The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Details Plans For 2019

Rand Hoch, founder of PBCHRC. Photo via Rand Hoch, Facebook

Many LGBT activists and organizations are setting goals for the new year, one organization being the Human Rights Council (HRC) of Palm Beach County, a non-profit LGBT advocacy group. 

Many LGBT activists and organizations are setting goals for the new year, one organization being the Human Rights Council (HRC) of Palm Beach County, a non-profit LGBT advocacy group. 

Since 1988, the HRC has been dedicated to furthering and protecting the LGBT community’s civil rights in Palm Beach County. In 2018, they were able to get cities like Lake Worth and Boynton Beach to ban the practice of conversion therapy within their cities. This year’s first order of business is assisting LGBT seniors and LGBT youth. 

“Locally, PBCHRC is working with West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christina Lambert on initiatives to assist LGBT seniors and with WPB City Commissioner Kelly Shoaf and Compass on initiatives to assist LGBT youth” said HRC founder and Legislative Director Rand Hoch via email. 

On the state level, HRC also plans to work with other outside advocacy groups to pass the Florida Inclusive Workforce Act, a new effort to amend the Florida Civil Rights Act to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Other groups and people collaborating on the effort are SAVE Florida, Translatina, Conservatives on the Right of Equality and former Florida Rep. David Richardson. 

Other plans and initiatives for 2019 include:

  • Installing a rainbow pride crosswalk in downtown West Palm Beach 
  • Working with WPBA and Palm Beach County to change signs on single-stall restrooms to be gender-inclusive 
  • Getting Lake Worth City Commissioner Omari Hardy to support an inclusive and innovative approach to city-wide bullying prevention
  • Working with the healthcare district of Palm Beach County to see if it is possible for the district to provide trans-specific medical care for those in need
  • Urging the school district of Palm Beach County to cease all ties to homophobic companies and businesses like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A

While it’s a hefty agenda, this is nothing new for Rand Hoch, who founded the organization back in 1988. Hoch started his career by advocating for gay rights in South Florida in the 1970s, later becoming Florida’s first openly gay judge in 1992. After retiring from the bench, Hoch returned to PBCHRC in his current position.

The HRC has passed over 160 laws supporting LGBT civil rights, according to their website— and hopes to add on to the list in 2019. 


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