(Juno Beach, Florida) - At Tuesday evening's meeting (September 8), the Juno Beach Town Council gave initial approval to the Juno Beach Civil Rights Ordinance. The ordinance will go into effect upon Final Reading on September 23rd.
The Juno Beach ordinance prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, as well as on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, marital status, veteran's status, age, disability, pregnancy, familial status, and genetic information throughout the Town, which is home to more than 3,700 residents.
The Town Council considered the civil rights ordinance at the request the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) - Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
PBCHRC Board Member Rhonda Williams addressed the Town Council at this evening's meeting. (see photo below)
"The ordinance will inform residents and visitors that the Town of Juno Beach values and protects the rights of women and minorities," said Williams. "It will direct them where to go for help if they feel their rights have been violated."
"In these challenging times, comprehensive civil rights laws truly make a difference," added Williams.
Over the years, PBCHRC's "Palm Beach County: You're Welcome!" campaign has encouraged elected officials in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth Beach, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and Westlake to enact LGBTQ-inclusive municipal civil rights laws.
PBCHRC is currently working with the City of Riviera Beach and the Town of Haverhill to enact LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances in the upcoming weeks.
"While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited nationwide, there are no federal or statewide laws in effect in Florida which protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing and public accommodations," said PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch. "Therefore, until Congress or the Florida Legislature takes action, we must rely on local officials to fully protect LGBTQ people from discrimination."
Out of 411 cities, towns and villages in Florida, only 32 have enacted LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances..
For a copy of the Juno Beach Civil Rights Ordinance, click here.
Photo from Council Meeting