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Jacksonville, FL Anti-Discrimination LGBT Ordinance Struck Down by Court

Jacksonville, Florida’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, was deemed unenforceable in a unanimous appellate court decision Friday and struck down on Friday.

The reason for the court’s decision supposedly had to do with Jacksonville’s City Council and the way it handled the ordinance saying that it would amend the anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, but the council never actually did that.

“Instead of setting out the full text of the amendments in context, the proposed ordinance stated that the City’s office of general counsel would write the amended ordinance later,” the court ruled. “That had not happened yet when Appellants filed their original or amended complaints. There was no full-text version of each amended provision showing the insertion of new language.

″… Without all of that, an amendment is just an idea. Ideas alone are not enforceable.

Roger Gannam, the assistant vice president of legal affairs at the anti-LGBT hate group the Liberty Counsel. who both lobbied against the ordinance and who brought the lawsuit against the city, said he believed the City Council tried to file a shorter version of the bill so that it would seem like it wasn’t a significant change.

Incoming Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri said if the city’s lawyers decide not to appeal, then the council should quickly pass a technical fix, rather than re-debating the issue or passing a stronger form of the law.

“We meant what we said, and we said what we meant,” he said. “I’m not looking at a second bite. I’m looking to correct what the courts have asked us to do.”

He also said the court was “blind to justice” and he faulted the court for being “pretty conservative.”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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