TAKING A STAND FOR OUR FAMILIES
​IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

The Gulliford Bill

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2015Dec16: Jax City Council’s Bill Gulliford calls for HRO referendum

by Melissa Ross 16Dec2015
http://floridapolitics.com/archives/196791-email-insights-jax-city-councils-bill-gulliford-calls-for-hro-referendum

Following on the heels of Tuesday's third, packed and final "community conversation" on expanding Jacksonville's human rights ordinance to cover LGBT residents from discrimination, Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford has emailed media outlets saying he's filed the same ordinance that was voted on in 2012 "with one addition – a provision for a referendum by the voters on the issue."

"As a courtesy, I waited until after Mayor Curry’s final community conversation event on this topic before acting," Gulliford says.

"Currently, based on recent comments and materials distributed by both proponents and opponents, it appears that we have irreconcilable differences between both sides of this issue which now appear to be more intractable than before. During the time I have spent on the City Council, I have never seen an issue that brings out more passion and responses than this one. In 2012 we were overwhelmed with emails, letters, calls and constituent visits. This time they are starting out with even a stronger response from both sides, even without any legislation being considered as of yet. It begs the fundamental question – is it right that as few as ten people could decide the outcome of this very contentious issue without knowing the sentiment of the majority of citizens? In short, with the depth of participation already demonstrated, should citizens have a say on this beyond just public forums? Or, do we vote on it as council members somewhat influenced by our conscience, personal bias or intense lobbying?

We have held much less significant referendums and I think the outcome of the recent election in Atlantic Beach where the voters loudly stated that they wished to vote on the Atlantic Beach HRO speaks volumes to the desire of many people in that community to have a say. I already have received numerous emails requesting a referendum from citizens of Jacksonville."

Meanwhile, pro-HRO advocates in Jacksonville have argued, loudly, that the rights of a minority should never be decided by popular vote, noting that civil rights for African-Americans, for example, would never have been approved via referendum. They also point to the recent fate of Houston's human rights ordinance, known as HERO, that went down to defeat when put to a popular vote.

2015Dec16: Gulliford: Jacksonville voters should decide HRO's fate

Neal Bennett1:24 p.m. EST December 16, 2015
http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/community/2015/12/16/gulliford-hro-vote/77414858/


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- A Jacksonville City Council member wants voters to decide whether the city should adopt a Human Rights Ordinance that supporters say would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender residents from discrimination. District 13 Councilman Bill Gulliford introduced legislation to put the HRO on the ballot Wednesday.

Gulliford's bill comes just one day after the last of Mayor Lenny Curry's public hearings on the HRO. The public hearings were at times contentious with community leaders on both sides of the issue taking strong stands.

In a statement, Gulliford said "based on recent comments and materials distributed by both proponents and opponents, it appears that we have irreconcilable differences between both sides of this issue which now appear to be more intractable than before."

"We have held much less significant referendums and I think the outcome of the recent election in Atlantic Beach where the voters loudly stated that they wished to vote on the Atlantic Beach HRO speaks volumes to the desire of many people in that community to have a say. I already have received numerous emails requesting a referendum from citizens of Jacksonville."

Gulliford says he has made Curry aware of the bill and that Curry has not indicated whether he would support or oppose it. Curry did not take a position on the HRO during the election, other than to say that he would take public input on the issue before making a recommendation.

"During the time I have spent on the City Council, I have never seen an issue that brings out more passion and responses than this one." he said.