It now appears a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance is in the works in Fort Lauderdale and the issue is set to go before the commission on Sept. 3.
“I am very proud to have advocated for this very comprehensive ordinance in Fort Lauderdale,” said Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman. “As the County’s largest City, it is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Michael Rajner, a local LGBT rights activist, is hopeful something will be passed. He’s been advocating for a measure like this in the city for a decade.
“While I’m waiting to review the language of Fort Lauderdale’s human relations ordinance, I’m pleased the commission and city staff are working with advocates to enact a comprehensive ordinance,” Rajner said.
In 2018 though Rajner publicly criticized then mayoral candidates Dean Trantalis and Bruce Roberts for not moving forward on a city-wide non-discrimination ordinance.
“Fort Lauderdale Commissioners and mayoral candidates Bruce Roberts and Dean Trantalis have lied and broken their promise to bring forward an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance,” Rajner wrote on Twitter at the time.
Trantalis, who is gay and now the current mayor, said the city was already covered by Broward County’s non-discrimination ordinance so there was no need for a city-wide one as well. But Rajner insisted otherwise. Local and statewide LGBT rights groups backed Rajner’s position, and most of the candidates running for the commission at the time also held that view.
A year later when SFGN followed up on the issue in February it appeared a non-discrimination ordinance was dead in the water.
“I just had hoped there had been a will for the city to move forward on something,” Rajner said in February. “I am disappointed.”
Soon thereafter Vice Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Ben Sorensen, who is straight, told SFGN he would move forward on the issue.
Now it appears Glassman, who is gay, has taken the lead on the ordinance. Glassman said he’s working with Equality Florida on the language.
"Fort Lauderdale must always stand against discrimination,” Glassman said. “Considering the times we live in, these protections are vital.”