Bipartisan and Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill Filed in Florida TodayBy Adam Polaski • February 2, 2017 • 2:14 pm
Today in Tallahassee, Florida state lawmakers re-introduced the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, the bill to expand comprehensive non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations to LGBT Floridians. The bipartisan legislation already enjoys the support of the more than 450 businesses working together through the Florida Competes coalition to advance the bill.
Matt McTighe heralded the introduction today. He said:
“Florida has one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation – that’s one of the many reasons businesses in the state are eager to pass the Competitive Workforce Act,” said Matt McTighe, Freedom for All Americans’ executive director. “This legislation will only make Florida an even stronger place to live, work and raise a family. Passing this bipartisan legislation would not only improve the economic security and well-being of LGBT people across the state, but it also would send a clear message that Florida is serious about growing its brand as a top-tier destination for the innovative businesses and entrepreneurs who will drive our future.”
Freedom for All Americans is proud to partner with hundreds of businesses and Equality Florida on the Florida Competes coalition, which consists of more than 450 businesses to date, including nine Fortune 500s: AT&T, CSX, Darden Restaurants, Marriott, NextEra Energy, Office Depot, Tech Data, Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo. Other members of the coalition include Carnival, ChamberSouth, the Florida Entertainment Group, HSN, the Miami Heat and the University of North Florida.
John Tonnison, Executive Vice President and CIO of the Tech Data Corporation, applauded the introduction of the bill, which increasingly concerns Florida’s business leaders. He said:
“I applaud Sen. Clemens and Reps. Diamond and Plasencia for sponsoring the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. Expanding nondiscrimination protections in the workplace improves morale, and in turn, increases productivity and retention of employees. But beyond the workplace, this legislation is important to let the international business community know that Florida respects equality, diversity and inclusion.”
The Competitive Workforce Act would address a series of patchwork protections that are afforded to some LGBT citizens across some of Florida’s municipalities. There are about 536,000 LGBT people in Florida, according to the Movement Advancement Project. Fifty-six (56) percent of Floridians currently live in a city or municipality that offers some level of nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people.