Florida businesses join more than 400 major U.S. businesses, a majority of Americans, hundreds of members of Congress, hundreds of advocacy organizations, and more than 60 business associations — including the National LGBT Chamber, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers — in endorsing the federal legislation.
Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ people have reported experiencing discrimination in their personal lives. The Equality Act would level the playing field for everyone, guaranteeing that LGBTQ Americans are extended the same federal nondiscrimination protections that others in the United States have enjoyed for decades, and codifying the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision to ensure clarity for everyone.
The Equality Act would also extend protections to millions of women who aren’t covered under some existing federal anti-discrimination laws and expand the public spaces and services that can’t discriminate against anyone based on race, national origin, or religion.
President Joe Biden has already committed to sign the Equality Act into law. The letter notes a Supreme Court decision last year already putting many job protections in place, but said full civil rights protections must still be enacted.
“In the United States today, LGBTQ people remain vulnerable to discrimination in key areas of daily life, including housing, healthcare and public spaces like restaurants and shops,” the letter reads. “While the Supreme Court recently ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that current federal law already bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Equality Act would codify those protections into law and ensure that LGBTQ Americans are protected in all areas of daily life.”
Of note, the Florida Legislature has seen a growing number of bipartisan co-sponsors each year for the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, a state version of the Equality Act, but the legislation has never been passed out of a committee in the House, and has only once been placed on an agenda.
The U.S. House has passed the Equality Act, with Florida’s House delegation breaking along party lines with all Democrats voting for it and all Republicans voting against it. That’s despite Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, voting for a prior version of the legislation in the last Congress. The Senate has yet to take up legislation.
Businesses within Florida that have signed the call for action can be found at https://freedomforallamericans.org and listed here
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Assoc.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
Levi Strauss & Co
Misfits Gaming Group
Moffitt Cancer Center
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rowdies
The Practice (Jacksonville)
UBS (Ponte Vedra Beach)