Last night, the Jacksonville City Council voted to withdraw a bill that would have updated the existing Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to include LGBT residents. Immediately following, the city council voted to withdraw legislation opposed by HRC and our allies that would have put LGBT civil rights up for referendum on the August 2016 Primary ballot. Local Jacksonville leaders from the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality spoke at the hearing, sharing that while this was an unfortunate delay, our coalition would continue fighting until every LGBT family in Jacksonville is protected from discrimination.
In the last few months, HRC members, supporters and our allies have come out in unprecedented ways to call for action from Jacksonville leaders. From the thousands who attended Mayor Curry’s HRO Community Conversations and City Council meetings, to one-on-one messages and meetings with decision makers. Hundreds of local business and faith leaders and community members have voiced their support.
Mayor Lenny Curry’s recent directive to prohibit workplace discrimination against LGBT city employees and vendors for the first time in Jacksonville's history is an example of the progress we’ve made. HRC celebrates this progress even as we double down on our commitment for protections that include every family who lives, works or visits Jacksonville.
HRC and our partners in the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality remain grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Councilmembers Tommy Hazouri, Aaron Bowman and Jim Love who voiced their resolve last night to continue fighting for LGBT protections.
Shortly after the conclusion of last night’s City Council hearing, supporters of HRO expansion began a march and Rally through the streets of downtown Jacksonville reinforcing the commitment to keeping fighting for protections.
HRC is a founding member of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality and, while disappointed by the setback from yesterday’s vote, remains committed to bringing protections for our LGBT