ACTION ITEM AND INFORMATION: The Human Rights issue moves to Tallahassee 9 BILLS

Credits:

Florida Politics

First Coast News

Freedom For all Americans

Florida.gov

By all appearances the HRO has passed Jacksonville City Council and Mayor Curry will remain firm in his decision to stand silent.

Have you heard of HB17 currently working it's way through the process in Tallahassee? While researching this bill I stumbled upon eight other related bills and will attempt to document them for you and provide you with information from a group called Freedom For All Americans.

Most all of us have known for a long time that this "Human Rights" issue was not a local issue or even a state issue.. It is a National movement.. One could ask why? and What for?

Who is/What is "FREEDOM FOR ALL AMERICANS"?

Their website: http://www.freedomforallamericans.org/about/

Their FaceBook page: 

https://www.facebook.com/FreedomForAllAmericans/

Just one of several groups working to pass legislation at the state level.

"Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive non-discrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

With the ultimate goal of securing federal statutory protections for LGBT Americans, Freedom for All Americans works at the federal, state, and local level to advance measures and laws protecting from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression – without allowing overly broad and harmful religious exemptions that will encourage employers, business owners or others to choose to disregard those protections.

Opponents of non-discrimination laws are currently pursuing strategies to chip away at protections for the LGBT community and undermine the movement’s gains. We will push against these attempts to codify discrimination. However, it is not enough to merely take a defensive posture – we must take the fight on the offensive, with a multi-year initiative that seizes on our best opportunities to advance local and state-level victories. Throughout all of this work, we must also pursue a broad, ambitious initiative to educate Americans about who LGBT people are and why non-discrimination protections are so critical.

By building momentum across the country with state-level victories and comprehensive public education campaigns, we will create pressure nationally for the United States Congress to pass full federal protections for all LGBT people."

http://www.freedomforallamericans.org/about/

You will notice that their work is divided by state with detailed information related to plans and legislative agendas.

We focus on Florida.

Current

Municipalities with Non-Discrimination Protections:

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression:

  • City of Atlantic Beach
  • City of Dunedin
  • City of Gainesville
  • City of Gulfport
  • City of Juno Beach
  • City of Key West
  • City Of Lake Worth
  • City of Largo
  • City of Leesburg
  • City of Miami
  • City of Miami Beach
  • City of Oakland Park
  • City of Orlando
  • City of Sarasota
  • City of St. Augustine
  • City of Tampa
  • City of Venice
  • City of West Palm Beach
  • City of Wilton Manors
  • Village of Tequesta
  • Alachua County
  • Broward County
  • Hillsborough County
  • Leon County
  • Miami Dade County
  • Monroe County
  • Orange County
  • Osceola County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Pinellas County
  • Volusia County

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation:

  • City of St. Petersburg

Non-Discrimination Protections:

There are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide non-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people in Florida.

The Campaign:

Launched in December of 2014, Florida Competes is a grassroots coalition working to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would amend existing non-discrimination protections in Florida to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Florida Competes is the grassroots arm of Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce, a coalition of more than 20 of the state’s largest employers working to update Florida’s non-discrimination laws.

The Latest:

In the 2015 legislative session, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act was sponsored by State Rep. Holly Raschein (R – Key Largo) and State Senator Joe Abruzzo (D – Boynton Beach) and attracted a bipartisan group of co-sponsors. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of thousands of Floridians and the support of hundreds of Florida businesses, the bill was not voted on by the legislature in 2015.

Now, Florida Competes is preparing for the 2016 legislative session by continuing to build grassroots support for this commonsense measure that will prevent discrimination and help Florida’s economy. The coalition is larger and stronger than ever and will be working around the clock in 2016 to make the Florida Competitive Workforce Act the law of the land.

Competitive Workforce Act (SB 120), a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to any existing state nondiscrimination laws.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/0120

On February 11th of 2016 the bill was abandoned/tabled in the Judiciary Committee

 They are back in 2017

The nine (9) related bills with a brief note of what they contain, where they are in the process and  links to their actual text are provided below.

We will need to track their movement and amendments added/deleted if we are to communicate in a timely manner with our respective Congressmen and women.

Florida House Bill 17

Currently this bill is supported by those who identify as being part of  the Anti-HRO movement.

From Florida.gov

"Local Regulation Preemption: Prohibits certain local governments from imposing or adopting certain regulations on businesses, professions, & occupations after certain date; preempts to state regulations concerning businesses, professions, & occupations; provides exceptions to preemption."

Currently: (2/23) pending review in committee

Bill Text:   http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0017/BillText/Filed/PDF

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill targets local nondiscrimination protections for all Floridians, including LGBT people, by not only banning municipal governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances, but by overturning any protections currently in place on January 1, 2020. It was introduced by Rep. Fine."

