Broward senator says banning anti-gay discrimination would improve Florida economy

November 11, 2011
Sun Sentinel

Florida Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, D-Weston, is sponsoring legislation to ban workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity would bring jobs to Florida, Rich said.

She and House sponsor, state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, are calling their proposal the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act.”

They’d improve the economy by enhancing the state’s reputation as a good place to live, work and visit, the sponsors said.

"The Florida Competitive Workforce Act will not only ensure equal protection of the law for all Floridians, it will also show that Florida understands that the one of the best ways to grow our economy is to ensure we have a diverse workforce that capitalizes on the skills, perspectives and talents of all our people,” Rich said in a statement.

The gay rights group Equality Florida, which supports the Rich-Randoph proposal said most of the state’s population already lives in communities that have passed local anti-discrimination ordinances. Among them are Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The national gay rights group Human Rights Campaign said 87 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination policies and nearly half include gender identity and expression. Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, added “gender identity” to its non discrimination policy his week.

In the News