In Florida, as across the country, LGBTQ+ protections often do not fully protect individuals from harassment and discrimination, reports Equality Florida. Last November, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report urging Congress to pass nationwide, comprehensive nondiscrimination policies that protect LGBTQ+ individuals.

Advice from Equality Florida, as well as a number of other LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations and social science studies and surveys, led the Commission to create the report. They found that many city- and state-wide LGBTQ+ protections create a “patchwork” that does not fully address all the issues.

According to Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality, “This [the commission’s] finding also applies to the state level and speaks to the need for Florida to pass a comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination law.”

While many cities have LGBTQ+ protections in place, there is currently no statewide law in Florida, meaning that about 40% of LGBTQ+ individuals are left vulnerable to discrimination in fields like housing and employment.

Says Duncan, “Florida is poised to be the breakthrough state in the South and pass statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. And a victory in Florida would have a nationwide effect. Winning protections in a Republican-dominated state will break the logjam in the South and show that LGBTQ equality is a bipartisan issue. This is needed to win protections at the federal level.”

Read Equality Florida’s article here.