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Two New Bills Could Protect LGBTQ People in the Workplace, Only One Extends to Restaurants and Other Public Spaces


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Shaye and Heather Wilkie, Executive Director of Zebra Coalition, joined Matthew Peddie to talk about the Coalition's services and importance. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Shaye and Heather Wilkie, Executive Director of Zebra Coalition, joined Matthew Peddie to talk about the Coalition's services and importance. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Republican State Senator Joe Gruters  introduced the Florida Inclusive Workforce Act that would amend the Florida Civil Rights Act to include workplace protections for LGBTQ people.

John Stemberger, director of the conservative group Florida Family Policy Council, is calling for Gruters’ resignation as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida because of the bill. In a written statement, he says it infringes on the religious beliefs of some small business owners along with the safety of female employees.

But LGBTQ rights group Equality Florida’s Director Joe Sanders says the bill doesn’t do enough to protect LGBTQ folks in all public spaces.

“Just giving weight to lies about transgender people and what they do in bathrooms, and what they do in public spaces is wrong, especially based on how much overwhelming support we continue to see for comprehensive civil rights legislation.”

Equality Florida supports an opposing bill, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, cosponsored by Representative Jennifer Webb and Senator Darryl Rouson.

Not only would the bill make it illegal to fire someone because they’re LGBTQ, but to deny someone housing or service at a restaurant or hotel because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above. 


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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