VICTORY: Jacksonville City Council Passes LGBT-Inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance

By Adam Polaski • February 14, 2017 • 6:58 pm

Today, February 14, the City Council in Jacksonville, Florida passed the #JaxHRO, which updates the Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance to ensure that LGBT people are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Jacksonville is the twelfth largest city in the United States and one of the few top cities where LGBT people are not explicitly protected from discrimination.

The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, which has worked for years to pass the vital non-discrimination protections, reported today:

The HRO establishes protections in housing, employment and public accommodations, such as restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues, for people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Jacksonville’s current HRO already protects people from discrimination based on other factors like race and gender. This is a tremendous victory this is for fairness and equality—as well as every single person who worked so hard to bring about this moment.

Shortly after the vote, Mayor Lenny Curry announced that he would allow the ordinance to take effect without his signature. As of today, thousands of people in Jacksonville are officially protected from anti-LGBT discrimination, a tremendous victory.

Dan Merkan, chair of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, said today:

“This is an historic moment for Jacksonville and for everyone who believes in equality under the law. For the first time, most people living in or visiting Jacksonville will be protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. We hope that this measure will not only protect the LGBT community, but that it will be a sign to the rest of the country that Jacksonville is an open and welcoming place for everyone.”

Kasey Suffredini, Chief Program Officer for Freedom for All Americans, celebrated the victory today:

“This is an important step for LGBT equality in Jacksonville, one of the largest cities in the country that has lacked these basic protections under the law. These much-needed protections will ensure that no person can be refused service, fired from their job or kicked out of their home simply for being who they are.”

The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality has been working hard to pass the update to the #JaxHRO – and in recent months Freedom for All Americans has been proud to serve as a partner organization on the campaign. Learn more the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality here. 

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