FLORIDA’S PATCHWORK OF LGBTQ NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS MIRRORS NATIONWIDE REPORT BY U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS

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Posted on December 19, 2017 - 11:20pm by Brittany.

 

FLORIDA’S PATCHWORK OF LGBTQ NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS MIRRORS NATIONWIDE REPORT BY U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS

 
December 20, 2017 - In November, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report that calls on Congress to pass workplace nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans. Catherine E. Lhamon, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said, “Living up to the American ideal of fairness and equity demands federal statutory protection for LGBT employees …. We call on Congress to act now to ensure that it leaves no gap in the fabric of federal civil rights protection for LGBT employees.
 
Threportbased on testimony from LGBTQ advocacy organizations, such as Equality Florida, along with extensive social science research and surveys, reflects the reality that many LGBTQ Americans experience prejudice and discrimination in the workplace. 

Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality, testified before the committee in 2015 and is sited as a reference in this important federal report.

A key finding of the Commission was that there is a patchwork of protections across the country that leaves LGBTQ people vulnerable to workplace discrimination,” said Gina Duncan. “This finding also applies to the state level and speaks to the need for Florida to pass a comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination law.” 

Florida has over forty city and county Human Rights Ordinances protecting 60% of Floridians, but still no statewide law exists that reconciles the patchwork of local laws that render LGBTQ employees insufficiently protected from workplace discrimination as well as in the areas of housing and public accommodations.

Florida is poised to be the breakthrough state in the South and pass statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. And a victory in Florida would have a nationwide effect. Winning protections in a Republican-dominated state will break the logjam in the South and show that LGBTQ equality is a bipartisan issue. This is needed to win protections at the federal level,” added Duncan.

A 2013 poll by Project Right Side and Americans for Workplace Opportunity found that a majority of people (88 percent), regardless of political affiliation, agreed that LGBT individuals should be evaluated based on workplace performance. Businesses have attested that implementing nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals does not result in substantial additional costs.

Notwithstanding this broad consensus, 28 states offer no sexual orientation or gender identity protections; of the 22 states that do protect LGB employees, two exclude transgender employees from protection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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