Last week, Florida Rep. Julio Gonzalez introduced HB 401, a discriminatory bill that would amend the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1998 to expressly allow individuals to discriminate in select circumstances. It is clear that this is intended to allow for discrimination against LGBT people and other minority groups.
According to the Herald Tribune, “It (HB 401) states that individuals, businesses with five or fewer owners, religious institutions and businesses operated by religious institutions are ‘not required to produce, create, or deliver a product or service’ to a customer if they have a religious or moral objection.” In addition, it would allow for discrimination by adoption agencies and health-related services.
This isn’t the first discriminatory bill introduced in Florida this year. In April, a bill was introduced that would have enshrined special discrimination rights. It would have allowed any private adoption agency – both secular and religious, and including agencies that receive taxpayer dollars – to discriminate against prospective parents based on the agency's religious or political beliefs, including those regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, and even support for the Second Amendment. An anti-transgender "bathroom surveillance" bill was also introduced. Both failed to pass the state legislature.
HB 401 doesn’t just threaten the LGBT community. It also will affect women, members of minority faiths and communities of color.
With over 100 anti-LGBT bills introduced this year, HRC has been on the ground in several states fighting against the rising tide of legislation and opposition to LGBT equality.
For more information on these dangerous anti-equality and anti-business bills, visit: www.hrc.org/RFRA