Joe Gruters files bill protecting anti-vaxxers from discrimination

Sen. Joe Gruters wants everyone who can to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but businesses better not start discriminating against those who don’t.

The Sarasota Republican filed legislation (SB 364) Tuesday that would prohibit discrimination “on the basis of personal health information.” In short, the Senator doesn’t want stores and restaurants demanding to see papers verifying customers had their shots.

“My fear is, you already see people showing vaccine cards,” he said. “I’m not anti-vaccine, I assure you. Go out and get it. But some people will choose not to be vaccinated, and they should not be discriminated against in public. I believe in the freedom to choose.”

Gruters distanced himself from politicians who have stoked anti-vaccination sentiment, pointing to comments by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who as recently as October said she wouldn’t trust a vaccine pushed by President Donald Trump until scientists she trusted gave their approval.

But whether someone decides not to take the vaccine or not shouldn’t determine if they get a table at a restaurant or are allowed to shop in a local store, Gruters believes.

Gruters noted it’s not just rhetoric that will stop some people from receiving shots. Many

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