Florida Human Rights now extended to protect gay and trans people

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Mercedes Mehling via Unsplash

Although LGBTQ Floridians remain unprotected by state laws, you can now bring complaints to the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) which will investigate discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression.

If the FCHR finds the complaint valid they will refer it to state agencies, and if no state protections exist to federal law enforcement agencies.

Trump called Bostock v. Clayton County“shotgun blast to the face”.  His administration had no intention of enforcing it even in its narrowest sense. On the contrary, the DOJ under Trump filed numerous friend of court briefs in state court cases favoring LGBTQ discrimination.

This essential step by the Florida FCHR gives LGBTQ Floridians further impetus to demand that their lawmakers enact legislation so they can be equally protected under state law.

Commissioner Monica Cepero, who made the motion to affirm the Bostock ruling, praised her colleagues for clarifying fundamental protections for the LGBTQ community.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis for appointing me to the Florida Commission on Human Relations. It is noteworthy that the FCHR has recognized and embraced the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock ruling clarifying fundamental protections for the LGBTQ+ community. In my nearly 30 years of public service, I can’t think of many more significant milestones that I have been honored to be a part of. Discrimination in any form is unacceptable and I’m proud to be a part of a Commission that values equal treatment and has the courage to do the right thing to protect the residents of the State of Florida.”

Darren Dante Bonner, FCHR Investigator Specialist joined the zoom to clarify what the state agency can and can’t do. Mr. Bonner stressed that the FCHR has to receive the complaint from the individuals affected in a timely manner and preferably in writing for the process to start.

Additional Resources:

Report directly to the Floida FCHR fchr.myflorida.com

or

Report Discrimination: https://eqfl.org/discrimination_report


The Florida Commission on Human Relations statement.

NOTICE: On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court, in, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020), held that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of…sex” covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), as a Fair Employment Practice Agency under 29 C.F.R. sections 1601.70-1601.80, investigates employment discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act and Title VII, based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age, and marital status. Therefore, 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.”

“On January 20, 2021, President Biden, by Executive Order, indicated that it is the policy of his administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination by having all federal agencies (defined as any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. § 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. § 3502(5)) review all existing orders, regulations, guidance documents, policies, programs, or other agency action that were promulgated or are administered under Title VII or any other statute or regulation that prohibits sex discrimination. The Florida Commission on Human Relations will be watching for guidance from its federal partners, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, that may revise, suspend, or rescind previous agency actions that would impact its current procedures or processes.”

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender