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gay rights

Three years after the deadliest act of violence against LGBTQ people in the history of the country, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, activists across the state are encouraged by what they say are positive steps forward for Florida’s LGBTQ community. 

Two bills in the Florida legislature would add workplace protections for LGBTQ individuals, but activists say one could be a step forward while the other could be a step back.

The city attorney in Jacksonville says an initiative intended to challenge a new gay rights law cannot be legally placed on the November ballot.

After a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community worked to translate grief into political action. Even though attempts to pass civil rights protections in the statehouse failed again this year, LGBTQ activists are claiming a victory.

With same-sex marriage now legal nationwide, lawmakers in numerous states are preparing for a new round of battles in 2016 over whether to grant discrimination protections to LGBT people or religious exemptions to nonprofits and businesses that object to gay marriage.

Florida House of Representatives

Private agencies would be able to cite religious or moral grounds to turn away gay couples seeking to adopt children under a bill that drew comparisons Thursday to Indiana's new religious objections law.

The bill was filed after social conservatives criticized a vote last month by the Republican-dominated House to strip a gay adoption ban from state law five years after it was declared unconstitutional. The new bill is now ready for a full House vote after being approved on party lines in the House Judiciary Committee, the legislation's only committee stop.

Cuba's parliament isn't big on dissent. Most legislation that makes it to a vote is endorsed unanimously, as a matter of course. But Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro — and the niece of Fidel Castro — is making waves by voting "no" on a workers' rights bill, saying it didn't protect people with unconventional gender identities.

It seems that before the December 2013 vote was publicized recently in a Cuban blog, no one could recall anyone voting against a measure in Cuba's legislature. Some say a dissenting vote has simply never happened in Havana.

Hillsborough County Commissioners today voted to legislate protection of gay, bisexual and transgender people. If it is enacted in an upcoming session, the ordinance would be an about-face of a 1995 vote that excluded those civil rights protections.