Thursday, August 27, 2020

After Five-Year Campaign, Haverhill Set To Enact LGBTQ-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance

 August 28, 2020


After a campaign that lasted more than five years, the Haverhill Town Council gave initial approval this evening to the Civil Rights Act of the Town of Haverhill. The ordinance will go into effect upon Final Reading on September 10.

The Civil Rights Act of the Town of Haverhill prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, as well as on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, familial status, pregnancy, marital status, and genetic information throughout the town.

In 2015, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) launched our "Palm Beach County: You're Welcome!" campaign to encourage elected officials to enact LGBTQ-inclusive municipal civil rights laws. 

PBCHRC is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

By mid-year, LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights laws were enacted in the cities of Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Delray Beach, and the Village of Wellington.

That summer, thirty-eight year Haverhill resident  Charlie Fredrickson, an openly gay man, approacched PBCHRC for help getting the Haverhill Town Council to enact an LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinance.

"There is no reason why a small town like Haverhill should not have a civil rights law that protects everyone in the town," Fredickson told PBCHRC President and Rand Hoch.

On July 23, 2015, PBCHRC sent a memorandum to Haverhill's Mayor and Town Council Members, asking them to enact a civil rights ordinance similar to the ones enacted earlier that year by the other Palm Beach County municipalities.  
However, only Lawrence Gordon -- the sole Black member of the Town Council -- supported the ordinance.

Undeterred, Fredrickson and Hoch appealled in person to the Town Council. However, the Town Council -- over Gordon's objection -- adopted an anti-discrimination resolution instead.

"While the resolution is a nice, symbolic gesture, it doesn't really do anything," Hoch told Town Council Members. "We'll be back."

In the years that followed, the climate for municipal civil rights ordinances in Haverhill and throughout Palm Beach County changed.
  • Haverhill, with a population of 2,300 residents, became a majority-minority municipality with more than half of the residents being non-White.
  • In consecutive elections, Haverhill voters elected two openly gay men to the Town Council.
  • LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances were enacted in Lake Worth Beach, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, and Westlake.
Following his election last spring, openly gay Town Council Member Ray Caranci asked his colleagues to reconsider enacting an LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinance.

"We need a comprehensive civil rights ordinance to inform our residents that the Town of Haverhill values our diversity and protects the rights of all minorities," said Caranci. "The ordinance is necessary to direct our residents where to go for help if they feel their civil rights have been violated."

"Now, more than ever, civil rights laws truly make a difference," said Town Council Member Gordon.

"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 Hoch. "Therefore, until Congress or the Florida Legislature takes action, we must rely on local officials to fully protect LGBTQ people from discrimination."

PBCHRC is also working with the City of Riviera Beach and the Town of Juno Beach to enact LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances in the upcoming weeks.

Out of 411 cities, towns and villages in Florida, only 32 have enacted LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances..

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

PBCHRC Board Member Chauncey Graham named to Mayor's Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Board Member Chauncey Graham has been named to serve on the Mayor's Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality


The establishment of the eleven member Task Force comes on the heels of calls for both local and national change in the wake of recent incidents that ignited outrage, exposed deeply entrenched systemic racism in our country, and challenged the public's confidence and trust in our system of policing and criminal justice.

According to the letter sent by West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James, to Graham "the task force will identify and help address issues of racial and ethnic equality through education about racial and ethnic inequalities in in our city, research best practices, and issue policy/funding recommendations to address racial/ethnic inequality in the City of West Palm Beach."

"At a time when both our nation and our city are at an inflection point, this task force has the ability to bring about lasting, transformative change to improve the lives of our residents and for future generations," said James. "The Task Force will help us create a culture in which racial and ethnic disparities are openly acknowledged and addressed to achieve ethnic and cultural equity across our City."

"With years of legislative and policy making experience, Chauncey Graham brings a certain gravitas to the Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality," said James.   

"I am honored to serve on the Mayor's Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality," said Graham. "I look forward to helping develop actions to assist the city in removing systemic barriers and close the disparity gap for people of color and other minorities in West Palm Beach." 
 
