Friday, February 19, 2016

HRC tries to put a positive face on Jacksonville - Liberty Counsel takes credit

“Does Mayor Lenny Curry know that he is dealing with a certified hate group in Liberty Counsel?”
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry
Thursday evening proponents of an inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance for Jacksonville withdrew the bill in the face of insufficient support. According to the Human Rights Campaign:
Local Jacksonville leaders from the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality spoke at the hearing, sharing that while this was an unfortunate delay, our coalition would continue fighting until every LGBT family in Jacksonville is protected from discrimination.
Noting some recent Progress:
Mayor Lenny Curry’s recent directive to prohibit workplace discrimination against LGBT city employees and vendors for the first time in Jacksonville's history is an example of the progress we’ve made. HRC celebrates this progress even as we double down on our commitment for protections that include every family who lives, works or visits Jacksonville.
Mat Staver, leader of the anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel, sent out an email this afternoon with a slightly  different tone:
Either of the proposed bills would have granted enormous power to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission to investigate complaints against law-abiding citizens of Jacksonville, subpoena their documents, impose fines and attorney's fees, sue them in court, and refer their cases for criminal prosecution.
If the bill passes (eventually it will)  then “law abiding citizens” will not discriminate against LGBT citizens in employment, housing and public accommodations. Staver goes on to explain why the bill failed:
Last year Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry invited Roger Gannam, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, to speak at three public community meetings where the proposed laws were debated. After those meetings, Mayor Curry announced his conclusion that the new laws are not needed. In the wake of these public debates and the Mayor's announcement, Liberty Counsel joined leading Jacksonville pastors from every part of the city in a landmark press conference urging the City Council Members to vote against the ordinances for the sake of religious liberty and Jacksonville families. …
Does Mayor Lenny Curry know that he is dealing with a certified hate group in Liberty Counsel? Does he care?

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