours after being sworn in January 8. 

The newly inaugurated Republican governor signed executive order 19-10, which reaffirmed the prohibition of discrimination "…based on age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, or disability, both for contracting and for employment or seeking employment in the administration."

It's one of the few issues in DeSantis' early term in office in which he has faced criticism.

Equality Florida said DeSantis "... fumbled the opportunity to take a clear stand that discrimination in any form will be not be acceptable during his administration."

DeSantis' predecessor, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, also didn't include LGBTQ community in discrimination protections, despite widespread calls after the June 12, 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub. 

DeSantis was in Winter Park on Thursday for an announcement on medical marijuana. When asked about the executive order, he said he looks at the merits of candidates and nothing else. He said all he signed was a continuing executive order first signed by Scott.

"I can tell you my workplace policy is one sentence: You will be hired based on merit," DeSantis said. "That's all I care about, and I think if you look at the appointments I've made, nobody has done more diverse appointments than I have. It's not even close. I believe in merit, and I don't care about those other things."

Although DeSantis has been moderate politically in his appointments, including naming two Democrats to state agencies, some of his picks remain the focal point of criticism. Black leaders have urged him to include an African-American in his picks to fill three vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court.