ABC Fine Wine & Spirits the latest company to halt donations to school voucher program
Equality Florida speaks at a rally.

Equality Florida
Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bank, Cigar City Brewing and Wyndham Destinations also halted their donations.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is the latest company to announce it will halt its donations to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program until it stops schools from discriminating against LGBTQ and transgender students.

This week, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bank, Cigar City Brewing and Wyndham Destinations also announced decisions to halt donations to the voucher program.

A spokesman for Step Up for Students, the scholarship-funding agency that administers most of the tax credit program, said Wells Fargo last gave a donation in 2018. He did not address the issue of schools having anti-LGBTQ policies getting state funding. Cigar City Brewing said it has not donated since 2018.

The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that more than $105 million from the tax credit program went to more than 150 Christian schools with anti-LGBTQ policies last year. 

LGBTQ rights advocates, Democratic Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith, called out corporations they say support anti-discrimination and donate to Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program during an event earlier this week. Fifth Third Bank made its announcement the next day.

Eskamani and Sen. Daryl Rouson are sponsoring bills (SB 56 and HB 45) that would prohibit schools that accept state funding from discriminating against gay, transgender and disabled students. 

Legislation expanding school choice scholarship programs (PCB EDC 20-01) passed the House Education Committee this week. It would raise the cap for the Family Empowerment Scholarship from 18,000 students to 28,000 students. The bill would also reduce the amount of audits organizations such as Step Up for Students must submit to, from once a year to once every three years.

Sullivan said the recommendation to increase the time period between audits came from the Auditor General. But Eskamani and Smith criticized that aspect, saying the program already lacks transparency.

Senate Education Chair Manny Diaz said he hasn’t heard from any families that they’ve been discriminated against. 

“It seems to me like there’s clearly an agenda behind this,” the Hialeah Gardens Republican said. “But at the end of the day, what makes school choice so powerful is that those parents is going to put that child, their child, in the best possible situation and we need to continue to give them that option.”

Sarah Mueller

Sarah Mueller has extensive experience covering public policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010. She began her career covering local government in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. She returned to school in 2016 to earn a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting. Since then, she’s worked in public radio covering state politics in Illinois, Florida and Delaware. If you'd like to contact her, send an email to [email protected].


  • Paula

    January 31, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Good for you, ABC Fine Wines & Spirits!

  • gary

    February 1, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Whatever… I will just make sure to not restock my bar from ABC for now on! Suck it ABC!

    MAGA 2020

    • Doug

      February 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm

      Gary, A typical Trump loving Cheeto red neck

  • Seber Newsome III

    February 2, 2020 at 11:56 am

    That is child abuse, a small child holding a sign saying Trans lives matter. Im sure that small child does not even know what trans means, but, she will, if she is allowed to be around this bunch of freaks. God is watching what they do.

Comments are closed.


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