Florida Business Groups Back Equality Act


Florida businesses and business groups have thrown their weight behind the passage of the Equality Act, a bill in Congress which would extend protected civil rights status to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Among the groups joining the chorus is the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

“Passage of the Equality Act isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s the smart thing to do economically,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Over 400 businesses nationwide have signed onto a letter backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers which advocates for the legislation. Professional sports teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also backing the effort.

The Equality Act is a priority piece of legislation by the President Joe Biden administration which would mandate businesses to conform to societal gender and sexuality norms, and businesses would not longer be permitted to utilize their right to deny a customer on the basis of gender and sexuality.

The chief court case reflecting this fight is between the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado, Jack Phillips, against the State of Colorado. Jack Phillips rose to notoriety after refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding in 2012.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center President, Ryan T. Anderson, has said the Equality Act would discriminate against religious institutions and would run in direct opposition to Title IX.

“It sacrifices the equality, safety, and privacy of women, while privileging men who identify as women: If this bill becomes law, they’d have a civil right to spend the night in a battered women’s shelter, disrobe in a women’s locker room, and compete on a women’s sports team—even children at K-12 public schools.”

“Religious institutions fare no better. Religious schools, adoption agencies, and other charities would face federal sanction for operating according to basic biology and mainstream Biblical teaching on sex and marriage. Outrageously, this act exempts itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Pope Francis would be treated as the legal equivalent of a Jim Crow segregationist.”

The Equality Act would also promote gender dysphoria, sexual ideologies, and abortion in new public-school curriculum, according to Melanie Israel who wrote for the Daily Signal.

“The Equality Act could lead to changes in school curricula, such as texts that affirm and promote controversial sexual orientation and gender identity viewpoints. 

“The Equality Act could also be used to override states that have prohibited sexual orientation and gender identity curricula. Where states have conversely mandated sexual orientation and gender identity curricula, parents and schools do not have access to “opt-out” options.”

Also, Florida-based consulting group, Ballard Partners, is supporting the legislation and is actively lobbying Congress to pass it.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 








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