Jacksonville Expands Human Rights Ordinance

The Jacksonville City Council voted to expand the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) on February 14. The bill, sponsored by Council Members Aaron Bowman, Tommy Hazouri and Jim Love, added the words sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing HRO which prohibits discrimination for public accommodations, employment and housing.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry returned the bill without a signature, making the HRO expansion law.  Amendments to the bill exempted religious organizations from complying with the order, expanded the exemption for small businesses from fifteen or fewer employees to fifty or fewer and eliminated jail time as a penalty for violating the HRO in any way.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD, tweeted about the City Council’s vote, calling it “refreshing.”  The measure passed 12-6. While the bill is not perfect, a crowd still gathered outside City Hall after the bill was passed to celebrate.

Here is how each City Council member voted on HRO expansion:
Matt Schellenberg – No
Reggie Gaffney – Yes
Aaron Bowman – Yes
Reginald Brown – Yes
Greg Anderson – Yes
Al Ferraro – No
Samuel Newby – No
Anna Lopez Brosche – Yes
John Crescimbeni – Yes
Lori Boyer, council president – Yes
Garret Dennis -Yes
Jim Love – Yes
Joyce Morgan – Yes
Scott Wilson- Yes
Katrina Brown – Absent
Danny Becton – No
Doyle Carter – No
Bill Gulliford – No
Tommy Hazouri – Yes


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