Email insights: Jax Coalition for Equality responds to OGC anti-discrimination study

jacksonville equality

Florida Politics was the first to bring you a full breakdown of the Jacksonville Office of General Counsel’s 19-page memo documenting its study of anti-discrimination laws, released Tuesday afternoon. The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality is the first to respond.

“The Office of General Counsel’s study on non-discrimination laws found that there is no negative impact on cities and counties with protections in place for the LGBT community throughout Florida and the nation. The study released today also shows Jacksonville is the most populous city in the United States that does not offer protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations,” the email stated.

The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality is optimistic about the prospects for a renewed Human Rights Ordinance.

“The  results of the study make clear that Jacksonville has fallen behind. We look forward to working with the new Mayor and the new City Council to make expanding the existing Human Rights Ordinance a priority once their work of passing a budget is completed,” said Dan Merkan, chairman of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality. “Discrimination against the LGBT community is, unfortunately, a reality in Jacksonville and we look to our leaders to secure equal opportunity for all.  We were heartened by Mr. (Lenny) Curry’s comments showing a willingness to move this issue forward.”

In conversation Tuesday, new Curry Chief of Staff Kerri Stewart told Florida Politics that the mayor-elect “will lead on the issue, and convene [stakeholders] sooner rather than later” after the independent audit and the budget process, she said.

Two former mayors, including one on council, support a renewed push for a Human Rights Ordinance.

The 2014 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), a national ranking of cities based on their nondiscrimination protections placed Jacksonville in the bottom 15 percent of cities with a score of 20 points out of a possible 100, according to the JCE email.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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