ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- Atlantic Beach City Commissioners passed a Human Rights Ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression Monday night. The ordinance mandates equal treatment when applying for jobs, loans or housing.
Commissioners unanimously passed the bill 4-0.
More than 100 speakers voiced their opinions on the bill before the vote, many in support of the ordinance. In total, the HRO was discussed for three hours at the meeting.
"I'm very proud of my commissioners who voted for it with no strings attached. It's been a long haul, but I'm glad we stood united and I hope that we can continue to move forward," said City Commissioner Maria Mark.
Atlantic Beach is the first city on the First Coast to pass an anti-discrimination bill for LGBT members. Neptune Beach enacted a similarly worded bill in June, but that protection only applies to city employees and personnel practices.