Today, the Rules Committee for the Jacksonville City Council voted again to delay voting on the proposed human rights ordinance (HRO) change to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
The committee discussed the bill at large and an amendment that would strip out gender identity protections. If the words "gender identity and expression" are stripped out of the bill, the committee will leave lesbian, gay and bisexual people vulnerable to discrimination and completely leave out the transgender community. Jacksonville would then fail to protect the people who need it most, and fall out of line with what cities, counties and businesses across the country are already doing.
After discussion, the committee voted to defer until the next committee meeting on July 16. By deferring the bill again, the committee has pushed back the final vote for the HRO. The final vote for the bill was scheduled for June 26 and is now going to be sometime after July 16.
If you live, work or vote in Jacksonville, the council needs to hear from you now! Please call the council and demand gender identity be left in the bill by calling 904-630-1377.