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Leaders show support for anti-discrimination bill

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Updated: 6/12/2012 11:43 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former mayors and council presidents threw their weight behind an anti-discrimination bill.

The bill would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. It's a bill meant to change the current anti discrimination law to reflect the rights of gay and lesbian people in the community.

While there's a lot of opposition, some heavy hitters are weighing in. "It's about time we ended the debate and got the vote done," said former mayor John Delaney.
Delaney stood united with former mayor John Peyton and 10 former city council presidents. They're making sure current city council leaders are listening. "I'm doing it for my children, grand children and the city," said former president Eric Smith. "It's a fairness issue for everyone in the city," said former president Alberta Hipps.

The big question is, why did it take all the former leaders to step in. "It's why in the hell can't we be open as a society and be fair to people," said former council president Bill Basford.
Right now the bill is still in committee. The city council president expects there to be a vote in the next couple weeks.
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bigmomma - 6/14/2012 6:14 AM
0 Votes
If you're anti-Obama, you're a racist. If you're against 2012-296' you're a bigot. If you're against amoral behavior you're a hypocrite. Tolerence works both ways folks.

Justice - 6/13/2012 9:52 PM
0 Votes
It's so simple. Lets assure equality for all of Jacksonville's citizens. Not just for some. Not just for a few religious fundamentalists. Not just for bigots. Not just for purple skinned people with green teeth and horns. FOR EVERYONE. C'mon people. This is America. Get with it already. We are pretty much the last big city in the country to need to do this. We are way behind. The rest of the country is kicking our ass. Let's move Jacksonville forward.

Jim Moody - 6/13/2012 7:22 PM
2 Votes
If you need a soundbite, here it is. Discrimination and hate always lose. You may choose to delay, but you will not defeat. Your children will correct your mistake. History proves that.

Jim Moody - 6/13/2012 7:20 PM
1 Vote
(continued from previous)on the Sabbath are also sins among many others. What Jesus said (I'm a Christian, a Baptist, ordained and I know my bible) on the subject is nothing. Nothing at all. He did say that a man who puts away his wife and takes another forces her to commit adultery. How many of you (and our council members) are divorced and remarried? Jesus also spoke of taking the LOG from your own eye before attempting to remove the speck from another's. And in the end, the religion argument fails because we are a nation of laws. Based in Judeo-Christian principles for sure, but a nation of laws. Being a gay person is not a crime. Being a pedophile is (and should be) a crime. Children, animals, the dead (thank you Councilwoman Daniels for that one!) are not capable of consent. Having sexual relations with those who cannot consent will always be a crime. Hence the failure of argument #4: the slippery slope. Bottom line is this: The honest truth if you care to own it is that if you oppose this measure your statement is as follows - "I don't like you. I don't like the choices you make or the way you live. And I, because of the choices I make and the way I live am superior to you. You do not deserve what I have." That, friends is the truth. And the truth is unamerican, unkind, immoral and decidedly un-Christlike.

Jim Moody - 6/13/2012 7:10 PM
2 Votes
#1: The "choice" argument. If you believe being gay is a choice, fine. Many, many choices made by Jacksonville, Florida and U.S. Citizens are protected by law. The freedom of association, the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion are three that come to mind. Not ONE of those choices is inhibited by this bill. You may freely associate (or choose not to associate) with whomever you choose on your own time, in your own home and in your own church. You may not, however, refuse to be a team-member at work with your gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered co-worker. #2: The "behavior" argument: Sexual orientation and gender identity/expression should not be protected because they are behaviors, not inherent/immutable traits like race, for instance. Homphobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression is EXACTLY like racism. Racism never was and is not solely based on the color of a person's skin. White folk were fine with black folk who "behaved appropriately". White folk did not want their children to be "corrupted" by black music, dance style, manner of dress or language. Those are cultural and behavioral issues, not issues of skin color. Sexual orientation need not be acted on. You can be gay and celibate. And as long as you look, act and express yourself as "straight" then you're fine. You can "pass". Same for light-skinned colored folks and those black folk who were willing to behave in a manner deemed appropriate by the white majority. The fact that you can't "tell by looking" that someone is gay or straight or transgendered might lead you to actually befriend and embrace a GLBT person. What a horrible thought. #3: The "Christian" argument: The Bible says that being gay is a sin. Well, no, it doesn't. It says that two persons of the same gender having sex is a sin. It also says that divorce, adultery, inhospitality, coveting, clothing woven of two fabrics, shellfish, pork and working (continued)

