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Jacksonville Councilwoman Jumps Into Anti-Discrimination Debate

6:32 AM, May 17, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A routine parks meeting at City Hall had one council member touching on the hot topic of pending legislation designed to ban sexual orientation discrimination.

Councilwoman Kimberly Daniels, known as Pastor Kim to some, took 15 minutes to weigh in on the topic, bringing in two guests, a transgender woman and a man who says he left the gay lifestyle.

"There a class of people, there's a group of people that are Christians and it is time for the Christians to come out of the closet," said Daniels during the parks committee meeting.

Daniels is opposed to what's proposed, which would add six words to the current ordinance and include protection based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Segments of the business community say the change is needed to keep the city competitive in attracting businesses and people to the city.

Councilman Don Redman says as written, there is no way he can support the legislation.

"I think it has a very good potential to be a minefield. It is going to cause a lot of confusion, a lot of anger," said Redman.

The City Council meeting next Tuesday, May 21, will hold its first public hearing, affording people an opportunity to speak on point.

The council could make a decision as early as June 12, depending on how the legislation winds it way through City Hall.

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