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Atlantic Beach Lawmakers To Discuss Draft Human Rights Ordinance

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Atlantic Beach’s proposed Human Rights Ordinance is tentatively set to come before the City Commission sometime next month.Commissioner Maria Mark says the first time commission members got to read and discuss a draft of the proposed ordinance was at a special workshop held Wednesday.

Mark said this week's meeting ended with more questions than answers, leaving the HRO in the hands of City Attorney Richard Komando.

“The city attorney is going to be contacting each commissioner and hopefully will be able to resolve whatever issues they may have with the ordinance and then we will hold another workshop,” she said.

Mark said they’re aiming for April, but the actual date is still up in the air since the commission also plans to hold a town hall meeting and a pre-budget workshop that month as well.

Atlantic Beach’s proposed ordinance would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation and expression.   

Mark said there have been some concerns about possible exemptions for small businesses and religious groups, but she’s confident they will be worked out.

In 2012 the Jacksonville City Council failed to pass an amendment to the city's existing ordinance adding protections for gender identity and sexual orientation.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.