Graham, a Florida native and longtime resident of West Palm Beach, graduated from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (Music Performance) and earned his Bachelor's Degree from Florida Atlantic University, where he studied history and political science. He is Senior Director of Outreach and Community Engagement for the Florida Sugar Cane League (FSCL), a coalition of farmers and agriculture professionals whose mission is to connect Palm Beach County's diverse population to its agricultural history. Prior to his work for FSCL, Chauncey worked as a key staffer to members of the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representative for more than a decade.

Graham was recently been selected for Leadership Florida Connect for 2020-2021, a nine month institute which is Florida's only leadership program for your professionals which spans industry boundaries and focuses on developing Florida's leaders.  He also volunteers as a program mentor for Take Stock in Children and chairs the Civic Engagement and Advocacy Committee of the Urban League of Palm Beach County's Young Professionals Network.

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. PBCHRC promotes equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach. Over the years, PBCHRC has been responsible for the
implementation of more than 140 laws and policies providing providing equal protections, rights, and benefits for the LGBTQ community.  

PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch recruited Graham to serve on the organization's board of directors, ad well as on the board of directors of the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation

"Chauncey has dedicated his professional life to public service. He began his career in state government as a staffer in the Florida House of Representatives working on a wide range of legislative research and policy initiatives, said Hoch. "As an openly gay Black man, Chauncey will bring much needed perspective to the Mayor's Task Force." 

Graham represents PBCHRC on the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office LGBT Liaison Unit. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance Endorsements for the 2020 General Election - Updated August 19, 2020

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance endorses candidates who support LGBTQ initiatives and privacy rights.

Endorsements of candidates are made upon consideration of: 

  • How a candidate has voted on LGBTQ issues 
  • How a candidate has supported the Palm Beach County LGBTQ community

The following candidates on the November 6, 2020 ballot have been endorsed by The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance for election or re-election in 2020:

President & Vice President - Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

U.S. Congress (Dist. 18) - Pam Keith

U.S. Congress (Dist. 20) - Alcee Hastings  

U.S. Congress (Dist. 21) - Lois Frankel 

U.S. Congress (Dist. 22) - Ted Deutch  

Florida Senate (Dist. 29) - Tina Polsky

Florida Senate (Dist. 31) - Lori Berman

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 81) - Kelly Skidmore

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 82) - Elisa Ackerly

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 85) - Jim Carroll

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 86) - Matt Whilhite

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 87) - David Silvers

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 88) - Omari Hardy

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 89) - James Bonfiglio 

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 90) - Joe Casello 

Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 91) - Emily Slosberg

Clerk & Controller - Joseph Abruzzo

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw

Tax Collector - Anne Gannon

Palm Beach County Commission (Dist. 3) - Dave Kerner

Palm Beach County Commission (Dist. 5) - Maria Sachs

Palm Beach County Commission (Dist. 7) - Mack Bernard

Port Commissioner (Group 1) - Wayne Richards

Port Commissioner (Group 2) - Katherine Waldron

Port Commissioner (Group 3) - Jean Enright

Circuit Court Judge (Group 30) - CO-ENDORSEMENT 

    You may only vote for one of the following

    Jamie Goodman OR Adam Myron

Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor (Group 4) - Rob Long


The following elected officials endorsed by The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance currently hold office:

