The Jacksonville City Council sank a pair of proposals Thursday that would’ve seriously expanded the LGBT agenda, including allowing transgender men into women’s bathrooms.
The measure would have expanded the Florida city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. A pair of city council members had two proposals on the issue, but both members withdrew their plans when they didn’t have the votes.
In discussions leading up to the withdrawal, religious liberty advocates threw out a litany of objections to the proposals. Critics said the ordinance would be used to spark a flurry of lawsuits and push a political LGBT agenda.
“Either of the proposed bills would have granted enormous power to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission to investigate complaints against law-abiding citizens of Jacksonville, subpoena their documents, impose fines and attorney’s fees, sue them in court, and refer their cases for criminal prosecution,” religious freedom group the Liberty Counsel said in a statement, which continued:
Any church welcoming a ‘non-member’ could have lost its religious exemption; organizations with a religious mission to feed the homeless or arrange adoptions would have been exposed to liability for professing their beliefs; the law would have redefined ‘male’ and ‘female’ for all nurseries and preschools, even many church schools; and any man claiming a female ‘identity’ would have gained unchallenged access to women-only bathrooms and dressing rooms.
Voters rejected a similar proposal in November of last year in Houston despite serious opposition from conservatives.
”My main reason is that I know that there is several issues, from the bathroom issue, which I consider a red herring, but other issues that I think we can sit down with the general counsel to try to answer the questions,” Tommy Hazouri, one of the Jacksonville council members introducing a transgender bill, told WJCT. “But to give the opportunity again to say, ‘What changes can we make that makes it where we still include the LGBT community as part of our human-rights ordinance?’”
This report, by Casey Harper, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.