Following the electoral defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, advocates and opponents of LGBT nondiscrimination are paying close attention to Jacksonville. Florida’s biggest city is also the largest in the nation to have never enacted legislation to protect the civil rights of the LGBT community.
LGBT groups have made a concerted effort to convince the Jacksonville City Council that the city’s human rights ordinance needs to be expanded to include LGBT people, and have spent tens of thousands of dollars to campaign for candidates that support LGBT nondiscrimination. The council is likely to vote on the issue next year.
At public forums convened by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who has not announced his position on nondiscrimination, proponents of expanding the civil rights ordinance have thus far been better organized than the opposition. Religious and conservative groups, however, have begun efforts to organize a unified movement to oppose the possible measure.