Florida

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

Florida
No Statewide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections
  • Campaigns in Florida
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LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Florida:

There are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide laws establishing LGBTQ non-discrimination in Florida.

The Campaign for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Florida:

Launched in December of 2014, Florida Competes is a grassroots coalition working to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would amend existing non-discrimination protections in Florida to include sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The Latest on LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Florida:

In recent years momentum has grown for passage of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, a bill sponsored by a bipartisan group of co-sponsors. In 2016 a hearing was held on the legislation for the first time ever. 

Now, Florida Competes is continuing to build grassroots support for this commonsense measure that will prevent discrimination and help Florida’s economy. 

History of LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Florida:

  • 1969: The Florida Commission on Human Relations is established to address employment and housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age and marital or familial status.
  • January 18, 1977: The Dade County Commission approves a local ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public services, joining several other municipalities with similar ordinances across the country.
  • June 7, 1977: Led by entertainer Anita Bryant’s hateful, homophobic fear-mongering through her “Save Our Children” crusade, the Dade County non-discrimination ordinance is repealed at the ballot. Bryant makes national news and divides the country, galvanizing opposition to LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination.
  • 1977: The Florida Human Rights Act of 1977 expands the scope of the Commission to also include enforcement, empowering the Commission to investigate and resolve violations of the law.
  • 1983: The Florida Fair Housing Act is passed, making it illegal to discriminate in the sale, rental, advertising, financing, or providing of brokerage services for housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age and marital or familial status.
  • 1980s-1990: Local and national organizations engage in conversations about who LGBT Floridians are, and support for fully comprehensive non-discrimination grows.
  • January 16, 1990: Palm Beach County becomes Florida’s first municipality to protect city workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • 1991-1999: Seven more Florida municipalities enact policies protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, including Key West, Tampa, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Gainesville, and – two decades after the divisive Anita Bryant campaign to repeal non-discrimination there, Miami-Dade County. These local ordinances – and the dozens of others passed in the 2000s, build momentum toward statewide legislation.
  • December 3, 1998: Commissioners in Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous, add protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2015, gender identity and expression are added.
  • 2004: LGBT advocates and their allies begin the push for updating Florida’s law to protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Support has continued to grow, both in public polls and in the legislature.
  • 2004-2014: Non-discrimination gains support and builds momentum as local lawmakers grow to understand the importance of treating everyone fairly and equally under the law. Dozens of municipalities in Florida now extend non-discrimination protections to LGBT individuals.
  • November 26, 2014: Republican Rep. Holly Raschein and Democratic Senator Joseph Abruzzo file bills (HB33 and SB 156) in the Florida House and Senate, respectively, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would extend non-discrimination protections to LGBT Floridians. While the bill does not pass in 2015, it continues an important conversation in Florida about updating the state’s non-discrimination protections to include LGBT people.
  • February 8, 2016The Senate Judiciary Committee holds the first-ever hearing on the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would provide comprehensive protections for LGBT Floridians across employment, housing and public accommodations. Ultimately the legislation does not advance through committee but securing the hearing signifies growing momentum.
  • February 14, 2017: The Jacksonville City Council passes an LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance with broad support. Jacksonville is the twelfth largest city in the United States and was one of the few top cities where LGBT people are not explicitly protected from discrimination. Freedom for All Americans was proud to work with our partners at Jacksonville Coalition for Equality on this campaign.

Municipalities with Non-Discrimination Protections:

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression:

  • City of Atlantic Beach
  • City of Dunedin
  • City of Gainesville
  • City of Gulfport
  • City of Juno Beach
  • City of Key West
  • City Of Lake Worth
  • City of Largo
  • City of Leesburg
  • City of Miami
  • City of Miami Beach
  • City of Oakland Park
  • City of Orlando
  • City of Sarasota
  • City of St. Augustine
  • City of Tampa
  • City of Venice
  • City of West Palm Beach
  • City of Wilton Manors
  • Village of Tequesta
  • Alachua County
  • Broward County
  • Hillsborough County
  • Leon County
  • Miami Dade County
  • Monroe County
  • Orange County
  • Osceola County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Pinellas County
  • Volusia County

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation:

  • City of St. Petersburg

Last Updated February 7, 2018

Public Support:

  • In 2013 a poll showed 63% of respondents supported including sexual orientation and gender identity in the state’s non-discrimination laws.

  • An October 2015 poll shows an overwhelming 68% support among Floridians for passing statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

Active Litigation

Doe v. Volusia County School Board

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: April 4, 2018 • Motion for Preliminary Injunction Denied
Status: Headed to Trial in 2018
Legal Team: NCLR & Private Counsel
Type: Discrimination Targeting Transgender Students

A school in Florida is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including a young transgender male, identified as John Doe. 

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