More than half of LGBTQ Floridians may lose nondiscrimination protections if Republicans in the state legislature pass a proposed bill. The bill would remove local human rights ordinances that are meant to end protect local communities when there is no state protections. If the bill passes it would end these protections to about 60 percent of LGBTQ Floridians.
Another bill, though, currently in the legislature would add sexual orientation and gender identity to current civil rights laws that already prevents discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap or marital status.”
The first bill, created by Republican Rep. Michael Grant, essentially would ban “local governments from imposing new regulations on businesses and repeal all local ordinances that impose such regulations – including those that ban discrimination,” according to LGBTQnation.
“What is absolutely clear to us is that, if this bill passes, it will be devastating to the protections provided by local government to the LGBTQ community,” Joe Saunders, senior political director of Equality Florida and a former legislator, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Those opposed have fought for the other bill with a coalition of 450 businesses to push the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which has been in circulation for over ten years, but has never made it out of committee. “It’s our belief that if the Florida Competitive Workforce Act were sent to the floor today, it would pass both chambers,” Saunders said.
It’s up to the Republicans, which becomes law, and if Florida can remain a competitive and fair state.