John M. Becker

Anti-Discrimination Measures Pass in Orlando, Fail in Baton Rouge

Filed By John M. Becker | August 14, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: anti-discrimination ordinance, Baton Rouge, Florida, Louisiana, nondiscrimination ordinance, Orlando, transgender protections

baton-rouge-council.jpgLast night, Baton Rouge, Louisiana became the third city in a week to reject an LGBT rights ordinance.

Local CBS affiliate WAFB-TV has the story:

The EBR Metro Council has voted against the controversial fairness ordinance by a vote of 8 to 4. Councilmembers John Delgado, Donna Collins-Lewis, Chandler Loupe, and C. Denise Marcelle all voted in favor of the ordinance. The ordinance would have made it illegal to discriminate against veterans, seniors and members of the gay, lesbian and transgender communities in Baton Rouge when it comes to employment, housing and public accommodations.

The vote comes after public comments and opinions from both sides were shared at its July 22 meeting for more than three hours, but the council couldn't vote due to time limits.

Councilwoman Marcelle, who proposed the ordinance, said during the debate that she'd received anonymous, threatening hate mail at her home as a result.

Blogger Joe Jervis adds that local business groups supported the measure but anti-gay groups campaigned against it and demonstrated outside the city council chambers before yesterday's vote.

An trans rights ordinance in Orlando, Florida fared better this week. Details after the break.

orlando-skyline.jpgOn Monday night, the Orlando City Council unanimously approved a measure that makes the city's non-discrimination ordinance transgender-inclusive. Via the Orlando Sentinel:

The move prohibits Orlando businesses from denying jobs or promotions, turning away renters or buyers of homes or refusing service at restaurants, bars, hotels and other accommodations to people because they are transgender.

"It cannot be overstated how important this is. For the first time, we have an anti-discrimination ordinance that protects all people," said Gina Duncan, who has worked with Orlando officials on the issue as transgender inclusion director for Equality Florida.

Ten people reportedly showed up to speak before the vote, and every one of them supported the measure. This was a marked shift from just twelve years ago, when the city's move to add sexual orientation protections caused tremendous controversy and opponents flooded public hearings to register their disgust and compare homosexuality to pedophilia. Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Sentinel that Orlando has changed for the better in the intervening years:

"We've gotten to the point where we can do -- with very little controversy -- things we ought to be doing, so I'm very proud of that."


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