The Florida legislature is mounting a sneak attack against LGBT writes bills all across Florida. Our friend, Melanie Nathan, at Gay USA reports:
A dangerous bill racing through the Florida legislature would overturn several of Florida’s strongest local LGBT rights policies and would block future policies statewide. SB 726 by Senator Simmons is a way to eliminate requirements on what kind of benefits businesses must offer their employees. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and a Senate companion bill is also close to passage. Senator Simmons’ bill prohibits local governments from requiring companies that they do business with to have family leave for domestic partners and would invalidate policies that already exist. The House version of the bill, HB 655 by Representative Precourt, would eliminate equal benefits ordinances (EBO). EBOs require that companies, who contract with a particular city or county, provide the same benefits to domestic partners that they do to married spouses. In other words, if health insurance is available to spouses, it would need to be available to domestic partners. If no benefits are available to spouses, they would not be required to be available for domestic partners.
The bill, if it passes could eliminate years of progress made at the local level across the state of Florida.