FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Carlos Smith, 404-934-4944, Government Affairs Manager
Nadine Smith, 813-817-6093, Executive Director
Historic First Hearing on LGBT Non-discrimination Set for Tuesday
The Florida Competitive Workforce Act enjoys bipartisan support
(Tallahassee)- On Tuesday, January 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear The Florida Competitive Workforce Act (SB 120) which would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in employment, housing and public accommodations. This the first time the legislation will be heard by legislators.
“This is a huge breakthrough not only for Florida but for the South and the nation as the third most populous state takes up long overdue, basic protections.,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s Executive Director. “The Florida Competitive Workforce Act has bipartisan support in both chambers, the support of Fortune 500 Companies, over 400 small businesses and a strong majority of Floridians. It’s time for Florida to pass this common-sense legislation.”
Currently 55% of Florida’s population, in 38 municipalities, are protected at the local level by nondiscrimination laws, but no uniform statewide law exists, leaving many vulnerable to discrimination. The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to pre-existing nondiscrimination laws that already cover race, religion, disability, age and other categories.
Since the start of legislative session on January 12, The Florida Competitive Workforce Act has picked up critical support in the Senate with the addition of Senators Jack Latvala (R) and Travis Hutson (R) as co-sponsors.
The Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC) has also joined the statewide coalition pushing for passage. Recognized as one of the Top Five Chambers in the Nation by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, FSHCC communicates with a network of 80,000 Hispanic small business owners in Florida.
The hearing will be held in the Senate Judiciary on Tuesday, January 26, from 1-3pm in 110 Senate Office Building.
Equality Florida Institute is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. www.eqfl.org