Jacksonville HRO expansion opponents preview talking points, malign city council president - Florida Politics

Jacksonville HRO expansion opponents preview talking points, malign city council president

At Tuesday night’s Jacksonville City Council meeting, expect opponents of LGBT rights to use the following talking points against HRO expansion.

While advocates of expanding the Human Rights Ordinance believe that they have the votes to pass the third version of the bill, opponents see it as more of the same … and intend to tell the council about it.

Blake Harper, a vocal opponent of the bill, made some points in an email circulating on Jacksonville’s religious right.

Harper calls the bill the “LGBT railroad express,” and compared the process behind it to “Obamacare.”

Council President “Lori Boyer‘s (Pro LGBT, voted for the first LGBT law in 2012) intention [is] to get this done by February 14th, 2017…… [with] the bare minimum number of subcommittee meetings, the least amount of public input and scrutiny,” Harper said, before betraying a misunderstanding of the committee process itself.

“Boyer has established a clear practice of using the sub-committees to do the work.  The Council has rarely overturned the decision of the committees…. even to the point that City Council voted to allow liquor to be sold within previously iron-clad distances from churches,” Harper notes.

Harper then goes on to suggest the committee process itself is intended to be secret: “The committees meet during the work day…when hard-working people most impacted by this bill are not available. Also, they have stacked the Committees in favor of the HRO amendment.”

“IN SHORT………….they are trying to accomplish with this law what Obama tried to accomplish with Obama-care,” Harper writes.

The letter also includes commentary from Roger Gannam of the Liberty Counsel, who was ubiquitous during previous debates on the HRO.

Gannam calls it a “bad bill,” a rehash of the previous efforts.

“There are new words, but no added meaningful exemptions for religious citizens. Business owners who do not want to participate in someone else’s same-sex wedding receive no protection in the new HRO. Women and girls who do not want to share a public bathroom with a man dressed as a woman receive no protection in the new HRO,” Gannam notes.

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