Florida House Reps. Joe Saunders and Holly Raschein are once again pushing a bill that bans discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians in the workplace.Their efforts this year jive with a move in the U.S. Senate to pass a similar law, which state supporters called "fortuitous."
Also fortuitous: In his first tweet since declaring his candidacy for governor, Democrat Charlie Crist took advantage of the opportunity to support gay rights -- “Thanks to GOP @HollyRaschein & Dem @RepJoeSaunders for their bipartisan bill to end LGBT discrimination in workforce. I’ll sign it!”
This is the second time that Saunders, D-Orlando, and Raschein, R-Key Largo, have filed an anti-discrimination measure (HB 239), with Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-West Palm Beach, sponsoring the Senate counterpart.
State legislation, Saunders said at a press conference at the capital Tuesday, would end the patchwork of gay rights ordinances in 26 municipalities, including the cities of Miami Beach and North Miami Beach and Broward, Pinellas and Monroe counties.
“Imagine living in a community where you’re protected from discrimination until you cross the county border and work in a community where you are not,” Saunders said. “Countless employees still work where placing a picture of their family on their desk can lead to legalized harassment, the denial of promotion or the unemployment line.”
Raschein said that "From the GOP perspective, our main focus is the economy and jobs. And this is what we’re talking about. People’s jobs, people’s livelihoods.”