LGBT RIGHTS

HB 623 / SB 666 Creating Special Rights for LGBT Citizens or “Florida’s Competitive Workforce Act”
Sponsors: Rep. Ben Diamond (D), Rep. Rene Plasencia (R), Sen. Jeff Clemens (D)

The worst bill in the Florida Legislature because of its effect on public safety and freedom of conscience. It adds sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to Florida’s Civil Rights Act of 1992 as impermissible grounds for discrimination. This bill provides a new way for LGBT individuals to sue employers and small businesses for discrimination.  Would allow men access to use women’s showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.

A full list of House and Senate co-sponsors.

HB 659 / SB 742 Creating Special Rights for LGBT Citizens in Housing
Sponsors: Rep. Holly Merrill Raschein (R), Sen. Jack Latvala (R)

Adds sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s Fair Housing Act as impermissible grounds for discrimination.  Provides a new way for those in the LGBT community to sue property owners, rental agencies, real estate firms, etc. for discrimination. Would allow men access into women’s domestic violence and homeless shelters.

HB 273 / SB 578 Banning Conversion Therapy
Sponsors: Rep. David Richardson (D), Sen. Jeff Clemens (D)

This bill makes it unlawful for people in Florida who are licensed to provide professional counseling and others, like pastors who are licensed counselors, to counsel youth under the age of 18 struggling with their “sexual orientation and/or gender identity” to think and live in a heterosexual manner consistent with their biological gender, even if the child (as the patient) asks for their help to do so.

 

GAMBLING

SB 8 Gaming Expansion Bill
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Galvano (R)

This bill is a massive and unprecedented expansion of gambling in the State of Florida. It ratifies and amends the 2015 Seminole Gaming Compact to allow lottery tickets at gas pumps, slot machines, blackjack, poker games, and fantasy sports to be offered across Florida.  SB 8 would allow 24/7 slot machines in the state wherever approved in a countywide referendum and would permit free or reduced-price alcoholic beverages to be served to those using the slots.  Furthermore, it would allow horse and dog tracks to quit live races and replace the live races with other types of gambling while giving $20 million of taxpayer dollars annually to live thoroughbred racing.  Lastly, it creates an “Office of Amusements” to allow and oversee fantasy sports gaming.

 

ABORTION

HB 6025 / SB 1114 Abortion Funding and Abortion Clinic Records
Sponsors: Rep. Lori Berman (D), Sen. Jeff Clemens (D)

Removes a prohibition against taxpayer dollars going to organizations/clinics that perform abortions. Removes the requirement that the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) review at least 50% of patient records.

 

MARRIAGE

HB 6041 / SB 1174 Marriage Equality
Sponsors: Rep. David Richardson (D), Sen. Gary Farmer

Removes the language in the statute which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying and the State of Florida from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states.

 

ALCOHOL

HB 81 / SB 106 Hard Liquor in Grocery Stores
Sponsors: Rep. Bryan Avila (R), Sen. Anitere Flores (R)

Often called “Whiskey and Wheaties,” this bill would allow grocery stores and large retail stores to sell hard liquor in their main store rather than building or renting a separate store to sell liquor. It would also allow stores to have an entrance that physically connects a liquor store with a retail store.  Lastly, it would also allow smaller, hard liquor bottles to be sold in larger bins next to other products giving greater access to both kids and shoplifters.