Under Florida Law, Victims of Orlando Shooting Can Be Fired For Being Gay

Jun 14, 2016

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, people across the state and around the world are standing in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. But some activists want more than thoughts and prayers. They want policy change.

Mourners in Bournemouth, England light candles for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/132241375@N07/

The killing of 49 people at an Orlando gay club is not only the worst mass shooting, but also the largest massacre of LGBT people in U.S. history. Michael Farmer with Equality Florida says the tragedy is a reminder that violence and discrimination are a part of the LGBT experience in America.

“Statistics bear out that transgender people face unprecedented amounts of discrimination and violence. Gay kids in school are the most bullied of any other category. And we just know that this history is with us, unfortunately,” he said.

Under state law it is legal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Farmer wants that to change.

“We need action by Governor Rick Scott. We need action by our leaders in the Florida Legislature to remedy these issues. To pass a statewide anti-discrimination law. To make sure that these people who, God bless them, survived this, and are gonna have to live with this for the rest of their life, cannot be fired next week just because of who they are,” he said.

A bill aimed at expanding protections to the LGBT community failed during the 2016 Legislative session.