U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch

U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel

U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings

Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried

State Senator Lori Berman

State Senator Bobby Powell

State Senator Kevin Rader

State Representative Joe Casello

State Representative Al Jacquet

State Representative Tina Polsky

State Representative David Silvers

State Representative Emily Slosberg

State Representative Matt Willhite

County Commissioner Mary Lou Berger

County Commissioner Mack Bernard

County Commissioner Dave Kerner

County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

County Commissioner Hal Valeche

County Commissioner Gregg Weiss

County Commissioner Robert S. Weinroth

Clerk of the Circuit Court Sharon Bock

Constitutional Tax Collector Anne Gannon

Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks

Public Defender Carey Haughwout

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw

State Attorney Dave Aronberg

Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link

School Board Member Marcia Andrews

School Board Member Frank Barbieri

School Board Member Karen Brill

School Board Member Barbara McQuinn

School Board Member Debra Robinson

School Board Member Chuck Shaw

School Board Member Erica Whitfield

Port Commissioner Joseph Anderson

Port Commissioner Blair Ciklin

Port Commissioner Jean Enright

Port Commissioner Wayne Richards

Port Commissioner Katherine Waldron

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen

Circuit Court Judge Jaimie Goodman

Circuit Court Judge Dina Keever-Agrama

Circuit Court Judge James Martz

Circuit Court Judge Lisa Small

County Court Judge Ted Booras

County Court Judge Marni Bryson

County Court Judge  Frank Castor

County Court Judge Edward Garrison

County Court Judge Debra Moses Stephens

County Court Judge Ashley Zuckerman

Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Rob Long

Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Michelle Sylvester

Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Eva Webb

Northern PBC Improvement District Member  Ellen Baker

Boca Raton City Mayor Scott Singer

Boca Raton City Council Member Monica Mayotte

Boynton Beach Mayor Steven Grant

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Justin Katz

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Ty Penserga

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Christina Romelus

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Woodrow Hay

Delray Beach City Commissioner Adam Frankel

Delray Beach City Commissioner Shirley Johnson

Greenacres City Councilwoman Paula Bousquet

Greenacres City Councilwoman Judith Dugo

Greenacres City Councilman Jonathan Pearce

Haverhill Town Council Member Ray Caranci

Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo

Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Andy Amoroso

Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Omari Hardy

Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Scott Maxwell

Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Herman Robinson

North Palm Beach City Council Member Darryl Aubrey

Palm Beach Town Councilwoman Julie Araskog

Palm Beach Town Councilman Lew Crampton

Palm Beach Town Councilwoman Danielle Hickox Moore

Palm Beach Gardens City Councilmember Rachelle Litt 

Palm Beach Gardens City Councilmember Mark Marciano

Palm Beach Gardens City Councilmember Chelsea Reed

Riviera Beach City Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson

Royal Palm Beach Village Mayor Fred Pinto

Royal Palm Beach Village Councilwoman Selena Samois

Wellington Village Councilman John McGovern

Wellington Village Councilman Michael Napoleone

Wellington Village Councilwoman Tanya Siskind

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christina Lambert

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Cory Neering

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kelly Shoaf


This paid electioneering communication, which is independent of any party, candidate or committee, is produced, sponsored and paid for by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.

President's Message - Post-Election Update

 August 19, 2020


First and foremost, I hope you are safe and well, riding out the storm of the pandemic as best as you can.

Throughout 2020 - despite the pandemic - the officers, directors and supporters of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, the PBCHRC Voters Alliance, and the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation continue to donate their time and talent to help the organizations move forward with their initiatives.


PBCHRC VOTERS ALLIANCE

For years, PBCHRCVA encouraged supporters to vote by mail. However, in light of the pandemic, this year we redoubled our efforts. We did not want any of our supporters to take unnecessary risks. Therefore, we redoubled our efforts and launched the "Vote Naked. Now More Than Ever!" campaign to ensure our supporters were able to vote safely.


As a result of PBCHRCVA's get-out-the-vote campaigns, a record number of LGBTQ and allied voters participated in the August 18 Primary Election.  The following PBCHRCVA-endorsed candidates were victorious on August 18:

Congresswoman Lois Frankel
Congressman Alcee Hastings
Pam Keith, Candidate for Congress
Tina Polsky, Candidate for Florida Senate
Omari Hardy, Candidate for Florida House of Representatives
Kelly Skidmore, Candidate for Florida House of Representatives
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link
School Board Member-Elect Alexandira Ayala
School Board Member Frank Barbieri, Jr.
School Board MemberBarbara McQuinn
Port Commissioner Katherine Waldron
Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen
County Court Judge Debra Moses Stephens

Congratulations to all!

We were thrilled this year to see how many PBCHRCVA-endorsed candidates referenced our endorsement and used our logo in their television, social media, and print media campaigns.

For a complete list of candidates endorsed by PBCHRCVA for the General Election, click here.


"PALM BEACH COUNTY: YOU'RE WELCOME!" 

Out of 411 cities, towns and villages in Florida, only 32 have enacted LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances. 

In 2015, PBCHRC launched the "Palm Beach County: You're Welcome!" campaign to encourage municipalities in Palm Beach County to enact LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights laws. Over the years, LGBTQ-inclusive municipal civil rights ordinances have been enacted in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth Beach, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and Westlake.

