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The Juno Beach Town Council gave initial approval to the Juno Beach Civil Rights Ordinance, which will go into effect on Sept. 23.

The Juno Beach ordinance will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, as well as on race and religion throughout the Town, which is home to more than 3,700 residents. 

The Town Council considered the civil rights ordinance at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

PBCHRC Board Member Rhonda Williams addressed the Town Council at a meeting where the ordinance was approved:

"The ordinance will inform residents and visitors that the Town of Juno Beach values and protects the rights of women and minorities," Williams was quoted as saying in the press release. "It will direct them where to go for help if they feel their rights have been violated."

"In these challenging times, comprehensive civil rights laws truly make a difference," Williams added.

Over the years, PBCHRC's "Palm Beach County: You're Welcome!" campaign has encouraged elected officials in Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and other cities to enact LGBT-inclusive municipal civil rights laws.

Another Civil Rights Ordinance went into effect in the Town of Haverhill on Sept. 10.  

PBCHRC is also working with the City of Riviera Beach to enact an LGBT-inclusive civil rights ordinance in the upcoming weeks, according to the press release.

"While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited nationwide, there are no federal or statewide laws in effect in Florida which protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing and public accommodations," said PBCHRC President Rand Hoch in the press release. "Therefore, until Congress or the Florida Legislature takes action, we must rely on local officials to fully protect LGBTQ people from discrimination."

Out of 411 cities, towns and villages in Florida, only 33 have enacted LGBT-inclusive civil rights ordinances.