REPS JOE SAUNDERS & HOLLY RASCHEIN LEAD BI- PARTISAN EFFORT TO END ANTI-LGBT DISCRIMINATION
Tallahassee, FL – Representative Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) held a press conference Tuesday to announce filed legislation with prime co-sponsor Representative Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo), which aims to grow the economy by attracting and retaining the best workers to our state with the promise of equal opportunity employment. The Competitive Workforce Act (HB 239) would modernize state law to include anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
“This bill is about ensuring all Floridians are judged based on the work they do, not who they are or what their family looks like. I’m honored to see so many legislators, from both sides of the aisle, standing with me to call out discrimination and in support of equal opportunity.” said Representative Saunders. “It’s time for the patchwork of non-discrimination protections for Florida’s LGBT community to be replaced with the certainty that can only come from a statewide law.”
Republican sponsor Rep. Holly Raschein also offered the following statement:
“I am a proponent of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act because it is good policy and it represents the direction Florida needs to move if our state is going to continue to have a strong pro-business outlook,” said Rep. Raschein. “Protecting Florida’s workforce from all forms of discrimination will help to draw the best and the brightest talent to our businesses and I’m proud to support a bill that will allow Florida to be competitive both nationally and internationally.”
There is now bi-partisan agreement on the need to pass protections for Florida’s LGBT community, which comes at time when public support for the legislation is at 73% (Bob Graham Center for Public Service/UF Poll, April 2013) and as the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on a similar proposal known as ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act).
The bill was also filed in the Senate (SB 348) by Senator Joseph Abruzzo (D- Wellington).