Sexual orientation discrimination barred by bill sponsored by Holly Raschein and Joe Saunders

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Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression would be added to the list of ways in which people couldn’t be discriminated against under a bill filed Thursday in the House by two freshman legislators.

The Florida Civil Rights Act already bans discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and marital status, and the bill (HB 653) would add the other items.

The law also already bans discrimination based on “handicap,” and the measure filed this week would change that phrase to disability. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Holly Raschein, a Key Largo Republican, and Rep. Joe Saunders, a Democrat from Orlando, who is one of two openly gay legislators elected last year. A Senate version of the bill (SB 710) is sponsored by Sen. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington.

Via The News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.