human rights ordinance

Republican Party of Florida

Updated 5:42 p.m. on 01/29/16 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is changing the city’s employment policy to prohibit discrimination of any kind. In a memo to city employees Friday, the mayor said he’s aligning with federal hiring standards.

Jacksonville City Hall
Ray Hollister / WJCT News


The Jacksonville community will have several opportunities to tell the full City Council their feelings about possibly expanding the city’s human-rights ordinance to include gay and transgender people.



City Hall
Ray Hollister / WJCT News


The Jacksonville City Council’s first meeting of the new year kicked off with hours of public comment Tuesday evening – most of it about two proposed bills that could expand anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender residents.


Beatrice Sanchez / WJCT News

Jacksonville clergy spoke out in favor of expanding Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBT residents on Monday. 

Jacksonville Baptist Rev. Torin Dailey is one of more than 100 religious leaders who support a bill that will be introduced Tuesday in City Council

Dailey says his support for the bill comes from his religion.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News


Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri is pitching his human rights ordinance bill in one-on-one meetings with other council members. His first one, with Councilman Aaron Bowman, was Wednesday afternoon.

"He had some great questions to ask about the language, that we have to make sure that it’s in plain English and people understand what it does instead of having a whole list, a parade of horribles out there, people saying the sky is falling," Hazouri said after the meeting. "And it’s not falling.”

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

It was standing room only at Tuesday’s community forum on Jacksonville’s human-rights ordinance.

The panel discussion was the third and final one hosted by  Mayor Lenny Curry as he considers expanding anti-discrimination protections to LGBT residents.

We discuss the week's top news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Larry Hannan, Florida Times-Union reporter; Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly writer; A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics writer; and Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor.

Topics include the Jacksonville City Council a $90 million deal with the Jaguars Shad Khan for a new amphitheater and field upgrades, continued discussion about the city's human rights ordinance, and the future of the Jacksonville Skyway.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Thursday, around 20 black pastors spoke against an inclusive human rights ordinance at First Timothy Baptist Church on Jacksonville’s Northside.

A bill hasn’t been introduced by City Council, but if one is, it's expected to protect people based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in the areas on employment, housing and public accommodations.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Thursday evening, hundreds of people packed the bleachers of the Edward Waters auditorium. It was the second community meeting Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry held to examine the inclusiveness of the city’s human rights ordinance, and clergy were the focus.



Melissa Ross / WJCT News

Openly-gay Houston, Texas Mayor Annise Parker shared advice about equal rights at a Democratic gala in Jacksonville Monday night.

Houston made headlines last month when city residents voted down an equal rights ordinance already passed by the Houston City Council. It banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among a list of other areas.

Three years ago, Reverend R.L. Gundy of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church was a vocal opponent of updating Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 

But now, Gundy has changed his mind, saying it's time to "move the city forward." And he has joined a coalition of about 50 local faith leaders in support of updating the human rights ordinance.

We speak with Reverend R.L. Gundy about his change of position.


Fliers for the Ku Klux Klan that were thrown onto properties around Jacksonville last week are just the beginning of a major recruitment drive, according to a KKK leader.

A man who identified himself as a Grand Dragon with the KKK said membership in Jacksonville alone is about 1,500 right now, including members who are doctors, paramedics and fast-food workers.

Grand Dragon Ken, who said he oversees the Florida Realm, told News4Jax that the recruitment effort is statewide.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

The first of three community conversations organized by Mayor Lenny Curry to talk about the need for a human rights ordinance drew a standing room only crowd last night.

At issue is whether to expand the city’s anti-discrimination law to include protections for members of Jacksonville’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

gay pride flag
Ted Eytan / Flickr

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry will host a series of “community conversations” over the next several weeks on the topic of a more inclusive city human rights ordinance.

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics writer; and Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly reporter.

Topics include the controversial remarks made by State Rep. Janet Adkins concerning Congresswoman Corrine Brown's district, tensions between Mayor Lenny Curry and the JEA Board of Directors, and more.

We discuss the week's top news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Paula Horvath, Florida Times-Union columnist; Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; Susan Eastman, Folio Weekly reporter; and A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics reporter.

