PRESS RELEASE: Equality Florida Applauds Bipartisan Filing of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act
Equality Florida Applauds Bipartisan Filing of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act
The legislation will prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Floridians
TALLAHASSEE, FL — 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) filedSenate Bill 66 / House Bill 347, or the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (FCWA), to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Current protections exist in state statute based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, marital or disability status.
“Now more than ever, we need our elected leaders to not only say they stand with us, but to demonstrate through action that they stand with us,” said Hannah Willard, senior policy director for Equality Florida. “Last year, a near majority of the Republican-dominated Florida legislature signed on as cosponsors of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, marking unprecedented progress towards full legal protections for LGBTQ Floridians. We know LGBTQ equality is not a partisan issue but a human issue, and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with bipartisan legislators, influential business leaders, and compassionate clergy to advocate for this landmark legislation.”
Although no statewide law yet exists to protect Florida’s LGBTQ residents and visitors, 60% of Florida’s residents and the vast majority of our tourists are covered by local nondiscrimination protections 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.
Most recently, Jacksonville passed an LGBTQ-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance in February 2016 after years of local advocacy and historic support from both the business and faith community.