St Augustine adds SEXUAL ORIENTATION as protected class to housing law
In a swift vote on Monday night, St Augustine, in sharp contrast to a recent Jacksonville vote, adds Sexual Orientation as a protected class to Fair Housing Laws. With four of the five commissioners present, the motion passed unanimously. On August 15th, a similar vote in Jacksonville ended with a 10-9 vote squashing the rights of same sex families.
St. Augustine Vice Mayor Leanna Freeman said she couldn’t explain the Jacksonville vote, but she said it’s part of her city’s tradition to protect the freedoms of its residents.
“In our historic city, we have always protected all types of individual freedoms,” Freeman said. “Now we are protecting the freedom of sexual orientation.
Our policy has been to protect human rights and freedoms, and we are unanimous in that. There isn’t a lot of debate about whether or not we should protect individual freedoms.”
To read more about this historic vote, visit Folio Weekly.
On a personal note: I found this to be a timely current event as over the weekend, on a RESA Mastermind Summit, I had mentioned to my stager colleagues that sexual orientation is not a protected class. No one at the table, all very seasoned professionals, was aware that it was not. Everyone, regardless of their opinions on gay marriage, was shocked that this was still a legally allowed discrimination for something as basic as housing. Having just moved here from a state known for national political gaffes, it is a wonderful feeling to actually be living somewhere that cares deeply about healing our city rather than creating laws that tear it apart!
photo source: Kathy Boast Photography