It's taking longer than it should, but a bill that forbids discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace is closer to being a reality.
On Tuesdays, a bipartisan group of legislators, movers, and shakers got together to say that it's bad for employers to discriminate against someone just because that person is gay. It's slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
Conspicuously absent from the proceedings was Sen. Marco Rubio.
Huh. Head scratcher!
Rubio has been long opposed to gay equality in the workplace and has even said that it should be legal for someone to fire an employee who's gay.
"By and large, I think all Americans should be protected, but I'm not for any special protections based on orientation," Rubio said about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act back in June.
And he's since played the Hey I'm not a bigot, I just think people should be hired based on their merits as a worker card, which makes about as much sense as anything you'll hear from Cottonmouth McGee.
Rubio isn't the only one who spoke out against the bill. Bill Nelson was also against the bill. That is, until, he actually spoke to people it would affect.
Nelson spoke with the advocacy group Equality Florida and has since changed his stance and joined the fight. (FLIPPY FLOPPER!)
"Rubio's problem is that he's proudly ignorant on what the bill would do to debunk talking points from the right wing think tanks he listens to," Nadine Smith CEO, Equality Florida, told New Times.
"We've challenged him to to talk to people who have been discriminated against."
Yeah, not gonna happen.
Meanwhile, GOPer State Reps. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, and Dave Hood, R-Daytona Beach Shores, have joined up with state Sen. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington; Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando; and Sen. Nelson to show their support for passing the bill.
"The simple truth in Florida today is that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people can be fired for who they are," Saunders said at a news conference in front of the Capitol's House chamber on Tuesday. "Protecting LGBT Floridians from discrimination isn't a new idea, and it isn't new policy."
And on the fringes is Rubio, who continues to be intellectually dishonest as he looks to oppress the gay and lesbian community of Florida. Because, PANDERING. (Also, ignorance).
At a speech at the CPAC gathering of angry GOPers in March, Rubio said he ain't no bigot.
"Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way," Rubio proclaimed to his fellow Gay Haters Who Are Not Bigots, "does not make me a bigot."
"Rubio's not even familiar with this bill," Smith tells New Times, bringing home the point that Rubes is an empty suit looking to pander to the far right.
"The bill would focus on qualifications. It's good for corporate America. He needs to look at that rather than focusing on this Orwellian speak that is substituted for real engagement and honest evaluation. He's just echoing talking points."
Yes, but deriding and being intolerant of an entire group of people based purely on the fact that they're different from you and actively denying them simple civil rights does not make you a close-minded bigot! At. All. Pffft.
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