Post submitted by Karl Bach, Campaign Manager, Jacksonville Coalition for Equality
In Jacksonville, FL Mayor Lenny Curry announced in January that he would be issuing a Mayoral Directive to protect City employees and contractors against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. This week our friends at the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality (jaxequality.org) announced that this Mayoral Directive has gone into effect.
Mayor Curry’s directive extends protections to hundreds of employees of the City itself and tens of thousands of employees at companies that contract with the city. It is the first time that LGBT people have ever had explicit protections in the laws of the city. Jacksonville was previously the largest city in America without any forms of protection for its LGBT citizens.
The move should help improve Jacksonville’s score on the Municipal Equality Index. In the 2015 MEI, Jacksonville had the lowest score in the state of Florida. Three cities in the state scored a perfect 100, Orlando, St Petersburg and Wilton Manors.
This makes clear how important this first step was for the city and that further action is still needed. The City Council recently tabled the Human Rights Ordinance it had been considering.