Openly gay Haverhill Town Council Member Ray Caranci is leading the effort to have his town enact an LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinance. The First Reading on the civil rights ordinance is set for August 27 and the Final Reading is set for September 10.

PBCHRC Board Members Rhonda Williams and Jasmin Lewis are working with the Town of Juno Beach and the City of Riviera Beach respectively on the enactment of LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances before summer's end.

While PBCHRC Board Member Michael Fowler and I have renewed PBCHRC's longstanding efforts to have the City of Palm Beach Gardens enact an LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinance, as usual, we are getting resistance from City Manager Ron Ferris. As a result of his continued obstructionism, the item has yet to be placed on a City Council agenda - even for discussion, let alone a vote - by the elected officials.

PBCHRC has also asked the Village of Palm Springs to consider enacting LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances before year's end.

Finally, as for the Town of Lake Park, which, on the advice of the Town Manager and Town Attorney, enacted an ordinance in 1988 that stripped away the civil rights of LGBTQ people, no progress has been made.

"FIFTEEN TO FIVE" 

Federal and Florida civil rights laws only provide protection from workplace discrimination to workers at businesses with fifteen or more employees. When the West Palm Beach Equal Opportunity Ordinance and the Palm Beach County Equal Employment Ordinance were enacted, the same language was included, protecting only employees working at larger businesses.

Over the years, PBCHRC has received hundreds of complaints of employment discrimination from LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, other minorities, and women, who worked at small businesses. Unfortunately, there was little we could do to help.

This summer, PBCHRC launched our "Fifteen to Five" campaign to strengthen the rights of employees working for small businesses. We asked the City of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County to update their civil rights laws to protect employees working for small businesses - those with five or more employees - from workplace discrimination.

As a result of our campaign, West Palm Beach City Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the definition of "employer" in the City's Equal Opportunity Ordinance to cover employees working for businesses with five or more employees. The amendment went into effect on August 10, 2020.

At PBCHRC's request, County Commissioner Gregg Weiss is leading the effort to have his colleagues on the County Commission amend the Palm Beach County Equal Employment Ordinance to protect the rights of workers at small businesses countywide. We expect the County Commission to take action on our request this fall.


CONVERSION THERAPY BAN COURT CHALLENGES

Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, filed suit in federal court on behalf of two therapists seeking to nullify the bans on conversion therapy for minors enacted by Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton. The lawsuit is virtually identical to one Liberty Counsel filed against the City of Tampa.

Last year, Judge Robin Rosenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied Liberty Counsel's motion for preliminary injunctions which sought to prevent the bans from remaining in effect pending trial. As a result, at least for the time being, young LGBTQ people in Palm Beach County will remain safe from the psychological abuse caused by conversion therapy. Having lost, Liberty Counsel has appealed the order to the U.S. District Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit.

In February, I attended oral argument in federal court in Miami. The three judges who presided over the case include two judges appointed by President Trump and one appointed by President Obama. We await a ruling later this year.

In the Tampa case, things did not go well for LGBTQ children living in Tampa. Federal Judge William Jung, who was appointed by President Trump, struck down the city's conversion therapy ban. Having lost, the City of Tampa appealed the ruling to the U.S. District Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit. Oral argument is set for the week of November 16, 2020, in Jacksonville.


PBCHRC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation was established to fund scholarships and other charitable endeavors. In June, G. Joseph Garcia was named chair of the organization. He will be working closely with Jasmin Lewis who heads the Foundation's Social Justice Awards Committee.
The Social Justice Awards are named after longtime PBCHRC treasurer Dan Hall, a local attorney who manages a financial counseling company. As the father of three grown children, Dan always has had a strong interest in education. Over the years, he has mentored several LGBTQ students.

In 2020, three graduating high school seniors were presented $2,500 scholarship in recognition of their advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community as part of the Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards program. The Foundation also paid for the meal plan for an LGBTQ college student, provided tuition assistance for a Palm Beach State College student, made contributions to Compass and the ACLU of Florida, and provided dues assistance and T-shirts for the members supported Palm Beach Gardens Community High School's GSA.

