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Florida Republican submits LGBT anti-discrimination law

Megan Boyanton August 13, 2015
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A Florida state representative has committed to supporting a ban on anti-LGBT workplace discrimination – despite being a Republican.

Alongside a Democratic opponent, Republican lawmaker Holly Raschein this week proposed the Florida Competitive Workforce Act – a bill to eliminate employment discrimination, based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to the Miami Herald, she said: “At my core, I feel this is the right thing to do.

“I can be just as conservative as I want to be and still believe in eliminating discrimination of LGBT people.”

Democratic state Senator Joseph Abruzzo will co-sponsor the bill when it is presented in 2016 to the legislative session.

The move is highly surprising as not a single Republican has backed the federal, Democrat-sponsored Equality Act in US Congress, which would outlaw discrimination on a national scale.

The GOP also prevented last year’s Employment Non-Discrimination Act from coming to a vote.

However, as legislation has failed before, the Florida Republican admitted that her bill will likely include compromise on religion – exempting religious businesses from anti-discrimination clauses.

She said: “You can get married in the state of Florida if you are an LGBT person, but you can still get fired.

“Why would I be sponsoring a bill and putting myself out there if there wasn’t a need?

“I’ve got gay friends, gay colleagues, gay acquaintances. I wouldn’t want to see them discriminated against.”

She remains hopeful, referencing both her political peers and leaders as a support system through the process.

Companies and corporations, such as Walt Disney World, Miami Heat and Winn-Dixie, already have praised the legislation.

While the US commission ruled that LGBT discrimination is illegal in the workplace in July, the issue is still being fought on a national level, and the Equality Act is still gaining traction in US Congress.

In particular, some Republican representatives, like Congressman Kevin Cramer, do not even believe such bigotry exists.

Related topics: Anti-gay, anti-gay law, anti-gay laws, Discrimination, Employment, Employment, Florida, Gay, Gay rights, holly raschein, Homophobia, homophobic, Law, LGBT, LGBT rights, megan boyanton, Trans, Transgender, US, workplace

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