Jacksonville HRO Passes City Council

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After several failed attempts, Jacksonville City Council finally passed a Human Rights Ordinance expansion that includes LGBT people in local anti discrimination protections under some conditions.

The Ordinance faced stiff opposition from the usual suspects, and was largely negotiated through the skills of Jimmy Midyette, who persevered through a few terrible disappointments in previous years.

Remembering the bitter let down the first time, check out our video right after the first rejection of the HRO.

Jimmy Midyette after the HRO failed the first time around. Looking back on this video, I realize how much he really took the circus to heart. I wish I had taken a moment to be nicer to him. God Bless you Jimmy. Lets get the TOUGH going now.

Posted by Stephen Dare on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jimmy Midyette after the HRO failed the first time around. Looking back on this video, I realize how much he really took the circus to heart. I wish I had taken a moment to be nicer to him. God Bless you Jimmy. Your perseverance paid off exactly as you promised.

Also from the same night, former Councilwoman Denise Lee got it right.

Denise Lee on the best way to pass the HRO moments after the first time it failed. Apparently just showing up at the ballot box wasn't enough

Posted by Stephen Dare on Thursday, February 18, 2016

During the last council election, both Tommy Hazouri and Anna Brosche were elected to council, replacing two of the more vocal anti HRO members.

Elections do have consequences.

On Valentine’s day 2017, the City Council decisively voted for the HRO with a Veto proof 12 to 6 vote.

This happened despite several asinine attempts by Bill Gulliford to cancel the bill, speak against the bill and otherwise add amendments to send the bill to referendum.

Mayor Curry passed the bill back unvetoed but unsigned to Council and it became law.

The law amends the city’s current discrimination protections to include LGBT people. Discrimination complaints are investigated by the city’s Human Rights Commission, and violations are punishable by a $500 fine.

The law includes a controversial set of exemptions that exempts small businesses with less than 15 employees from the ban on employment discriminati0n. It also exempts religious organizations from all of the discrimination prohibitions.

The Roll Call of the Votes:

For The HRO: Greg Anderson, Aaron Bowman, Lori Boyer, Anna Brosche, Reginald Brown, John Crescimbeni, Garrett Dennis, Reginald Gaffney, Tommy Hazouri, Jim Love, Joyce Morgan, Scott Wilson

Against the HRO: Danny Becton, Doyle Carter, Al Ferraro, Bill Gulliford, Sam Newby, Matt Schellenberg

Good job to all the many activists who stayed the course, and especially (for sentimental reasons) Jimmy Midyette.

A job well done.

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