North Port approves Human Rights Ordinance

By : Jeremy Williams
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North Port, Fla. – The North Port City Commission voted 3-1 to approve a city wide Human Rights Ordinance Oct. 27.

The HRO bans discrimination against employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The only no vote came from Commissioner Linda Yates who stated that she voted no because the city ordinance did not include all protected classes under the state and federal law.

More than a dozen supporters, all dressed in red shirts, attended the special session of the city commission to watch all present members cast a yes vote.

Commissioner Cheryl Cook was absent from the meeting. She left earlier in the day, saying she was not feeling well.

The HRO vote, originally scheduled for Oct. 26 during the city commission’s usual meeting, was given a special session to allow ample time for the city to advertise the HRO vote in the local newspaper, according to the county clerk office.

Equality Florida’s Ken Shelin, who is also a former Vice-Mayor of Sarasota, brought the issue of an HRO to North Port mayor Rhonda DiFranco, who then brought it before the City Commission.

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