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LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill Seems Finished

Sen. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington)
Florida Channel

Despite early indications the Florida Legislature was ready to move forward with civil rights protections for the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community, the measure appears finished.  Three times the Senate Judiciary committee attempted to secure a favorable vote for the proposal. 

The first time, so-called pastor protection legislation took center stage, crowding out the LGBT anti-discrimination bill. 

The measure got a full hearing the next time, but lawmakers got bogged down in an argument over how public accommodation language would impact facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms.  The proposal failed on a tie-vote.  But opponents agreed to reconsider and temporarily postpone the bill—a parliamentary move placing the measure in limbo rather than killing it outright.

Tuesday the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington) came before the committee for the third time.  But instead of bringing the bill back up for a vote, he explained the committee remained deadlocked. 

The measure is still technically ‘postponed’ but for all intents and purposes the effort is dead for this session.