Leon County FL Passes LGBT Rights Law

Facing a packed chamber of opponents, yesterday Florida’s Leon County, home to the state capital, passed a sweeping LGBT rights law.

In a 5-2 vote, the Leon County Commission approved the controversial changes to the county’s current human-rights ordinance. The changes are designed to deter discrimination and include more protection for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. Commissioners Jane Sauls and Bryan Desloge voted against the measure. The proposed changes offer stronger protections from discrimination in four areas: general provisions, employment discrimination, equal access to places of public accommodations and fair housing. The issue created distinct division in the community. Commissioners have received hundreds of e-mails and calls in the past month from residents, business owners and members of faith-based groups.

Before the vote a small plane towed a banner across the Tallahassee sky, warning county commissioners that they would be voted out if they approved the bill.