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Florida tried to ban discrimination against LGBTQ people — and it failed

Gabriel Garcia-Vera joins with others to show support for LGBTQ couples in Miami, Florida.
Gabriel Garcia-Vera joins with others to show support for LGBTQ couples in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Supreme Court’s decision last June legalizing same-sex marriage across the country set up an odd puzzle for LGBTQ people in America. Though everyone can now legally marry the person of their choosing, in many states individuals can still be fired or otherwise discriminated against purely on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The barrier isn’t a religious liberty law, like the one passed to widespread scorn in Indiana last March. Instead, 30 states just don’t include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as protected categories under their respective civil rights laws.

That’s still the case in Florida, where the state’s legislature tried but failed to pass a law banning LGBTQ discrimination by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s civil rights law.

The bill, backed by both Democrats and Republicans, along with numerous high-profile businesses in the state, died yesterday in the state Senate Judiciary Committee, where it was being considered. In fairness, the bill did garner a public hearing — unlike the nine previous times similar bills were proposed.

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