Gainesville, Florida Voters Keep Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Voters in Gainesville, Florida voted 58 to 42 percent to maintain local anti-discrimination laws that protect individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure would have removed local discrimination protection for all groups that are not included in the Florida Civil Rights Act, which currently protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of “race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, marital and familial status,” according to the Associated Press.

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund said in a press release: “Voters rejected the right-wing’s attempts to make their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender friends, family and neighbors second-class citizens. While the opposition rooted its campaign in lies and scare tactics, fair-minded Gainesville voters knew that Charter Amendment 1 was really about discrimination.”

Joe Saunders, a spokesman for Equality is Gainesville’s Business, the group that campaigned against the measure, told the Associated Press that the measure “is about attacking the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community and repealing protections that are in place.” The measure’s supporters argued that the measure would allow men to use public women’s restrooms.


Associated Press 3/24/09; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund Press Release 3/24/09

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