News Sunshine State

Equality Florida To Honor Congresswoman Holly Raschein

Written by Agenda Florida

The state’s largest gay-rights group will give its highest honor this year to state Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) for her determination in trying to pass an anti-discrimination bill that state lawmakers recently killed yet again. Rschein will be honored March 19 at the 16th annual Equality Florida Key West Gala, beginning at 5:30 pm at the Garden Hotel, 526 Angela Street, Key West, FL 33040.

 The bill — this year Raschein’s House Bill 45 and the companion Senate Bill 120 — would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s civil-rights law. Versions of it have languished in Tallahassee for a decade but Raschein has no plans to give up on it.

“We’re talking about a major policy shift here,” she said. “The civil-rights movement in the 1960s didn’t end overnight. Slavery didn’t end overnight.”

Raschein was the first Republican in the Florida Legislature to sponsor the bill to protect LGBT people in the workplace, a measure backed by some of the state’s largest corporations, such as Disney, Winn-Dixie, Marriott and Well Fargo through a group called Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce.

Equality Florida said in a statement it’s honoring Raschein because “she is building a truly bi-partisan coalition to ban discrimination, strengthen Florida’s economy and improve Florida’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive state.”

is free and open to the public, but organizers ask those attending to RSVP via The event doubles as a fundraiser for the group.

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