LGBTA Democratic Caucus Announces Legislative Report Card

Today, the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus unveiled our priorities for the 2018 Legislative Session, and announced we would provide letter grades to lawmakers. It’s the first time the Caucus is tracking legislative activity and rating lawmakers on their support of bills in the legislative process.

Too many elected officials in the Legislature spend time advancing bills, issues and causes that are out of step with the majority of Floridians. We want to encourage movement on issues that matter to our members, as well as to Floridians all across the state. This report card tracks common sense measures that will improve life in Florida.

As you know, Caucus members are in Tallahassee January 29 and 30 meeting with legislators for our annual Lobby Days, and we’ll be discussing our priority bills for this session. Please contact your legislators to urge their sponsorship of these bills, or thank them for already signing on.

SUPPORT “Prohibited Discrimination”
HB 347 / SB 66
Provides that sexual orientation & gender identity are impermissible grounds for discrimination in public lodging establishments & public food service establishments; revises provisions of Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 and Fair Housing Act to include sexual orientation & gender identity; provides exception for constitutionally protected free exercise of religion.

House Sponsor(s): Diamond; Plasencia
House Co-Sponsor(s): Abruzzo; Alexander; Antone; Asencio; Ausley; Berman; Brown; Clemons; Cortes, J.; Cruz; Davis; DuBose; Duran; Edwards-Walpole; Fitzenhagen; Geller; Goodson; Gruters; Hager; Hardemon; Henry; Jacobs; Jacquet; Jenne; Jones; Killebrew; Latvala; Mariano; Massullo; Mercado; Miller, M.; Moskowitz; Newton; Peters; Raschein; Richardson; Russell; Santiago; Shaw; Silvers; Slosberg; Smith; Stark; Toledo; Watson, C.; Willhite; Williams

Senate Sponsor(s): Rousen
Senate Co-Sponsor(s): Thurston; Stewart; Bracy; Book; Rodriguez; Young; Taddeo; Farmer; Braynon; Torres; Garcia; Powell; Montford; Rader; Gibson; Flores

SUPPORT “Marriage Equality”
HB 6027 / SB 130
Repeals provisions of Florida law declared unconstitutional by state and federal courts.

House Sponsor(s): Richardson
House Co-Sponsor(s): Jenne; Smith

Senate Sponsor(s): Farmer
Senate Co-Sponsor(s):Rodriguez

SUPPORT “Conversion Therapy”
HB 717 / SB 696
Defines “conversion therapy”; prohibits person who is licensed to provide professional counseling or practitioner who is licensed under provisions regulating practice of medicine, osteopathic medicine, psychology, clinical social work, marriage & family therapy, or mental health counseling from practicing or performing conversion therapy with an individual who is younger than specified age; provides that such person or practitioner is subject to specified disciplinary proceedings.

House Sponsor(s): Jenne; Silvers
House Co-Sponsor(s):Berman; Smith; Watson, C.

Senate Sponsor(s): Rodriguez
Senate Co-Sponsor(s): Farmer; Book

SUPPORT “Crimes Evidencing Prejudice”
HB 211 / SB 588
Expanding grounds for the reclassification of crimes to include prejudice based on the gender or gender identity of the victim; expanding grounds for reclassification of crimes to include prejudice based on a disability of the victim, etc.

House Sponsor(s): Geller; Jacquet
House Co-Sponsor(s): Berman; Jenne; Smith

Senate Sponsor(s): Rader
Senate Co-Sponsor(s):n/a

SUPPORT “Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines; Gun Safety”
HB 219 / SB 196
Prohibits sale of automatic weapons and large capacity magazines.

House Sponsor(s): Smith
House Co-Sponsor(s):Cortes, J.; Geller; Mercado; Richardson

Senate Sponsor(s): Stewart
Senate Co-Sponsor(s):Taddeo

SUPPORT “Bump-Fire Stocks”
HB 321 / SB 456
Prohibits the importation, transfer, distribution, import, sale, giving, or possession of a bump-fire stock in Florida; authorizes a person to relinquish a bump-fire stock to a law enforcement agency or the Department of Law Enforcement, etc.

House Sponsor(s): Richardson
House Co-Sponsor(s):Cortes, J.; Diamond; Duran; Geller; Smith

Senate Sponsor(s): Stewart
Senate Co-Sponsor(s):n/a

SUPPORT “Discrimination in Labor and Employment”
HB 393 / SB 594
Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act. Revises provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity; prohibits an employer from providing less favorable employment opportunities to employees based on their sex or gender identity; creates the Halen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act; etc.

House Sponsor(s): Berman; Cruz
House Co-Sponsor(s) Abruzzo; Davis; Geller; Jacquet; Jenne; Mercado; Richardson; Smith

Senate Sponsor(s): Stewart
Senate Co-Sponsor(s) n/a

SUPPORT “Access to Clinics”
HB 189 / SB 320
Prohibits person from committing certain acts against reproductive health services clients, providers, or assistants; prohibits person from damaging certain properties; provides penalties & requirements for departures from sentences & fines; provides civil remedies for those aggrieved by specific violations against reproductive health services clients, providers or assistants or against certain properties; authorizes civil actions for such violations; requires court to take actions necessary to safeguard health, safety or privacy of certain people & entities.”

House Sponsor(s): Mercado
House Co-Sponsor(s):Diamond; Geller; Richardson; Smith

Senate Sponsor(s): Stewart
Senate Co-Sponsor(s): n/a

In addition, we oppose the following piece of legislation:

OPPOSE “License to Discriminate”
HB 871 / SB 1290
Designates act “Free Enterprise Protection Act”; prohibits certain discriminatory actions by governmental entities against business entities.

House Sponsor(s): Fant
House Co-sponsor(s): Plakon

Senate Sponsor(s): Baxley
Senate Co-Sponsor(s): n/a

Democratic Members will be assigned a letter grade of A through F for their sponsorship or cosponsorship of these bills. Grades are assigned to sponsorships because there’s no guarantee a bill will come to a vote. Additionally, we may adjust grades based on other activities lawmakers make in support of these bills and LGBTQ Floridians.

6 Sponsorships = A
5 Sponsorships = B
4 Sponsorships = C
3 Sponsorships = D
2 or fewer Sponsorships = F

Our Legislative Director Elizabeth McCarthy has a great take on this project: “Every member of the Legislature represents the LGBT community, and we anticipate that this effort will strengthen our ties to elected officials and help them to understand our issues. Like all Floridians, we support equality for all, and we expect to live and work in safety and without discrimination. These are issues that should not be controversial in 2018.”

Final grades will be issued at the end of the Legislative Session in March.