February 15, 2017 – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hails the passage of a long-sought comprehensive human rights ordinance (HRO) in Jacksonville, which added protected categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to it’s already-existing HRO. We congratulate the Council on the passage of the HRO.
Regrettably, the State of Florida currently provides no anti-discrimination protections in employment, public accommodations, or housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. As a result, Floridians residing in or visiting cities and counties across the state that lack comprehensive local antidiscrimination protections are subject to discrimination without recourse because of who they are or love. While there was much opposition to the HRO fearing incursion into religious institutions and employers, multiple exemptions are already in place – striking an appropriate balance between religious freedom and civil rights.
ADL Florida Regional Director Hava L. Holzhauer issued the following statement:
“In the 21st century, no person should be subject to employment, housing, or public accommodations discrimination on the basis of any immutable characteristic, including sexual orientation or gender identity. Jacksonville, along with other Florida cities and counties, cannot wait for Tallahassee to act on this important issue. They must take a leadership role by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their HROs.”
Founded over a century ago, ADL is the nation’s leading civil rights and human relations organization, combatting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, as well as promoting understanding and diversity throughout the United States and abroad.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is one of the nation’s premier human relations and civil rights organizations, fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds.