Jacksonville rejects anti-discrimination ordinance for gay residents
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 discriminationp>A standing-room-only crowd of about 500 people tensely watched the votes of council members appear on the digital video board....
...The Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Civic Council, a group of business leaders, supported the bill. They said the lack of local legal protection for gays and lesbians hurts the city's ability to attract talented workers at a time when Jacksonville is competing with other cities for businesses.
The bill’s opponents said it would force people to compromise their moral beliefs. They also questioned whether the amount of discrimination against gays and lesbians rises to the level of requiring the government to become involved in the day-to-day affairs of businesses.