Gainesville voters keep gay rights protections

03/25/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

An initiative in Gainesville that would have repealed the city's decade-old gay protections ordinance has failed. Fifty-eight percent of citizens in the college town rejected the measure.

Gay rights opponents proposed eliminating the city's protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in January 2008 when city leaders added “gender identity” to the list of classes protected under the law in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.

The measure also would have prohibited the city from enforcing anti-discrimination laws that protect other categories of people not specified by the Florida Civil Rights Act, which recognizes race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, martial and familial status.

Craig Lowe has been a member of the Gainesville City Commission for nearly six years, and led the group known as Equality is Gainsville’s Business to defeat the charter amendment. He spoke to WMNF earlier today.

Among the many groups who opposed the Charter Amendment in Gainesville included the Anti-Discrimination League, the ACLU of Florida, Planned Parenthood, and the University of Florida Faculty Senate.

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