A Look at Florida’s LGBT Protections
After the shooting at the nightclub in Orlando in June, some LGBT citizens (rightfully so) questioned whether the legal culture in the state of Florida perhaps implied that affording LGBT individuals fewer rights than others was an acceptable practice. For example, Florida still does not provide the LGBT community with protection from discrimination in the workplace and in housing, as the state legislature failed to pass a bill that would have ensured that protection in February of this year. In addition, Florida still permits psychological treatment geared towards changing a person’s sexual orientation (to heterosexual) to be performed on minors, a method that was denounced by the American Psychological Association years ago.
However, some cities have stronger protections in place than the state; for example, Orlando does protect sexual orientation regarding discrimination in employment and housing in its human rights ordinance.
Regression In Spite Of Progress
Sadly, the Orlando shooting—the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history—just happens to mark the first year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that marriage—regardless of sex—is a constitutional right. Florida courts also overturned the state’s discriminator ban on gay adoption six years ago; the bill would have allowed private agencies to refuse adoptions to people based on “religious” or moral convictions or policies.”
However, the fight for equality is still far from over. Bias in the workplace still remains a serious issue, and some businesses are now even pushing for the passage of laws that would explicitly allow them to discriminate against LGBT customers.
Rather than rely on the states to, individually, start to make things equal, additional federal legislation ensuring equal protection can help move the states along in mandating equality. Meanwhile, the new documentary, The Freedom to Marry, will be premiering around the country in cities like San Francisco, covering last year’s victory for the marriage equality movement. Those behind the documentary described “[winning] in the court of public opinion in order to then be able to win in the court of law” as the momentum behind the court’s decision. As public opinion is changed, so too will family law become more equal here in the state of Florida.
Florida Family Law Attorney Serving LGBT Community
Florida family law is constantly in a state of flux when it comes to LGBT issues. In seeking legal counsel, it is important to work with someone who is familiar with the ins and outs of how the law is changing for the LGBT community, and can help you reach your goals based on what is available to work with. At the law office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., we are proud to serve LGBT individuals and couples with all their needs—adoption, prenuptial agreements, divorces, etc. Contact us today at our Fort Lauderdale office.