The Jacksonville City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a bill that would expand protections for LGBT people.
It’s the third time Jacksonville council members have tried to pass a more inclusive human rights ordinance. The measure would ban discrimination in housing, jobs and public services. Meetings about past bills have drawn hundreds of people to council chambers — Tuesday is expected to be no different.
The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of already protected factors, including religion and race.
Republicans Jim Love and Aaron Bowman are sponsoring it along with Democrat Tommy Hazouri.
“It’s an issue that’s past due,” Hazouri said. “It’s something that should have been done yesterday. Really what it’s about is a statement of who we are. All we’re asking is that we do the same thing that we’re doing now for everybody in Jacksonville except for the LGBT community.”
After Tuesday’s public hearing, council members will discuss the bill during the second week of February and offer any suggestions for amendments. The legislation is slated to be officially voted on on February 14.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall.