Valerie Crowder

Hundreds of people, including families, children and young adults, celebrated equality on Saturday at the largest LGBTQ pride event ever held in downtown Panama City. 

Several pride flags lined up in a row and blowing in the wind.
filmbetrachterin / Pixabay

Two bills in the Florida legislature would add workplace protections for LGBTQ individuals, but activists say one could be a step forward while the other could be a step back.

MGN Online

Attorney General Pam Bondi says she backs workplace protections for members of the LGBTQ community. Her comments come amid a bill just filed again in the Florida legislature to prohibit discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.

Ludovic Bertron via wikimedia commons

Florida’s cities are making strides in protecting lesbian gay bisexual and transgender rights while state efforts falter according to the Human Rights Campaign.  The national LGBT group is releasing its sixth annual municipal equality index.

MGN Online

Over the summer, the Pulse Nightclub tragedy garnered national attention as the worst mass shooting in modern American history. And, while it’s certainly influenced the lives affected by the massacre, the incident is also influencing legislative issues for the 2017 session.

There are only a few days left for Floridians to register for this year’s Human Trafficking Summit, and Attorney General Pam Bondi says there will be many exciting panels and speakers.

Nick Evans

This Fourth of July visitors descended on Pensacola’s beaches for fireworks—Independence Day is a great excuse for a party on the beach.  It was no different in the 1960s, and the celebration became an important event for many gay men and women in the south.

Everytown for Gun Safety's twitter

The relatives of two people killed by firearms say they’re disappointed gun control legislation they supported failed to get enough votes in the Republican-led U.S. Senate.

Ted Eytan via Flickr

The mass shooting in Orlando has rattled the LGBT community across the country.  But it hasn’t stopped men and women in Pensacola from celebrating pride week. 

Zebra Coalition's facebook page

One of the many focuses of this year’s upcoming Human Trafficking Summit may be on Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT community.

Civil rights protections for the LGBT community will have to wait until at least next year.
Ted Eytan via Flickr

Political candidates are wading into the growing fight over who can use which bathroom. The Obama administration says students can use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity—not their biology. And that’s gotten some districts, and politicians, riled up.

Ted Eytan via Flickr

This weekend Tallahassee kicks of a week celebrating the lesbian gay bisexual and transgender community.  Advocates and city officials believe this year’s Pridefest offers a counterpoint to anti-LGBT efforts in southern state legislatures.

Civil rights protections for the LGBT community will have to wait until at least next year.
Ted Eytan via Flickr

The third time was not the charm Tuesday evening for advocates of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights measure.  Senators remained deadlocked—effectively precluding any chance of passage this session.

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. 

Crowded committee chambers for LGBT non-discrimination measure.
Florida Channel

Same sex couples can marry, but in Florida members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community lack a number of basic protections against discrimination.  A measure that would change that is in trouble.

Anthony Verdugo speaking in favor of pastor protection.
Florida Channel

Today marks seven months since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.  But while marriage is legal—in Florida so is discrimination.  Some state lawmakers want to change that, but they've got a long way to go.

two golden marriage rings
Robert Cheaib Via Flickr / WFSU News

Lawmakers in Florida are holding up a California law, pushed by that state’s LGBT community, as evidence their Florida Pastor Protection Act is friendly. But West Coast officials are pointing out subtle differences.

gold wedding bands
Abhlshek Jacob

If a pastor declines to conduct a couple’s wedding ceremony due to religious beliefs, is the pastor protected? One Florida lawmaker says while the First Amendment offers freedom of religion, it doesn’t hurt to codify that.

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. 

First, it has bi-partisan sponsorship.

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

"Non-discrimination now" sign
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.  

Equality Florida

With a suit filed this week, Florida became the latest battleground state in the national push to legalize gay marriage. The move has motivated a coalition of religious groups to plan a campaign aimed at swaying public opinion against same-sex unions as the case goes before a Miami judge.

Summer Greene remembers the moment last year she learned the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida Senate Democrats are pushing for the passage of a package of civil rights bills during the 2014 session. Wednesday’s agenda announcement was set against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary celebration of Democratic Leader-Designate Arthenia Joyner’s arrest during a Tallahassee civil rights protest.

Sen. Joyner (D-Tampa) grew up during the segregation era in Lakeland. In 1963, as a Florida A&M University student, she says Tallahassee had clear boundaries it was unacceptable for black people to cross.

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.

A Florida ministry dedicated to helping gay people repress their urges is shutting down. The president of Orlando, Fla.-based Exodus International has apologized to the gay community.

Alan Chambers said on Exodus International's website Thursday that the group wants to apologize "to the gay community for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the church as a whole."

Chambers also says he is sorry the group promoted sexual orientation change efforts.

Gay Rights Group Launches New Campaign

Jun 19, 2013

Florida advocacy group Equality Florida is launching a new campaign to legalize same-sex marriage. Group members say the first step is to get more members of the public on board.

The “Get Engaged” campaign will use a combination of merchandising, social media and outreach to create a public push to get Florida’s ban on same-sex unions removed from the state constitution.