Thursday, March 02, 2017

Suit Says City Misled Public About Scope of Ordinance Adding LGBT Protections

Liberty Counsel announced yesterday that it has filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of recent amendments to the Jacksonville, Florida Human Rights Ordinance.  The complaint (full text) in Parsons v. City of Jacksonville, Florida, (FL Cir. Ct., filed 3/1/2017), alleges that amendments adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the "protected categories" in the Jacksonville's existing nondiscrimination laws were improperly adopted.  Florida state law provides:
No ordinance shall be revised or amended by reference to its title only. Ordinances to revise or amend shall set out in full the revised or amended act or section or subsection or paragraph of a section or subsection.
The new lawsuit contends that the amendments to the Human Rights Ordinance failed to set out the provisions that were being amended, and charges that "the violations result from the intentional omission of plain and obvious legal requirements, by the ordinance authors and sponsors, to deceive the Jacksonville public, City Council, and Mayor as to the true contents and scope of the HRO."