Jimmy Midyette - 6/13/2012 6:56 PM
3 Votes
Thank you to Mayors Delaney and Peyton and all the former City Council Presidents for supporting 2012-296! Nondiscriminations ordinances like this one are already the law of the land in Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Daytona Beach. In none of those places are people's religious freedom threatened. None of them have been overrun with lawsuits. There's a lot of misinformation being spread by opponents of the bill. It's actually a very simple bill that does a very simple thing: makes Jacksonville a better place to live for everyone, gay or straight.

Asgard - 6/13/2012 6:46 PM
0 Votes
What about reverse discrimination? I see preferential treatment of fellow employees who are openly Gay everyday in my place of employment. I have witnessed harassment by these same employees against heterosexuals. They say some perspective "key individuals" have declined coming to Jacksonville because they wouldn't feel comfortable in this community without this kind of "protection". Let me clue you people in. I have a sister who is Gay and she came down from Upstate New York two years ago for a visit. She could not get over how many blatantly Gay individuals there are in Jacksonville. She also could not believe how much reverse discrimination she was witnessing, discrimination against heterosexuals in preference of Gays. This from a Gay woman from New York State. My take on the whole discrimination situation here in Florida... You all are a bunch of cowards hiding behind bills and public opinion because you are too afraid to speak out and say what you really think and feel. How many times have I heard at work, "Sssshhh! Don't let them hear you say that. They'll get mad..." Just because I speak my own mind. Or have we done away with the freedom of speech down here in the South as well.

RCNMagazine - 6/13/2012 6:45 PM
2 Votes
When you see such a display of bigotry and hatred at the City Hall against a group of individuals within one's community, then the City Council has to know that this group has to be protected. From the blaming of gays on Ketrina to Beryl and rains the evidence is clear that LGBT needs protections with Jacksonville. NO ONE should be fearful nor experience discrimination without some course of action for remedy. The bill should include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. NO EXCEPTIONS! Be have always feared what they do not understand.

tolmaril - 6/13/2012 6:44 PM
1 Vote
I would enjoy seeing the response to HRO 2012-296 if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn't include "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin". Replace "Sexual Orientation" in 296 with Race, Color, Religion, Sex or National Origin and see how many people would stand up asking for protection. Councilperson Kimberly Daniels made a valid point that defeats her own argument in a very convoluted way - even though she didn't realize it and went way around the world to say it - if everyone had the same protections, then none of us would "need" them, have to fear losing them or have to fear no longer being a protected class - we would all be the same...that is really the whole point of this, correct? Any one person who actually believes that pedophilia or “blatant sexuality displays” (whatever that means) will be promoted or supported by 296 are sadly mistaken. This issue concerns equal rights for all. Remember, hetero is a sexual orientation as well. No one is asking to be a 'super class' or receive any special treatment, just to receive equal treatment without fear of reprisal for being who they are. Sexual Orientation is not a choice, but I can choose what church I attend or join. This is only common sense people. How many times is "love thy neighbor as thyself" repeated in the Bible? How would you feel if you could be fired, refused service or denied housing because of who you love? Please think about that.

bigmomma - 6/13/2012 6:40 PM
1 Vote
I'm sick to death of having to defend my morality. What the heck is going on in our society? The social acceptance of amoral behavior needs to stop. The slow progression of indoctrination is having a devastating affect on our children. Behaviors outside the norm should be kept private. The small minority should not be given power over the majority. No to 296!
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