Atlantic City Beach to consider adding a human rights ordinance

By : Staff Report
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Atlantic Beach – The fight for LGBT equality has moved to one north Florida beach community, Atlantic Beach, where City Commissioners are considering a Human Rights Ordinance.

A public workshop is scheduled to discuss the issue on Nov. 25.

The HRO would protect against discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or veteran’s status in housing, employment and places of public accommodation.

The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality has garnered the support of City Commissioner Maria Mark for creation of the ordinance. The organization approached her after the Jacksonville City Council turned down a similar bill in August 2012 in a highly contested 10-9 vote.

Workshops are scheduled to discuss business for the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting, which is set for Dec. 9. Commissioners will talk about wording of the ordinance and how it might be enforced.

Polling done by University of North Florida Professor Michael Binder shows that the majority of beach residents in Duval County support a human rights ordinance.

While Atlantic Beach has some wording against discrimination in its housing code, the ordinance would be designed to strengthen that language and add protections in the workplace and public accommodations.

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