Bi-Partisan Support for Non-Discrimination Bill in Florida

Timothy Kincaid

April 9th, 2008

In March of this year, Sen. Ted Deutch (D – Boca Raton) proposed a bill that would amend the the Florida Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act to include sexual orientation. Although the bill had 37 co-signers, it lacked Republican support and was not considered to be viable.

That has changed. According to Edge Magazine, the bill has passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

Republican state lawmaker Jeff Atwater, who is the President-designate of the Senate, joined the ranks of lawmakers pressing for the expanded law and has been credited with helping the measure clear a Senate committee on Apr. 8, with a vote of 7-1. Four Republicans and three Democrats gave their vote to the measure

A sister bill has been presented in the House, but according to the Orlando Sentinel, that body may be more difficult.

The group conceded, though, that the concept faced a harder sell in the House, where it hasn’t been heard, and that “in reality, we are looking toward 2009” to get it passed into law.

Our thanks go to Sen. Deutch and the 37 Democratic lawmakers that presented the bill. Our thanks go to Sen. Atwater for rallying Republican support. And our best wishes continue with this bill and its House version and hope that soon discrimination against gay Floridians will be a matter of history.

ADDENDUM: Out in Orlando also has a good article on the vote.

queerunity

April 9th, 2008

i am really pleased that the two parties could come together on this

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