Topics include Tropical Storm Erika, this week's Florida Mental Health Summit, and local business and civic leaders pushing for Mayor Lenny Curry to lead a community discussion about the city's Human Rights Ordinance.

John Stinson / Twitter

Atlantic Beach businessman John Stinson is running for city commissioner against incumbent Maria Mark this month.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Stinson talked about some of the leading issues in his campaign.

“I chose to run for office because during the [human rights ordinance] debate I heard the comment was made that 'some things are too important to let the voters decide,'” Stinson said.

City of Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach City Commissioner Maria Mark is running for re-election this month after occupying the position for the past four years.

Mark is best known for leading the effort to pass the first and only inclusive human rights ordinance or HRO in Northeast Florida. The ordinance bans acts of discrimination against LGBT residents and visitors in Atlantic Beach.

Atlantic Beach City Commissioner Maria Mark is currently running for re-election against challenger John Stinson. Mark is best known for leading the effort to pass the first and only inclusive Human Rights Ordinance in Northeast Florida. The city of Atlantic Beach passed an inclusive HRO in August of 2014. We speak with Maria Mark about this and other key issues in her campaign.

Shannon LeDuke / WJCT

Several new members of the Jacksonville City Council ran on the platform of supporting an expanded human-rights ordinance that would protect LGBT people.

Advocates say they are confident the new makeup of the council will lead to its passage after the council voted it down three years ago.

“To me, it was a great night for equality in Jacksonville,” said Jimmy Midyette, the chair of the Northeast Florida LGBT Leadership Action Pac.

He says voters overwhelmingly chose candidates in favor of protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

 A coalition of business groups has sent a letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott and legislative leaders. The businesses, including Jacksonville-based Florida Blue, are pleading for a law banning workplace discrimination against LGBT people.

In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr shares with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo how the issue has been playing out in the Jacksonville mayor’s race.

Shannon LeDuke / WJCT

The issue of LGBT equality has emerged as one of the issues playing a role in Jacksonville’s mayor and City Council races. The recently formed LGBT Leadership political action committee has endorsed candidates who say they are in favor of updating the city’s human rights ordinance to cover LGBT citizens. We speak with PAC vice chairman and Jacksonville attorney Jimmy Midyette.

We get a preview of this week’s seventh annual Autism Symposium from Dr. Bryan King and Dr. Raphael Bernier of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Autism Symposium program manager Jackie Bargas.

Eric Wagner / Flickr

Though same-sex marriage was recently legalized in Florida, Jacksonville LGBT advocates say they’re not finished fighting for equal rights. They’re seeking to update local laws.

As same-sex marriage couples secure marriage licenses, they’re also getting an array of new rights. But at the same time, Jacksonville lacks an ordinance protecting gay people from discrimination.

Attorney and co-founder of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality Jimmy Midyette says people who exercise their constitutional right to marry can still face problems at work or home.

Wikimedia Commons

The interfaith group OneJax held the latest in their Civil Discourse discussion series last week about an issue that will most likely play a role in Jacksonville's mayoral and City Council elections: the city's human rights ordinance.

gay pride flag
Ted Eytan / Flickr

With a unanimous four to nothing vote, Atlantic Beach this week became the first city in Northeast Florida to adopt a Human Rights Ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.  

gay pride flag
Ted Eytan / Flickr

This week the city of Atlantic Beach moved ahead with a potential update of its Human Rights Ordinance.

Kevin Daniels, Rayne Perrywinkle and climate change are in the headlines today.

Wikimedia Commons

With Jacksonville's 2015 mayoral race underway, it's clear that the addition of protections for certain people under the city's Human Rights Ordinance will be an election issue. Here are the specifics of the HRO expansion bill that failed in 2012.

Wikimedia Commons

Atlantic Beach’s proposed Human Rights Ordinance is tentatively set to come before the City Commission sometime next month.

UNFPORL / Twitter

A new University of North Florida poll is giving local officials an idea of how Jacksonville feels about everything from pension reform to an updating the city's human rights ordinance.