Post submitted by Vivian Rodriguez, HRC Orlando Steering Committee Community Engagement Co-Chair and President of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida.
The HRC Orlando Steering Committee joined forces with 25 members of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida last month to lobby at the state capitol for issues and legislation that matter most to LGBT and Hispanic communities. The group met with various state legislators throughout the day and held a press conference.
The group focused on supporting SB 120 and HB 45 (Florida Competitive Workforce Act), bills that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They also lobbied in support of SB 1542 and HB 1151, bills that would update Florida's laws to comply with the Obergefell v. Hodges. SB 1542 and HB 1151 would allow married same-sex parents to be accurately listed on their children’s birth certificates.
"We believe in equal protection of the law and no one should be discriminated in their employment because of their sexual orientation, sexual identity or gender expression,” Vivian Rodriguez, HRC Orlando Steering Committee Community Engagement Co-Chair and President of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, said at the press conference. “That is why the Democratic Hispanic Caucus supports the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. Diversity and inclusion will allow economic growth within the Florida workforce also providing everyone opportunities for fair housing and the use of public accommodations."
Florida is one of 32 states lacking explicit, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. Last year, HRC announced support of the Equality Act, comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation. The Equality Act would provide basic protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, access to public spaces, housing, education, jury service, credit and federal funding.