Mayor Lenny Curry has announced an Executive Order that prohibits discrimination in the City of Jacksonville based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The order will cover employment by the city and will require contractors to also have policies in place.
In the memo to city employees, Mayor Curry stated that he does not think passage of the fully-inclusive HRO is "prudent," but the mayor confirmed with Jimmy Midyette - legislative director of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality - that he is not going to preempt the council process to pass the ordinance.
Read the full statement by the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality below:
Statement by the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality:
Mayor Curry and Councilman Jim Love Stand Up for Jacksonville LGBT Community
(Jacksonville) We’re pleased that Mayor Curry’s Executive Order prohibits discrimination in the City of Jacksonville based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The order will cover employment by the city and will require contractors to also have policies in place. This is an important step and a clear recognition of the need to protect LGBT people in Jacksonville, by requiring the same level of protection in employment as that provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). We are pleased that the Mayor has recognized the very real problem of discrimination in our City. We are heartened that Mayor Curry has taken the first step.
Mayor Curry has shown leadership on this issue after hearing directly from people in Jacksonville.
“The Mayor pledged to listen to the community and find a Jacksonville solution to the discrimination that those conversations revealed,” said Dan Merkan, chair, Jacksonville Coalition for Equality. “We thank Mayor Curry for keeping his word and for taking this important step in providing protections for those who work or do business with the city. Now we are focused on ensuring that those same protections extend to all who live and work and visit our city.”
“We will continue to support bill 2016-002, oppose the 2016-001 referendum bill, and work for full equality for all LGBT citizens of Jacksonville. Our City Council has been extremely professional in their handling of this important issue, and we will continue to work with our 19 members towards a successful conclusion to this process,” said Merkan.
Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love, a Republican who represents District 14, also announced that he would be co-sponsoring 2016-002. Love is joining Councilmembers Tommy Hazouri (D) and Aaron Bowman (R) in co-sponsoring legislation that will create lasting protections that the LGBT community and businesses can count on for years to come.
Equality Florida is a proud member of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality. The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality consists of many organizations including Jacksonville Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Human Rights Campaign, Equality Florida, We Are Straight Allies, ACLU of North Florida, PFLAG Jacksonville, JASMYN, OneJax and JAXX Black Pride as well as many other civic leaders, businesses and business owners, faith leaders and individuals. More information about the JCE is available at www.jaxequality.org.