Florida Realtors Support Fair Housing, Anti-Discrimination Measure before the Florida Legislature

State anti-discrimination protections a top priority for LGBT homebuyers

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – In a nationwide survey, 97 percent of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) respondents said living in a state with an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance is important, with three out of four respondents saying it is “very important.” This ranked second only to “living in a neighborhood with low crime.” Furthermore, 73 percent of LGBT people are strongly concerned about some aspect of housing discrimination, either in purchasing a home or renting.*

As real estate professionals embark upon the State Capitol for Great American Realtors Days on Jan. 12 and 13, Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) wants to thank Florida Realtors® for taking a stand as a member of the coalition of 36 major companies and organizations pushing for passage of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. The bipartisan legislation is filed as House Bill 45 by Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) and Senate Bill 120 by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Boynton Beach).

“We are thrilled to have Florida Realtors®, the state’s largest trade association, as a coalition partner,” said Patrick Slevin, FBCW campaign manager. “Their advocacy for fair-housing and property rights aligns with the coalition’s efforts to update the Civil Rights Act of 1992.”

While it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, the gay and transgender community is currently left out of statewide non-discrimination protections. The Competitive Workforce Act aims to address this by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the law.

“Florida Realtors® is pleased to support the Competitive Workforce Act to ensure everyone has an opportunity to realize the American dream of homeownership,” said Bill Martin, CEO of Florida Realtors®. “Our beautiful state has so much to offer to those who choose to make Florida their home.”

Top companies in the state have united to form the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition, which aims to grow Florida’s economy by attracting and retaining the best workers to the state with the promise of equal opportunity employment. Nine Fortune 500 companies AT&T, CSX, Darden Restaurants, Marriott, NextEra Energy, Office Depot, Tech Data, Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo have joined, with more than 400 local businesses on board.

The coalition is led by Patrick Geraghty, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Florida Blue in Jacksonville; John Tonnison, Executive Vice President and Worldwide CIO of Tech Data Corporation in Clearwater; and Philip Dinkins, Senior Vice President of Cushman & Wakefield in Tampa. They serve as president, secretary and treasurer of Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce, respectively.

*Statistics provided are from the 2015 LGBT Home Buyer and Seller Survey, conducted by The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.

###

About Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce
The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce Coalition is a 501c(4) whose mission is to support passing the Competitive Workforce Act, which would modernize state law to include anti-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The coalition believes that the Competitive Workforce Act will make Florida more competitive in the national and global marketplace in much the same way companies have benefitted from adopting anti-discrimination policies. For additional information, please go to www.FLCompetitiveWorkforce.com or visit the coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

About Florida Realtors®
The mission of Florida Realtors® is to advance Florida’s real estate industry by shaping public policy on real property issues; encouraging, promoting and teaching consistent standards for ethical practice and professionalism; and building on the efforts of local Boards/Associations to provide the information and tools members need to succeed. Florida Realtors® is the largest trade association in the state with more than 140,000 members. Learn more at www.FloridaRealtors.org.