At this evening's meeting, the Greenacres City Council members unanimously voted to enact a civil rights ordinance establishing, as matter of public policy, that the city opposes discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status or age.
The ordinance was proposed by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
"The Greenacres City Council made the city a safer and more welcoming place for LGBT people to open businesses, buy homes and simply be ourselves," said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Board Member Meredith Ockman, who led the organization's effort for the ordinance in Greenacres. "The city's leaders made it clear that everyone is valued for the diversity they bring to Greenacres."
Greenacres City Councilwoman Paula Bousquet has been working with the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council on diversity issues for several years.
"In this ever-changing political climate, it was important for Greenacres to demonstrate our continuing commitment to our residents and employees by codifying and expanding our laws and policies," said Bousquet.
"While the nation is rapidly moving forward on recognizing lesbian and gay relationships, Florida still lacks any statewide laws providing equal protection to LGBT Floridians," said Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. "Therefore, until Congress or the Florida Legislature take action, local LGBT advocacy rights organizations such as PBCHRC must continue to work with county and municipal leaders to protect our community form discrimination."