Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce wants gay-rights law passed again

An appeals court threw the law out.

The status of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance, which protects jobs, housing, and bathroom access for LGBT people, is currently up in the air after an adverse court ruling.

Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal sided with plaintiffs challenging the legislation earlier this month, and the Chamber of Commerce, which backed the legislation last decade, wants the Jacksonville City Council to reaffirm it.

“Making sure that everyone in our community is protected from discrimination is and always will be a top priority for the Chamber,” JAX Chamber Chair Henry Brown said Thursday, after the Chamber board voted unanimously to take the position.

“Passing the HRO in 2017 told everyone outside the community what we already know – that we are an inclusive, welcoming community where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. We support the effort to correct this technical issue and pass the legislation as intended three years ago.”

The bill passed 12-6 in 2017, approved by a City Council that has seen change in membership since, shepherded along by a business community that realized the legislation needed to pass so Jacksonville would not lose competitive advantage in corporate recruitment.

Cure legislation is headed to Council committees next week, with the full Council to then hear the bill.

The law hasn’t been a big talker in Jacksonville in the three years since it passed, as advocates, including former Council President Aaron Bowman and current Vice President Tommy Hazouri have been quick to point out.

However, the discussion of LGBT rights leading up to the bill’s ratification was as fractious as anything since school integration last century, and there are expectations that the religious right may attempt to derail reratification.

General Counsel Jason Gabriel decried the appeals court ruling as “mind-boggling” and “bizarre,” but LGBT rights groups, as well as those on the right, have rallied their partisans in preparation for a showdown over cure legislation in the coming weeks.

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Reb

    May 21, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    I am confused, how does the HRO protect bathroom rights?? It allows men to go into the bathroom with little girls, women and old lady’s. How is this protection for real women.. If this passes, I say we stage a protest at city hall, and a bunch of men, go into the women’s bathroom on the. first floor of city hall, because, we might just feel like women on that particular day??? Do you think that people will wake up then, or is it going to take someone assaulted by a transgender before it is abolished???

  • Bill

    May 22, 2020 at 4:34 am

    People shouldn’t be fired just because they’re gay. The bathroom thing is an unrelated distraction.

    • Reb

      May 24, 2020 at 11:38 am

      How is the so called bathroom thing an unrelated distraction??? That is most absurd comment I have seen. I guess if a little girl goes into the bathroom and a tranny comes in too, that is unrelated? how? a man in the bathroom with a little girl?? Bill must be a tranny

  • Christian

    May 22, 2020 at 12:17 pm


    It is written. God’s will on this matter is abundantly clear. We all should know this already. They are rebellious and put others at high risk. Have you ever heard of AIDS? Have you ever read the Bible? Have you ever read the Bible story of Sodom and Gomorrah that was destroyed by fire and stones? Have you ever read American history, our Christian Forefathers who wrote, “One nation under God” and “In God we trust.”? The evidence is abundantly clear. If you want to practice this type of rebellion against God and his people, leave America and go to Godless or atheist country. Obedience is better than sacrifice. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Go and sin no more!

  • ad2020

    May 22, 2020 at 3:19 pm


    So what can we do, when the City Council thinks it knows best?

    Hold them accountable if and when this law causes sexual predator crime to increase.

    OR>..give immunity to businessess and individuals, just like businesses want immunity for opening up during the Covid Crisis.

    Unindended consequences.

    Just realize that there was nothing before the HRO bill passed…so they passed the bill in 2017 and said this would allow the BLTQRS “community” to file suits. almost nothing has happened in the years since it was passed.

    Captain Obvious must be at work here.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn