Florida’s cities are making strides in protecting lesbian gay bisexual and transgender rights while state efforts falter according to the Human Rights Campaign. The national LGBT group is releasing its sixth annual municipal equality index.
Twenty states have approved LGBT employment protections. Florida isn’t one of them.
But Equality Florida’s Hannah Willard says cities and counties across the state are stepping into the void.
“We actually have more local human rights ordinances in our state than any other state in the country,” Willard says. “There are currently 43 city or county policies that have been passed here in Florida at the city or county level to protect LGBTQ folks from discrimination in employment housing and public accommodation.”
She says those protections cover most Floridians.
“Right now sixty percent of Florida’s population is currently protected from this discrimination,” Willard says. “So it’s actually unique for a state in the south to have such a large population of folks protected—we’re the third largest state in the country.”
A total of six cities in Florida, including Tallahassee, earned a perfect 100 point score. Florida cities score an average of 75 on the human rights campaign index. The national average is just 57.
Last year, an LGBT non-discrimination measure died without a hearing in the Florida legislature despite 18 Republicans signing on as co-sponsors.