Business Coalition Seeks Anti-Discrimination Policy For LGBT Community

Dec 2, 2014

Key Largo Rep. Holly Raschein debates during a Florida House session last April.
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

A bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation is back in Tallahassee.

Florida law prohibits discrimination based on everything from race to religion. But the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community doesn't have that protection.

The Florida Competitive Workforce Act would change that, banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) filed the bill in the House.

“The game plan is to get as many cosponsors to sign on as possible,” Raschein says. “Moving forward... in a GOP-dominated legislature, folks might think that we’ve got a difficult path ahead of us, and while that may be, I’m still very excited about the momentum that we’ve been gaining.”

A similar effort died quickly during the last legislative session. But it’s getting strong support from Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce.

“That is the business coalition that has come together. The Miami Heat just recently signed on. We’ve got Florida Blue, Darden, Disney,” Raschein says of the 21 employers that have joined the group.

The coalition believes that Florida will be more competitive in the global marketplace by adopting the anti-discrimination policy.