JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The heavily debated human rights ordinance was back in the spotlight during the first Jacksonville City Council meeting of 2017. This ordinance was in the headlines for the better part of last year.
Mayor Lenny Curry held multiple forums and public discussions about the issue. By the end of the 2016 debate nothing was done. The only change was Curry adding protections for city employees that are members of the LGBT community.
The debate is over adding protections for members of the LGBT community citywide. With the ordinance it would protect LGBT members from discrimination when it comes to things like being denied employment simply because of their sexual orientation.
More than 100 people gave public comment at the first council meeting of 2017. The bill is not that different from the failed bill from last year.
This years bill would exempt churches and schools. A new part of the bill would exempt small businesses of 15 or fewer employees.
When it comes to the controversial bathroom debate, the bill is more specific than last year's version, saying that businesses could still have single sex bathrooms.
There will be another public comment on the bill at the next city council meeting in two weeks.