Florida business leaders push for the Equality Act
More than 20 Florida companies have signed a letter calling on Congress to pass the Equality Act.
Industry executives, including a significant number in the tech and hospitality sector, say Florida’s economy stands to gain if the federal government puts in place job protections in the industry. Nationally, the Florida legislature has so far made no progress.
“Passing the equality law is not just the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do economically,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Florida-based companies co-signing the letter include major job providers such as BlueGrace Logistics, Carlton Fields, Citrix, Office Depot, and Owens Corning.
Sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lightning, Rays and Rowdies, have all signed up to the effort. The same goes for companies with a strong presence in the state like AirBnB.
Florida companies join more than 400 nationwide signing of similar efforts by the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
President Joe biden has already engaged to sign the law on equality. The letter notes a Supreme Court ruling from last year already putting in place many job protections, but says comprehensive civil rights protections have yet to be enacted.
“Today in the United States, LGBTQ people remain vulnerable to discrimination in key areas of daily life, including housing, health care, and public spaces like restaurants and shops,” the letter said. . “While the Supreme Court recently ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County While current federal law already prohibits discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Equality Act would codify these protections into law and ensure that LGBTQ Americans are protected in all areas of daily life.
It is noteworthy that the Florida legislature has seen an increasing number of bipartisan co-sponsors each year for the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, a state version of the Equality Act, but the legislation was never passed by a House committee and was only placed on the agenda once.
The American house has pass equality law, the Florida House delegation breaking party lines, all Democrats voting for and all Republicans voting against. This is despite the Rep. Mario diaz balart, a Republican, voting for an earlier version of the legislation at the last Congress.
The Senate has not yet passed the bill.
Notably, a Florida-based consulting firm Ballard Partners signed with Freedom for All Americans to lobby Congress for the legislation,