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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida filed a lawsuit today in Pensacola on behalf of Nevaeh Love, a transgender woman who was ejected from a place of public accommodation because she is transgender.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations has already determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that unlawful discrimination in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act occurred. That finding allowed Ms. Love to file this lawsuit, which seeks to establish that Florida’s prohibition on sex discrimination in public accommodations protects transgender Floridians.

“All people—including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender—should be treated fairly, and our laws should protect LGBT people equally,” stated ACLU of Florida attorney Benjamin Stevenson.

“Although Florida is the third-largest state in the nation, it is one of the decreasing number of states that fail to offer explicit, basic protections to LGBT people in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. Because there is still no statewide law that explicitly prohibits discrimination against LGBT people, LGBT people may be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied service at public accommodations, such as what our client experienced. Our families and our state deserve better. It’s time for Florida to update its laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination, but where the legislature refuses to act, we will do so.

“The Florida Commission on Human Relations recognizes that an unlawful practice occurred against Love, but to guarantee Florida is a safe place for all people to work and live, we need to ensure that our courts agree that Florida’s current nondiscrimination laws protect LGBT Floridians too. That’s why we’re filing this lawsuit.”

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