Bill threatening every LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance in Florida moves forward

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | The Florida House State Affairs Committee debated HB 3 on March 14, a bill threatening to repeal every local LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban across Florida.

Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, along with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group, condemned the bill at the state capitol March 12. The groups noted 13 million LGBTQ Floridians are protected by the ordinances being targeted.

“Florida cities and counties have led the way in protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination by passing local protections that now cover 60 percent of the state,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. “HB 3 is sweeping legislation that threatens to repeal vital protections, endanger tourism, impact our economy and hurt our state’s reputation for decades. Florida lawmakers should reject HB 3 and instead pass the bipartisan Competitive Workforce Act, bipartisan legislation that currently has 61 cosponsors—more than any other bill filed in Florida this year.”

“Florida’s political leaders should learn the lessons from other states that took this reckless path that hurt their state’s economy and reputation,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Now is the time for Florida to lead the south in protecting Floridians and visitors from discrimination, not introduce dangerous anti-LGBTQ legislation that would roll back needed protections here in The Sunshine State. HRC is proud to stand with Equality Florida and others to fight against any attempt to discriminate.”

You can view their full press conference below:

WATCH: Equality Florida, Human Rights Campaign, Representative Jennifer Webb, Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith and Representative Shevrin Jones Holding "Don't Repeal Equality" Press Conference! #OpposeHB3

Posted by Equality Florida on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Equality Florida announced March 15 that the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Michael Grant (R-Port Charlotte), has committed to working with the organization to address their concerns, days after nearly 100 activists visited Tallahassee for Equality Florida Lobby Days. They also stressed that the bill is moving forward with an amendment that falls short of eliminating the threat.

Equality Florida is asking supporters to contact Florida lawmakers to urge them not to repeal equality.

“In the coming weeks, it’s essential that we continue educating about the harm HB 3 could cause to our families and how it, as written, rolls back progress,” the organization shared. “There is one committee left before this bill hits the floor. We have one more chance to protect what we’ve won.”

For more information, visit EQFL.org or access the organization’s call to action below:

TAKE ACTION: HB 3 threatens to repeal every local LGBTQ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban…

Posted by Equality Florida on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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