FLORIDA: Jacksonville To Appeal After Liberty Counsel Wins Overturn Of “Illegal” 2017 LGBT Rights Ordinance

Via press release from hate group leader Mat Staver:

Liberty Counsel won a 3-0 appellate victory today against Jacksonville, Florida’s 2017 ordinance that added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as “protected categories” under Jacksonville law “Human Rights Ordinance” (HRO).

In the lawsuit, Parsons v. City of Jacksonville, Liberty Counsel represents Jacksonville residents and businesses in their challenge to invalidate an amendment to the HRO, because its authors and sponsors illegally hid the effects of the ordinance through intentionally deceptive drafting and messaging.

The trial court twice dismissed Liberty Counsel’s case against the HRO on the theory that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to file the lawsuit because they are not injured yet or injured enough by the city’s illegal act.

In this third round the state Court of Appeals sided with Liberty Counsel, finding that the citizen plaintiffs were injured by the city’s deceptive practice in presenting the HRO for passage, and that this deceptive practice of not revealing the intent and scope of the law invalidates it.

Florida Politics reports:

Jacksonville’s General Counsel decried a “mindboggling” and “bizarre” appeals court ruling against a local LGBT rights law this weekend and vowed to fight to defend the law. “It’s a hyper-technical ruling with some bizarre findings,” said Jason Gabriel, the city’s head lawyer.

“The city appropriately published (didn’t drop the ball in any way). Rules have been on the books for enforcement in their entirety since the law was passed in early 2017,” Gabriel contends, noting that the county court agreed with the city.

Incoming City Council President Tommy Hazouri, who sponsored the 2017 legislation, said Friday all options are on the table, including potentially passing the law again. The city’s general counsel confirmed that potential cure is on the table, as is an appeal to what is currently a conservative Florida Supreme Court.

As you can see below, the Liberty Counsel has spent years trying to overturn Jacksonville’s protections.