State News
5:49 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Despite Fla. Business Community Push, Gay Discrimination Ban Fails Again

Raschein announces her co-sponsorship of the Competitive Workforce Act in November of 2013.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

One Florida bill bars employers from discriminating against people who are gay or transgendered. But despite strong business community support, it never saw the light of debate this year.  

The chances of passing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act were promising by several measures. It’s a bill making it illegal to treat people worse based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

First, it has bi-partisan sponsorship.

Then there’s broad public support, according to a 2013 public opinion survey.

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State News
5:30 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Pregnancy Discrimination Bill Progressing; Gay-Rights Bills Yet To Be Heard

Credit Serena Epstein via Flickr

Bills before the Legislature this session are aimed at ending discrimination against pregnant women and LGBT people. The measures are among several aimed at fairness and equality—but the biggest hurdle for some of them may be getting a first hearing.

Committees in both chambers have passed one bill with little debate or opposition. It would add pregnant women to the protected classes covered under Florida’s Civil Rights Act. When the same measure didn’t pass last year, Lori Berman (D-Lantana) told reporters she’d be sponsoring it again.  

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State News
4:43 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Pregnancy Discrimination Case Lands In Fla. Supreme Court

Flickr Creative Commons

Just a day after a pair of Democratic lawmakers announced they were filing bills to make pregnancy discrimination illegal, Florida’s Supreme Court took up the issue Thursday.

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State News
5:49 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Sponsors Confident About Passage Of Fla. Bill Banning LGBT Discrimination

Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key West) says she's proud to sponsor the anti-discrimination bill. She's the first Republican to sponsor legislation like this in the Florida House.
Credit Holly Raschein via Twitter

As the U.S. Senate prepares to pass a bill banning discrimination against gay and transgendered workers, a similar piece of legislation has been filed by Florida lawmakers. The bill has failed many times before in Florida, but sponsors insist this year is different.

Florida law already prohibits employers, landlords and providers of goods and services from discriminating against someone or harassing them because of their race, religion or other attributes. The bill adds gender identity and sexual orientation to that list.

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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.”

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