Saturday, July 18, 2015

Delray Beach Becomes 5th Palm Beach County City to Enact LGBT-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance

(Delray Beach, Florida) -- At this evening's meeting, the Delray Beach City Commission members unanimously voted to enact a civil rights ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, or age. 

The ordinance was proposed by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local nonprofit organization which is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Delray Beach joins local cities Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth and West Palm Beach which have enacted similar ordinances since 1994.

"Delray Beach understands the concepts of equality, diversity and inclusion," said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council volunteer Marcie Hall, the Delray Beach resident who led the organization's effort for the ordinance. "Tonight our city leaders have made it clear that everyone is valued for the diversity they bring to Delray Beach."

"Delray Beach is a first-class city with a diverse community," said Mayor Cary Glickstein, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights. "This ordinance lets people know that Delray Beach is open for business for everyone and that we oppose prejudice and discrimination of all kinds."

"While marriage equality is now the law of the land across America, the state of Florida Florida lacks a statewide laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations," said Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.  "Therefore, until Congress or the Florida Legislature takes action, local LGBT advocacy rights organizations such as PBCHRC must continue to work with county and municipal leaders to protect our community from discrimination."

In addition to five cities in Palm Beach County, only 13 other
Florida municipalities - Atlantic Beach, Dunedin, Gainesville,  Gulfport, Key West, Leesburg, Miami, Miami Beach, Oakland Park, Orlando, Tampa, Venice and Wilton Manors -- have enacted  LGBT-inclusive municipal civil rights ordinances.

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council is currently working to convince elected officials in Lake Clark Shores, Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington to enact similar ordinances.

Although Florida has sixty-seven counties, only ten - Palm Beach, Alachua, Broward, Hillsborough, Leon, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Volusia Counties -  have LGBT-inclusive civil rights ordinances.

"Fifty-seven counties and 393 municipalities in Florida have yet to take steps to prohibit discrimination against the LGBT community," said Hoch.  "Despite the fact that LGBT people have achieved marriage equality, much work remains to be done to assure equal rights and protections for LGBT Floridians."