Despite Tommy Hazouri choosing to withdraw the HRO expansion bill (and taking the slings and arrows of character assassination from HRO expansion advocates in the process), the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality remains steadfast in its commitment to a fully inclusive bill.
A long statement from the JCE had a couple of interesting sentences. One of them: “We look forward to the reintroduction of a fully inclusive HRO bill in the near future.”
And the other? “We must continue to hold our leaders accountable to the commitments they’ve made.”
Many candidates running for City Council last year, including Anna Brosche, Joyce Morgan, Garrett Dennis, and Katrina Brown, said they supported HRO expansion.
However, it didn’t work out that way in the current legislative process. Morgan demurred from co-sponsoring, as did Brosche, who distanced herself from her previously fervent support for the HRO expansion before the election.
Dennis and Brown, likewise, had opportunities to co-sponsor legislation. They didn’t.
Despite the feeling of some in the business community that an incrementalist approach is the way forward, Jimmy Midyette of the JCE says, to borrow a phrase from Milli Vanilli, that it’s “all or nothing.”
“We’ll sink the whole thing before we let that happen,” Midyette posted to Facebook in response to someone bringing up a possible “compromise” bill that downplayed protections for the transgender community.
“Aside from it being the wrong thing to do,” Midyette added, “it killed us in 2012.”
Midyette, going forward, will be attempting to whip the votes of the campaign trail enthusiasts that got cold feet once legislation was in front of Council.
Good luck with that.
One reason for the withdrawal was practical: Hazouri was aware that his measure didn’t have the votes. And the difference was those who were enthusiastic last spring backing off this winter.