If you would like to donate to the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation, checks may be sent to P.O. Box 267, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402. Since the Foundation was established in accordance with Section 501 (C )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, your contributions may be tax deductible.


2021 WINTER FÊTE UNDER THE STARS

Understanding the limitations of the pandemic, we are tentatively planning to hold our Winter Fête Under the Stars on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at an outdoor location to be determined. Sandy James Fine Food & Catering and Echo will provide the food and, as always, there will be a premium open bar. Of course, everything is dependent on whether it will be safe to hold an event at that time.

Regardless of whether we can hold the event next January or at a later date, we still need to replenish our treasury at this time.
  • Underwriters who contribute $10,000 will be entitled to 8 tickets to our next Winter Fête
  • Grand Benefactors who contribute $5,000 will be entitled to 6 tickets
  • Benefactors who contribute $2,500 will be entitled to 4 tickets
  • Sponsors who contribute $1,000 will be entitled to 2 tickets
Due to space limitations by the outdoor venues we are working with, individual tickets will probably not be available for the 2021 Winter Fête .

To date, the following PBCHRC supporters have joined the Host Committee for the Winter Fête:

Underwriter
Congressman Mark Foley

Grand Benefactors
Dan Hall
The Law and Mediation Offices of Rand Hoch, P.A.
W. Trent Steele and Douglas B. Andrews

Benefactors
Wood Kinnard and Alberto Arias
J.P. Sasser

Sponsors
Arlen D. Dominek and A.J. Young
Echo
Paul Gervais and Gil Cohen
MBAF, Accountants and Advisors, LLC
Richard and Ellen Rampell
Roosters
Scott Rixford and Jose Mena
Scott Velozo and Stephen Mooney

To contribute to PBCHRC's 2021 Winter Fête Under the Stars the stars, please use this link: pbchrc.org/events. Checks also may be sent to PBCHRC, P.O. Box 267, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402.


CONGRATULATIONS
  • PBCHRC Board Member Chauncey Graham has been selected for Leadership Florida Connect for 2020-2021 and was appointed to West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality.
  • PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin Lewis has been named a 2021 Victory Fund Endowment Fellow. Jasmin recently represented PBCHRC as a Delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
  • Former PBCHRC Board Member Matthew McWatters is now a first year student at Florida Coastal School.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kelly Shoaf has advised us that work is underway for the first Pride crosswalk in Palm Beach County. Located at the intersection of Northwood Road and Spruce Avenue in the heart of Northwood Village, the Northwood Rainbow Crossing is set to be completed no later than September 28. 

While PBCHRC has asked the City to hold a dedication with Commissioner Shoaf, Mayor James, and representatives from the Northwood Village Merchants Association, the Old Northwood Association, Northend Neighborhood Association, Compass and PBCHRC (among others) in attendance, we're not sure this is possible in light of the pandemic.

In addition, PBCHRC is also working to persuade:
  • the School District of Palm Beach County to cease doing business with Chick-fil-A and other companies that discriminate against LGBTQ people and other minorities;
  • the Health Care District of Palm Beach County to provide trans-specific healthcare services to indigent patients; and
  • and the State of Florida to prohibit discrimination based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" and ban conversion therapy statewide.
For more than three decades, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has worked diligently on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. With your support, we will continue to do so in the years to come. As always, we will keep you posted on our progress.

Stay safe and keep healthy.

Judge Rand Hoch (retired),
President and Founder

This paid electioneering communication, which is independent of any party, candidate or committee, is produced, sponsored and paid for by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance. The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance, P.O. Box 267, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

North Palm Beach Enacts LGBTQ-inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance



August 14, 2020

At last night's meeting, the North Palm Beach Village Council unanimously voted to enact an LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinance. 

Village Councilmember Darryl Aubrey proposed the North Palm Beach Civil Rights Ordinance at the request the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. PBCHRC is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

"While the United State Supreme Court recently 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 municipal and county officials to fully protect LGBTQ people from discrimination."

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 Towns of Haverhill and Juno Beach, as well as the City of Riviera Beach to enact similar civil rights ordinances by summer's end.

Out of 411 cities, towns and villages in Florida, only 32 have enacted LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances.