Though some religious organizations, such as the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, liken expanding Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to the “darkest days of World War II,” other groups have different takes.
On Jan. 26, the Anti-Defamation League sent Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry a letter, urging Jacksonville to take a “leadership role by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the HRO.
In fact, the ADL claims the proposed ordinance — 2017-15 — doesn’t go far enough.
The “exemption for religious institutions and non-profit affiliated organizations appears to go well beyond the religious exemption found in analogous federal employment discrimination, public accommodations, and fair housing laws,” the ADL asserts.
The “religious exemption as currently written is overly broad,” the ADL adds.
The ADL also calls the allegations that the bill’s public accommodations requirement pose a threat to public safety “completely unfounded,” especially in light of extant state laws prohibiting assault, molestation, et al.
The controversy over the proposed expansion of the HRO continues this week, with a press conference in Jacksonville’s city hall opposing expansion Tuesday afternoon, followed up by a Thursday “public notice” meeting on the topic.