JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- The long-debated amendment of Jacksonville's Human Rights Ordinance to include protections for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered community has passed a key city council committee, but not without some changes.

The city's Neighborhoods, Community Investtments & Service committee, consisting of six city council members, voted 4-2 in favor of the HRO change Monday morning, according to reports from our news partners at the Florida Times-Union. However, the committee added an amendment that exempts small businesses with less than 50 employees, a change opposed by HRO supporters.

The NCIS committee is one of three council committee's expected to cast votes on the HRO this week before the bill going before the whole city council next week.

A bill backed by councilman Bill Gulliford that would have put the HRO amendment to a public vote failed in the same committee 4-2.