Florida lags behind the times when it comes to LGBT protections. As you might know, it’s perfectly legal for an employer to fire you simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (footnote 1).
However, several cities have stepped up to the plate to provide the protections that the state does not. And, in a recently released report, my hometown of Tampa, Fla., is one of the cities leading the way, scoring 97 on the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. Just across the bay, St. Petersburg scored a perfect 100. The average for cities in Florida is 65 (footnote 2).
These two cities are moving very quickly to reduce discrimination and promote a pro-equality agenda. One year ago, Tampa scored 89 and St. Petersburg got only 66.
The scores are important because they’re a clear signal to everyone that these cities are welcoming places for LGBT people to live and work. Businesses can’t afford to lose talented workers because of discrimination at any level of government. While I don’t think these scores are going to change the tone in Tallahassee (footnote 3), they represent real points of progress.
1. And, after last week’s disappointing election, it’s foolish to think that the state legislature is going to change this any time soon.
2. Read the Tampa Bay Times’ article here.
3. See footnote 1.