This week, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, which enforces civil-rights laws in the state, officially recognized that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is sex discrimination and sex discrimination is illegal under the Florida Civil Rights Act. The decision followed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 15, 2020 in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia ruling that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of…sex” covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. While the Supreme Court ruling made it the law of the land, the Florida action is definitive and long overdue.
“For the past 10 years I’ve been fighting to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act…and just like that…WE WON,” State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith posted online following the ruling. “LGBTQ Floridians are protected from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. You read that right.”
The Florida Commission on Human Relations now states clearly “the FCHR accepts claims of sex discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation for investigation in employment and public accommodations complaints. Furthermore, the FCHR investigates housing discrimination under the Florida Fair Housing Act and Title VIII, based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. The FCHR is committed to investigating housing violations based upon sex discrimination due to non-conformity with gender stereotypes.”
The ruling also comes after President Joe Biden signed an executive order outlining his administration’s intentions to prevent and combat discrimination.
“When I was elected to the legislature I set the goal of securing protections for LGBTQ people across our state,” Rep. Smith continued. “Today that goal was achieved. This is a moment to celebrate and continue the work of making our state a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone to live, work and visit.”