Jacksonville passes LGBT rights bill for the second and final time

The move reinstates the law, struck down on a technicality.

On Tuesday night, the Jacksonville City Council passed LGBT rights legislation for the second time in three and a half years.

The 2020 passage was necessary to correct an appeals court ruling pointing out flaws in how the bill was presented in 2017.

But unlike that pitched debate, which came after a five year process of false starts, this year’s  15-4 vote was a formality.

No Council members spoke on the bill before passage.

In three City Council committees, 13 of the 19 members of the Council voted for the current measure, which clarifies code references that were deemed to be less than fully fleshed out.

Despite the need to pass the bill again, it’s effectively the same product: an expanded Human Rights Ordinance that protects housing, jobs, and public accommodations for people, regardless of their sexual identities.

The bill passed 12-6 in 2017, approved by a City Council that has seen change in membership since. There have been few claims brought up since.

Republican Mayor Lenny Curry did not back the legislation, which became law without his signature. This year, however, he has vowed to sign the bill.

When the Human Rights Ordinance expansion was passed in 2017, Curry, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, let the bill become law without his signature, contending the legislation was not necessary because the city didn’t discriminate.

But this time around, he is more pliable.

“The HRO is back because of a technicality in the law,” Curry said last month. “The bill has been law for a number of years. I’ll sign the bill if the City Council corrects the technicality.”

Jacksonville had one of the worst ratings for LGBT rights in a major city before the HRO passed, according to the Human Rights Campaign, but great strides have been made since.

A rating of 23 out of 100 in 2015 surged to 79 out of 100 in 2019.

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


  • feel like a woman :)

    June 9, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Now, I will go into the women’s bathroom at city hall, even though I am a man, but, who knows, on any given day I might feel like a woman,, according to the HRO, you can do that,, so see ya

    • Katniss Davis

      June 10, 2020 at 10:33 am

      Oh,does our wanting and needing the same rights as any other human being trample on your bigoted, transphobic “privilege”? What a fucking “entitled” douchebag 👿

      • Jon

        June 10, 2020 at 2:46 pm

        GET HELP KATNISS! You clearly need therapy to help you with your anger

  • Frankie M.

    June 9, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    The people of Jax do (not) discriminate as evidenced by the comments here. —Lenny Curry circa 2017

  • Just The Facts

    June 10, 2020 at 9:01 am

    No debate the night of the vote on the most controversial bill in the city’s history!

    Make sense?

    Mayor Curry vows to veto the bill while running and now says he will sign it!

    Honest leadership?

    This law is based on the concept of “you create your reality that everyone must acknowledge”!

    In the 21st century?

    Search “Audacity Movie: love can’t stay silent”

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