Throughout most of Florida, it is legal to fire someone or deny them access to housing or public accommodations because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). While it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, the LGBT community is currently left out of statewide non-discrimination protections.
Since 2004, Equality Florida has been working to pass a statewide bill that would include the LGBT community into current non-discrimination laws. The current bill, entitled the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Chapter 760 of the Florida state statues.
Although no statewide law yet exists, Equality Florida has been successfully working with our local partners all over the state to ensure LGBT people are protected from discrimination at the local level.
In fact, over 55% of Floridians live in a place that protects them from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Communities enact these protections because they know having a diverse talent pool helps their community to thrive. Having these protections is quickly becoming the standard for cities and counties across Florida.
In addition to cities and counties, businesses have been leading the way in offering LGBT inclusive non-discrimination protections. In fact, 89% of Fortune 500 companies protect employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation and 41% also include gender identity. Equality Florida has launched Equality Means Business to partner with businesses who know that equality in the workplace is good for their business.