For the past week we have worked with our community partners and allies to denounce an anti-transgender bill known as HB 583. This proposed legislation would make it illegal for transgender people to use public facilities that correspond with our gender if it is different from the one assigned to us at birth. This bill takes Florida in the wrong direction, dehumanizes the transgender community and reinforces an ugly message that makes us even more vulnerable to violence.
This bill also is in direct conflict with the diversity and inclusion policies and practices of Florida's major employers, and could result in those companies being sued simply for banning discrimination in the workplace.
Twenty-one states across the country have already passed legislation protecting transgender citizens in public accommodations. Without exception, these laws have made public accommodations safer for everyone. This bill is not only a blatant attack on the transgender community, it compromises public safety.
TransAction and Equality Florida are addressing this absurd bill head on. Our lobby team is already on the ground in Tallahassee and we have been reaching out to our business allies to push back hard on this awful legislation. The good news is the bill is being criticized on both sides of the aisle and in many ways is making the point that discrimination exists and needs to be addressed by state law. That is why we must also direct our outrage at this bill toward the passage of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to our state's nondiscrimination statute.
As transgender individuals we know the impact of this kind of dehumanization. It contributes to the violence and discrimination and isolation so many endure and too many do not survive. It is important that transgender voices are heard as this bad bill and the Florida Competitive Workforce Act move forward in Tallahassee.
We call on transgender Floridians and our allies to attend Lobby Days in Tallahassee and help us dispel harmful myths and insist our humanity be recognized and respected.
Join TransAction Advisory Board members at Lobby Days! http://www.eqfl.org/lobbydays
The TransAction Advisory Board - 2015
Michael Keefe - St. Petersburg
Tricia Russell - Jacksonville
Tobias Packer - Miami
Bishop E.F. Mallaleyi-Mahee - Ft. Lauderdale
Aryah Lester - Miami
Gina Duncan - Orlando
Morgan Laisch - Orlando
Ashley Brundage - Tampa
Arianna Lint - Wilton Manors
Petra Doan - Tallahassee
Margeaux Mutz - Tallahassee