Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Deutch Anti-Discrimination Bill passes Senate Commerce Committee

With broad bi-partisan support, the Florida Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday approved a bill sponsored by Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) that prohibits discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
"Human rights should extend to all of us," said the Senator. "This measure would codify in law the expectations of a level playing field all of us expect in the job market, the housing market and elsewhere. It extends dignity where previously there was none."
"Today's vote is truly historic," said Rand Hoch, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. "This demonstrates that Florida  lawmakers are finally beginning to understand the need for a statewide law prohibiting discrimination faced by the GLBT community.
"Thanks in great part to Senator Deutch who helped enlist the Republican support, for the first time in Florida history we are beginning to truly build momentum for an antidiscrimination bill," said Hoch
The legislation, first introduced in 2007 by Senator Deutch, the measure passed the Senate Commerce Committee by a vote of 7 to 1. Senators Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R-Miami), Charlie Justice (D-St Petersburg), Victor D. Crist (R-Tampa), Rudy Garcia (R-Hialeah), Jeremy Ring (D-Margate), Burt Saunders (R-Fort Myers) and Gary Siplin (D-Orlando) all voted in favor of the bill.
Michelle DeMarco
Press Secretary
Florida Senate Democratic Office

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