Orange County bars housing bias against gays by Mitch E. Perry

07/13/06

As we reported last night, the Orange County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a fair-housing ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays.

In addition to sexual orientation, the new ordinance also adds disability and familial status to race, color, religion, gender and national origin. Familial status includes pregnant women and family size.

Orange now joins Monroe, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Leon counties in adding sexual orientation to their fair-housing laws. The ordinance takes effect immediately

Patrick Howell is president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Orange County. He said the fact that the Orange County Commission voted in unanimous fashion was somewhat stunning . He gives credit to Commissioner Mildred Fernandez support , after she was elected in a razor close victory 2 years ago (roll tape#1 o.q.� that sort of discrimination�)

Orange County’s vote comes a little over a year after Hillsborough County voted to ban gay pride events, an action that has received wide spread coverage in the gay community throughout Florida.

Attorney Patrick Howell, president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Orange County, said that vote was reflected upon, as was the fact that when the Scripps Research Institute came looking for a Florida home a couple of years ago, Orange County was dismissed because they did NOT have an-anti discrimination housing ordinance (roll tape#2 o.q.�inclusive minded�)

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