[BREAKING NEWS] Jacksonville City Council Rejects LGBT Protections 17-2

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Posted on August 15, 2012 - 7:42pm by Anonymous.

Tonight by a vote of 17 to 2, the Jacksonville City Council voted to reject bill 2012-296 - a fully-inclusive measure that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s Human Rights Ordinance (HRO).

Before the final vote, several attempts were made to amend the bill by stripping out gender identity protections - all of which failed. In the end, bill sponsor Warren Jones and Denise Lee were the only two members of the council who voted in favor of the fully inclusive final bill.

We are proud to have worked side-by-side with thoses who dedicated years in pursuing full equality in Jacksonville. From the volunteers leading the Jacksonville Committee for Equality and the business leaders who lobbied and took out full page ads calling for both sexual orientation and gender identity to be added to the Councilmembers who pledged their immediate support to a bill that would leave no one behind. And we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in the trenches.

We stand resolved with the hundreds who have crowded council chambers and overcome fear to tell their stories and had to endure the vile and hateful rhetoric of those who oppose any protection for the LGBT community. Even before the vote, the courage of ordinary people and the visible support from business, faith community leaders alike have changed the political and cultural landscape forever. They called the question and the majority of Jacksonville lined up on the side of equality.

Below is an excerpt from a statement issued by local leadership team, the Jacksonville Committee for Equality:

We will continue the conversations that we began with those who voted against the bill tonight. We believe that given more time and discussion, we will be able to persuade a majority of the City Council of the great need to pass a Human Rights Ordinance amendment that covers sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

For the past two years, the LGBT community and our allies have grown a grassroots political network that has made the issues, concerns, and status of the LGBT community a part of the civic discourse in Jacksonville. We will continue to nurture and grow our political network and will return to the City Council as many times as is necessary until justice is done.


Clint Davis (not verified) says:

August 15, 2012 - 8:55pm

I'm so sorry about the loss tonight, but equality will eventually prevail. Standing with you from DC!

Anonymous (not verified) says:

August 15, 2012 - 9:24pm

Glad that morality still is in the hearts of the South

Anonymous (not verified) says:

August 15, 2012 - 9:26pm

Its still a long road, but keep fighting!!! It will happen!! Equality will happen for us all!! A friend in Oregon..

Anonymous (not verified) says:

August 15, 2012 - 9:42pm

Keep fighting! Standing with you from Europe.

sad in jax (not verified) says:

August 15, 2012 - 10:27pm

There is so much more to this story - I am so sad and deeply ashamed of my city. I believe in the coming days that a lot will be uncovered about why council member votes were changed and many council members were not present.

Kimmie (not verified) says:

August 16, 2012 - 3:33am

Figures someone would try do the usual and throw us Ts under the bus as a sacrifice to help themselves. All too often we've heard "We'll drop you now, gets ours, and then help you get yours afterwards" and instead get left behind. Thank you Denise Lee and Warren Jones for standing by all of us!

Anonymous (not verified) says:

August 16, 2012 - 10:08am

Its funny every argument against LBGT equality was used against every other ethnic group and religious affiliation some time in the last 50-60 years. It was stupid then and its stupid now.

The same relgious fools that were against -I don't know take your pick (Interacial Marriage, Jewish People, Black people, Asian People) are using the same arguments they used then now...

Tara (not verified) says:

August 16, 2012 - 11:38pm

I am living in Nassau County but have been following the progress of this much needed wording added to the HRO. Not only because it is just the civil and humane thing to do but also because it means a great deal to myself and my family. I have to say that I will really consider next time we are heading to Jax for a night out or to go shopping. I think that my family will keep ourselves and our money in Nassau County. It seems that given the chance, the leader's of Jacksonville (which should represent the voice of the people) have said loud and clear that they do not accept the LGBT community and will not even extend the protections afforded to all other human beings so that the human beings in our community aren't discriminated against. This is such a sad day for me to realize how ignorant that so many people in Jacksonville still are, and it is unfortunate that ignorance often causes fear. I wish better for the world that our son is growing up in.

Shea (not verified) says:

August 17, 2012 - 9:03am

My family (2 moms, 4 children) moved to Jacksonville in 2004 and while I was concerned at the time about moving to such a oppressive city the people we met won us over. I don't believe that the people's voice of Jacksonville were heard in this vote. Let us all remember this when it is time to vote again!


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