Florida House Bill 273

Inclusive Conversion Therapy Ban

Status: To House Health Quality Subcommittee

From Florida.gov

"Conversion Therapy; Defines term "conversion therapy"; prohibits persons who are licensed to provide professional counseling & various health practitioners from engaging in conversion therapy with person who is younger than specified age."


Last Action: 1/25/2017 House - Referred to Health Quality Subcommittee; Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee; Health and Human Services Committee

 

 

 

Bill Text:   http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0273/BillText/Filed/PDF

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill prohibits persons who are licensed to provide professional counseling & various health practitioners from engaging in so-called “conversion therapy” (any practice or treatment that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.) On a minor.

HB/319 and SB/410  (RELATED BILLS)

From Florida.gov

319:

Discrimination in Labor and Employment

"Discrimination in Labor and Employment; Creates "Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act"; revises provisions prohibiting discrimination on basis of sex to include discrimination on basis of gender identity; prohibits employer from providing less favorable employment opportunities to employees based on sex or gender identity; provides exceptions; specifies civil penalties; revises applicability; prohibits employer from taking certain employment actions against employees; prohibits employer from engaging in certain activities relating to employee wages & benefits or requiring employee to sign certain waivers."

Bill Text:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0319/BillText/Filed/PDF

Last Action: 2/6/2017 House - Referred to Careers and Competition Subcommittee; Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee; Commerce Committee

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill (identical to SB410) protects Florida’s transgender employees by revising provisions prohibiting wage discrimination on basis of sex to include discrimination on basis of gender identity. It also prohibits employers from providing less favorable employment opportunities to employees based on sex or gender identity."

410:

SB 410: Employment Discrimination

"Employment Discrimination; Revising provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity; prohibiting an employer from providing less favorable employment opportunities to employees based on their sex or gender identity; creating the “Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act”, etc."

Bill Text:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0410/BillText/Filed/PDF

Last Action: 2/1/2017 Senate - Referred to Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Commerce and Tourism; Judiciary; Rules

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill (identical to HB319) protects Florida’s transgender employees by revising provisions prohibiting wage discrimination on basis of sex to include discrimination on basis of gender identity. It also prohibits employers from providing less favorable employment opportunities to employees based on sex or gender identity."

Florida Senate Bill

SB 742: Housing Discrimination

From Florida.gov

"Housing Discrimination; Removing housing discrimination as a cause of action for certain relief and damages stemming from violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992; defining the terms “gender identity” and “sexual orientation”; removing certain conditions for an aggrieved person to commence a civil action for a discriminatory housing practice under the Fair Housing Act, etc."

Bill Text: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0742/BillText/Filed/PDF

Last Action: 2/16/2017 Senate - Referred to Judiciary; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill will update existing state law to ensure that all Florida residents are protected from housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

There are four (4) Additional bills that are all related (To SB742) which speak to housing discrimination and deal with prohibiting discrimination.

HB659, HB623, SB268 and SB666

For ease of understanding I will provide only the short into to each of the four and the link to the actual bill.  These are usually combined into one bill as they move through the process.

1.  HB 659 Housing Discrimination

Florida.gov

"Housing Discrimination; Removes housing discrimination as cause of action for certain relief & damages resulting from violations of Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992; revises provisions of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation & gender identity; revises conditions under which aggrieved person may commence civil action against specified respondent; prohibits aggrieved person from commencing specified civil action if such person has consented to conciliation agreement, with exception, or if administrative law judge has commenced hearing on record on allegation."

TEXT:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0659/BillText/Filed/PDF

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill will update Florida law to ensure that all Florida residents are protected from housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression."

2. HB623 Housing Discrimination

Florida.gov

"Prohibited Discrimination; Provides that sexual orientation & gender identity are impermissible grounds for discrimination in public lodging establishments & public food service establishments; revises provisions of Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 and Fair Housing Act to include sexual orientation & gender identity, provides exception for constitutionally protected free exercise of religion."

Text  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0623/BillText/Filed/PDF

 The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill will update existing state law to ensure that LGBT Floridians are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations."

3. SB268  Housing Discrimination

Florida.gov

"Housing Discrimination; Removing housing discrimination as a cause of action for certain relief and damages stemming from violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992; revising the conditions under which an aggrieved person may commence a civil action in any appropriate court against a specified respondent to enforce specified rights; providing that the aggrieved person does not need to take specified actions before bringing a civil action, etc".

