Equality Florida Applauds the Act Passage; The legislation will add protections for LGBTQ Floridians
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Yesterday, Florida legislators filed legislation to update Florida’s Civil Rights Act of 1992 to include LGBTQ people, sending an important message that Florida welcomes all people to live, work, and play.
Senator Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg), and Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Titusville) filed Senate Bill 666 / House Bill 623 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Current protections exist based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, marital or disability status.
“This bill speaks to the core values we share as Floridians. Everyone should be treated as equals under the law. Discrimination has no place in our state,” said Hannah Willard, public policy director for Equality Florida. “Now is the time for our legislature to affirm that residents and visitors to Florida can expect to be protected no matter what part of our state they choose to live, work or visit.”
Although no statewide law yet exists to protect Florida’s LGBTQ residents and visitors, more than 56% of Florida’s residents and the vast majority of its tourists are covered by local nondiscrimination protects that have been passed steadily over the past 20 years.
Florida has more local nondiscrimination laws than any other state in the country and they all provide gender identity and sexual orientation protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Equality Florida’s coalition of support includes hundreds of faith leaders and clergy who have also publicly endorsed anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, many joining forces with Equality Florida after the Pulse tragedy in June of 2016.
[From a News Release]