Florida Senate Committee Does Not Advance Florida Non-Discrimination Bill

By Adam Polaski • February 10, 2016 • 11:03 am

This week, on February 9, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Florida Senate voted against advancing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which sought to update state law to ensure that no one in Florida could legally face discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing, or public accommodations.


The committee’s failure to advance the legislation means that the bill will not move forward in 2016. But despite the disappointing news – we are proud that the undeniable momentum in the state, fueled by thousands of Floridians, a robust coalition of businesses, an unprecedented number of Republican lawmakers, and LGBT individuals who spoke out, accomplished what has never been done before in Florida. For the first time in nearly a decade of its consistent introduction, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act received a hearing. That’s progress – and we know that together, we’ll keep moving forward. And in 2017, alongside our national and state coalition partners at Florida Competes, we’ll pass LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections once and for all.

Freedom for All Americans has been proud to serve as a leading partner of Florida Competes, the grassroots coalition of thousands that has been steadily growing in the Sunshine State over the past year.

Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce, the business coalition aligned with Florida Competes, responded to the news this week:

The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) coalition is grateful to committee chairman, Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R-Miami), for his tireless efforts in getting SB 120 heard before his committee – a historic first for this issue. We thank Sen. Abruzzo and Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) for their leadership in sponsoring the anti-discrimination legislation. Thank you also to Sen. David Simmons (R-Longwood) for his work in strengthening the measure through the amendment process.

We are proud to have had this pro-business legislation heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to have secured strong support from Republicans and Democrats on this pro-business issue. We will continue to educate elected officials that in order for our state to remain competitive in the global marketplace, we must eliminate any and all discrimination in the workplace, in housing and in public accommodations. We are confident that Florida leaders will do the right thing and end this state sanctioned discrimination.

Learn more about the fight for LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections in Florida here. 


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