In a cliffhanger decision, the Jacksonville City Council by a 10-9 vote Wednesday rejected a bill expanding the city’s human rights ordinance to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. The vote capped three months of deliberation and debate about the extent of discrimination against gays and lesbians in Jacksonville, whether the city should add sexual orientation to the list of protected groups, and how much enforcement power the city should have in cases of discrimination against homosexuals.–The Jacksonville Times-Union, August 15, 2012
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), among Fortune 500 companies, 89-percent have sexual orientation non-discrimination policies and 66-percent have gender identity non-discrimination policies. Additionally, more than 90 companies have joined the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, a group of leading U.S. employers that support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. A poll by Small Business Majority shows two-thirds of small business owners support a federal law prohibiting discrimination against LGBT workers and job applicants.
We Are Straight Allies seeks to educate, engage and “call to action” the business, faith-based, military, government, nonprofit, educational, arts and private sectors as we move towards passage of comprehensive polices that protect our LGBT community against discrimination in the State of Florida. Our strategic educational and advocacy efforts are targeted towards city and faith based leaders, as well as everyday citizens, to ensure greater equity for the LGBT community in employment, housing and public accommodation. The campaign is designed to reaffirm those who currently support fundamental human rights for all citizens and to further engage those who are ambivalent, previously voted against comprehensive protections, or who are uninformed about the real challenges that face members of our LGBT community.
This is a place for everyday people to share their stories as to how they have seen their loved ones affected by intolerance. We seek to put an end to the discrimination and violence directed at our fellow LGBT community. We publicly stand united with our Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender families, friends, co-workers, and communities.
For those who have been beaten, tortured, and silenced because of fear or shame, we offer to be your voice, to hold your hands, to stand by your side, and we promise to fight for an end to your mistreatment and suffering.
We are your Straight Allies.