As people of faith, we believe Florida must update its existing anti-discrimination laws to include LGBTQ people and avoid passing laws that would harm Floridians by allowing religion to be used as weapon to discriminate.
Florida is one of 32 states without a fully inclusive statewide anti-discrimination law, despite the fact that 73% of Floridians support such legislation. By failing to stand up to discrimination against LGBTQ people, we send an unintentional message that we condone it. We must ensure that Florida is a safe place to live, work, and play for all people, including our gay and lesbian neighbors.
The Competitive Workforce Act would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee simply based on that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It would reinforce the principle that employment decisions should be based upon a person’s qualifications and job performance, and that LGBTQ people deserve to be treated fairly under the law.
We also stand in opposition to any legislation that would allow religion to be used as a license to discriminate. As faith leaders from diverse traditions, we believe freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. Religious freedom does not give any of us the right to harm others.
Our faith is central to our lives. We support ALL families working and living in our community. We have our differences but what’s most important is what we have in common: a commitment to treating others as we want to be treated.
We encourage our state’s leadership to join us in our vision of a Florida as a state that values and protects everyone, regardless of who they are and who they love.