HRO Evils:
The Best Info Available

HRO, Major Threat To Small Business

Roger K Gannam & Philip Wemhoff | 08Feb2017 | http://jacksonville.com/opinion/2017-02-07/guest-column-hro-major-threat-small-business

The LGBT preferential rights bill before City Council is being peddled using disinformation and outright trickery.  It is not the compromise promised by sponsors, but a far more dangerous and deceptive ordinance than ever proposed.

Scare Tactics Scam

Supporters misleadingly claim the economy is weakened when LGBT laws are absent.  Exactly the opposite has happened.  The Jacksonville
Business Journal reports that, in the 12 months following rejection of the 2012 law, Jacksonville saw “the greatest economic improvement [of any city] in the entire country”, becoming “the strongest economy in Florida”, stronger than all HRO-adopting cities.

HRO sponsors claim deceptively that companies have bypassed Jacksonville, because it lacks this law.  When asked to name one company which rejected Jacksonville, bill sponsor Aaron
Bowman said“I’m not at liberty to say”.  But, during the 2016 ordinance debate, he confessed: “The companies won’t tell us”.

The same hoax resurfaced this year, but Jax Chamber spokesman
Darnell Smith rejected it: “We can't tell you that there's ever been a situation in which they said to us: ‘We will not come here on this issue alone’ . . .”

Yet, the Chamber wants Jacksonville to buy protection from mob-like LGBT enforcers, hoping the city will then be favored by sporting events, which, the Chamber contends, are
“part of the fabric of our community.”  Isn’t Moral Courage the better part of that fabric?

Instead of standing up to this nationwide bully movement, as our courageous forefathers would, HRO backers have become bully collaborators.  They tell us: Appease the extortionists; surrender to the bullies; sell your soul for 30 pieces of silver.  Such cowardice is dishonorable, and it guarantees never-ending blackmail.

Learn how Jacksonville is booming without an HRO at

Menace to Small Business

This law will inflict unnecessary lawsuits and government intrusion on business.  One “rights” complaint could easily exceed $20,000 in legal defense fees alone, producing financial ruin.

In addition, the “offender” could suffer fines or, until he complies, court-ordered incarceration, endangering his company’s survival.

  • Further, the 15-employee exemption applies only to employment, giving NO protection to any business — regardless of size — from the HRO’s “public accommodation” and bathroom and locker room provisions.
  • Businesses must let men claiming womanhood use women’s facilities.  And questioning whether a man’s female identity is “consistent, uniform, and sincerely-held” risks discrimination actions.
  • Managers face personal and company liability for challenging men entering women’s and girls’ facilities, AND for any crime from letting the wrong man enter.
  • Protected individuals may undertake any action, mannerism, appearance, gesture, language or attire, which they alone deem “expressions” of their lifestyles.  Sponsors won’t reveal the ever-changing “expressions” which businesses must tolerate to avoid prosecution, making them sitting ducks for lawsuits.
  • Businesses must police the Free Speech of employees and customers, or suffer costly discrimination complaints.  Even using the wrong gender pronoun may be actionable.
  • Businesses will be forced to participate in celebrating LGBT lifestyles regardless of the owners’ religious opposition.
  • LGBTs will receive preferences in hiring, layoffs and housing disputes.

“The Chamber board’s HRO-backing doesn’t represent its 3,000 members,” says 40-year Chamber member Bennett Brown, a banker: ”I’ve arranged loans for thousands of small businesses over 40 years; they don’t want this law.”

Council Votes On Nonexistent Bill

Law sponsors haven’t informed the public that City Council will vote sight-unseen on an ordinance that won’t be written until many weeks later.  If it’s enacted, city attorneys get unlimited power to write the final code to be inflicted on Jacksonville, in a process called
“finalization and codification . . . without further Council action”.

And, to disguise this 2017 HRO as “new” and “simple”, the bill scarcely mentions that 29 sections of existing code will change, without showing how — and it fails to resolve significant conflicts with existing laws.

This bill is the embodiment of fraud and trickery.

Voters are tired of being told they’re too ignorant to comprehend this fake “human rights” crisis, which is designed to gain LGBT power, victim status, special privilege and acceptance, and to suppress criticism — while curbing the rights of others.

