Here are the facts:

  • While it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, Florida law does not protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identification. The Competitive Workforce Act is bi-partisan legislation that promotes fairness and modernizes state law by banning anti-gay and gender-based discrimination.
  • The link between strong anti-discrimination laws and the ability to draw the best and the brightest is the reason that 84 percent of the nation’s largest companies have adopted comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Updating the law will not end discrimination overnight. However, it will be one more tool to ensure that all people are treated fairly and equally.
  • To date, 18 states, more than 225 cities across the country and 29 municipalities in Florida have passed and successfully implemented these kinds of laws with no increase in public safety incidents. As a result, more than half of all Floridians enjoy fully inclusive anti-discrimination protections under local Human Rights Ordinances.
  • $360 million is lost each year in productivity and employee turnover by Florida businesses through discriminatory practices.
  • 328,000 LGBT workers in Florida lack statewide protections against ongoing employment discrimination.
  • A majority (73 percent) of LGBT Americans are “strongly concerned” about housing discrimination by real estate agents, home sellers, landlords and neighbors, according to an April 2015 survey of 1,798 LGBT Americans. In the same survey, three out of four respondents (75 percent) said living in a state with an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance is “very important”.

 

A July 2013 poll of 300 likely voters in Florida demonstrates the public’s support for the Competitive Workforce Act.

  • Nearly all (93 percent) of those surveyed agreed that all hardworking people, including gays and lesbians, should be treated fairly and protected in the workplace.
  • Three out of every four people surveyed thought it was already illegal to fire, refuse a business service, and refuse to rent an apartment or house to someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
  • More than half (63 percent) of people surveyed agreed we should update our non-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity to more closely reflect the policies of most large employers in our state.
  • More than half (56 percent) of those surveyed said they would be more likely to vote for a state legislator who voted “yes” in favor of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s anti-discrimination laws. Another 18 percent said they were unsure or it would not make a difference.
  • Ninety-one percent of Fortune 500 companies have policies in place to protect workers based on sexual orientation.
  • More than sixty percent of Fortune 500 companies have policies in place to protect workers based on gender identity.