Text: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0268/BillText/Filed/PDF

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"NOT ON THEIR RADAR"

4. SB666 Prohibited Discrimination

Florida.gov

"Prohibited Discrimination; Citing this act as the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act;”adding sexual orientation and gender identity as impermissible grounds for discrimination in public lodging establishments and public food service establishments; defining the terms “gender identity” and “sexual orientation”; adding sexual orientation and gender identity as impermissible grounds for discrimination with respect to the sale or rental of housing, provision of brokerage services, financing of housing or in residential real estate transactions, and land use decisions and in permitting of development, respectively, etc."

Text: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0666/BillText/Filed/PDF

The following comment is from Freedom For All Americans:

"This bill, known as the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act,” will update existing state law to ensure that LGBT Floridians are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations."

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 News article from February 9th, 2017

Always follow the money.

On Thursday, Tallahassee tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Rick Kearney gave $100,000 to Florida Competes, the coalition of businesses working to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

"Both bills (HB623 and SB666) seek to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, which bars such discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex national origin, age, handicap, pregnancy or marital status. Supporters of the Workforce Act say it will make the state more competitive both nationally and globally by attracting the best workers through statewide anti-discrimination protections."

"House Bill 623/Senate Bill 666 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The FCWA would amend Ch. 760 of the Florida State Statutes (“The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992“), which bars such discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, pregnancy, or marital status.

The bill has been filed for multiple years now.

Its first filing was in 2009, and it has slowly but surely gotten traction since."

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/tag/florida-competitive-workfor...

----------------

From the ADOCATE

2/16/17

"In fact, Jacksonville City Council members just Tuesday passed an ordinance that prohibits businesses in that city from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In Jacksonville, the state's largest city, similar legislation had failed in 2012 and 2016."

 

http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/2/16/could-florida-finally-pa...

ACTION ITEM

Call your Florida Representatives and let them know where you stand on this bill.

I JUST SAW THIS TODAY. (28TH)

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/lgbt-activists-say-hb-17-targets...

"A bill that would limit the ability of Florida cities to regulate local businesses is before the Florida Legislature.

House Bill 17, and a companion bill introduced Thursday in the Senate, would prohibit cities from passing a local regulation unless state law expressly allows it.

The House version is just two pages, and short on details. Lobbyists for Florida cities have expressed concern it would handcuff local officials, limiting their ability to approve minimum wage ordinances, even prohibit them from restricting the location of strip clubs.

But local LGBT activists believe a chief target of the original bill is the city’s recently expanded Human Rights Ordinance.

Celebrations following the City Council's approval of an expanded HRO were barely underway when local activists began raising concerns about the bill’s impact. Sponsored by newly elected Republican Rep. Randy Fine, the bill included some unusual retroactive language. Any bill passed before January would be phased out in 2020.

Any bill passed since the start of 2017 – like Jacksonville’s HRO -- would become void immediately upon passage of HB 17.

Fine has previously said the LGBT community is not the target of his bill, and that he just wants to reduce the regulatory burden on business.

A committee amendment removed the retroactivity provisions, but it's not clear what version of the bill -- if any -- might pass. Local activist and attorney Rusty Mead says the LGBT community should consider the bill a warning.

“It’s dangerous," he says. "We know it’s targeted to LGBT ordinances. And I think it is going somewhere. We need not to be just sitting on our laurels and think it’s not going to pass and just make assumptions. Making assumption is the dangerous field of human rights work. We should not assume anything except they are going to try to discriminate against us.”

The bill has one more committee stop this week before heading the House floor."

See Video:

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/lgbt-activists-say-hb-17-targets...

 

"The world is not going to be saved by legislation."

William Howard Taft

 

I do apologize for the length and details of this communication.

Due to the level of interest on the issue detailed information was prepared.

We will continue to track all bills and communicate when action is needed.

 

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Comment by FCTP on March 3, 2017 at 7:28pm

I am sorry Jeanne.. Having background and related information is helpful yet I understand that it often is overload.. I know, I have to sift through it.. This was certainly not the usual for communications and it was presented to show the level of work going on in Tallahassee and how it would have to go through the "filtering process" before it ever even gets to the floor for a vote.  And, it has been such a controversial issue in Duval.

The one Action items was to let your elected officials in Tally know where you stand on HB17..

Comment by Jeanne DeSilver on March 2, 2017 at 3:07pm

This is an overwhelming amount of information. I can't read it all, never mind figure out what to do about any of it. I appreciate the time, effort, and amount of detail you've put into this, but it's useless to me as it's just too much. I want to do what I can but don't even know where to start! Surely I'm not the only one who needs simple instructions.

Comment by FCTP on February 28, 2017 at 10:43am

  

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Posted by FCTP on March 26, 2017 at 4:30pm — 9 Comments

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