State News
4:20 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Fla. Anti-Gay-Discrimination Bill Gets Bipartisan Sponsorship

It would be illegal for employers to discriminate based on employees’ sexual orientation or gender identity, if a bipartisan-sponsored bill passes the Florida Legislature. The sponsors say the measure should help the state attract business.

The anti-discrimination bill, called the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, would expand the protections given to all genders and ability levels, and apply them to sexual orientations and gender identities.

Mallory Wells, with the advocacy group Equality Florida, said, “Right now, you can be fired for being gay in Florida.”

But,she said, most Floridians already live in areas where the local government has passed the same anti-discrimination language that's in the bill, and it’s time for more uniformity.

"In order to improve its reputation nationally and internationally, Florida needs to pass a bill like this to say, ‘We are welcoming all types of people here,’" she said.

Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key West) is co-sponsoring the bill. Wells said, it’s the first time since Equality Florida was founded that a Republican has sponsored this issue.