Equality Florida ( eqfl.org ) -- by brittany March 3, 2015
Lawmakers could criminalize use of public facilities by transgender Floridians, Businesses would face fines and lawsuits for refusing to discriminate
(March 3, 2015) A bill that requires businesses to discriminate against transgender employees and customers and creates a legal quagmire for business and property owners will be heard in a Florida House subcommittee Wednesday.
State Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami-Dade, wants to require people using single-sex public facilities to be able to prove their gender or face arrest if they cannot. House Bill 583 would enshrine transgender discrimination into state law and overrule local protections that transgender people in many parts of the state now enjoy.
The proposed law would also invade people’s privacy and pose a particular threat to the safety of transgender people, who are the targets of Artiles’s bill.
“It’s dehumanizing,” said Gina Duncan, a transgender woman who works with the advocacy group TransAction Florida. “This bill invents a problem that simply doesn't exist. Transgender people need to use the restroom the same as anyone. If anything, we want and need to be protected from undue attention and harassment -- not be told we’re committing a crime if someone thinks we’re in the wrong place.”
The bill also makes schools and businesses liable for monetary damages. A person can collect a financial award if they feel they've encountered a person in a public single-sex facility who shouldn't have been there.
Please sign petiton - http://www.savedade.org/stophb583
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