Roger K Gannam, Esq, AVP Legal Affairs, Liberty Counsel
Philip Wemhoff, Member DefendJaxFamilies

HRO, Threat to Religious Liberty

To reassure a skeptical electorate, sponsors of the “new” HRO pledged to craft legislation that would uphold the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of People of Faith, citizens who wish only to practice their religions unmolested by government.

Although all governmental units are bound by the US Constitution to defend (not annul) its enumerated rights – including the “free exercise of . . . religion” and the “freedom of speech” – the new HRO would curb those guarantees and punish their practice.

The Religious Exemption Hoax

The HRO’s “religious exemption” conflicts with existing nondiscrimination ordinances, through a too-narrow concept of “church”.  Only churches and “affiliated” ministries get “protection”.

  • Not exempt are religion-based organizations that are independent of “churches” –ministries and charities which provide crucial social services to Jacksonville’s poor, homeless, disadvantaged, orphaned, and destitute, including pregnancy centers, and foster care, marriage and inner city ministries.
  • For these religious entities, the law would control human resources practices.  And, it would allow men claiming womanhood access to intimate facilities intended for women –showers and dressing, locker and bath rooms, as well as lodging in women’s dormitories and abuse shelters.  The resultant mingling of sexes will greatly increase legal liability.
  • In some cases males will be allowed to partake in girls’ sleeping arrangements and to enter girls’ dressing, locker and shower areas, to expose themselves and to view girls in all stages of undress.

Rational concerns for modesty, privacy, and safety will be re-categorized as “discrimination” under the ever-evolving concept of “gender identity.”

  • The law would redefine “male” and “female” for nurseries and preschools, even religious schools offering Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program.
  • In organized activities, boys posing as girls will reduce female participation with fewer accolades for females, and nullify females’ natural right to modesty and privacy – a true “war on women.”
  • Further, all gender “expression” is protected, the protected person being the sole arbiter of what “expression” is acceptable.

Such “expression” will be on display within public and religious venues, undermining the moral and religious training and values of children.  Thus, the HRO thwarts the principal obligation of parents: To protect their children.

Abolishing Constitutional Guarantees

The proposed code provides NO protection for devout individuals who run businesses or non-profits.  A Christian business owner in the wedding industry would be forced to participate in same-sex weddings, when his faith considers such collaboration sinful – his Constitutional “free exercise of . . . religion” is thus prohibited by governmental mandate.

This is a
too-frequent event; see tinyURL.com/LGBTtyranny.

The HRO will nullify Constitutional “Freedom of Speech” by punishing some speech as “discrimination”.  Any unwelcome language uttered by employees, visitors or tenants may be considered actionable “discrimination”, if deemed offensive solely by the official “victim”.  Even using the
wrong gender pronoun may be actionable.

Government will become protector of feelings for
countless “gender identities” – 14 genders according to Williams Institute, the foremost LGBT thinktank, plus the ultimate unknowable category “gender non-conforming.”

The legal consequences are uncontrollable, since standards for “sexual orientation”, “gender identity”, “expression” and “discrimination” are subjective and indefinable.

Tax increases will be needed to prosecute “offenders”, to meet demands for LGBT liaisons in the mayor’s and sheriff’s offices, and to establish anti-bullying regulations and “LGBT sensitivity” courses for administrators, employees and adolescents.

LGBT Power Grab

This law, for which sponsors provide no objective documentation of discrimination, is part of a nationwide LGBT movement to chain the U.S. in dissolute LGBT favoritism laws, elevating LGBT’s to a special rights status over other citizens.

The LGBT goal is widespread recognition as normal.  But, statistics-savvy LGBT leaders know that the “normal distribution curve” can never grant normalcy to LGBT lifestyles.

So, they seek an alternative: Employ the blunt force of government to fabricate normalcy’s illusion and crush all opposition.

To gain these ends their contemptible government allies eagerly nullify the Constitution, endanger children, and swell the taxpayer burden.

Roger K Gannam, Esq, AVP Legal Affairs, Liberty Counsel
Philip Wemhoff, Member DefendJaxFamilies.