Fla. county adds sexual orientation, gender identity to human rights ordinance

TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County commissioners on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of expanding the county’s human rights ordinance to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hillsborough-County-1The 7-0 vote reversed a former board’s action in 1995 to strip gays and lesbians from the groups protected under the ordinance, reports the Tampa Tribune.

“It was an opportunity to right a wrong,” said Terry Wolfe, who spoke in favor of the revamped law. “It’s been a long time coming, trying to fix that mistake, but it needed to be done. It goes a long way toward creating a climate of equality.”

The Human Rights Ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions, and county contracting and procurement.

The other protected classes are race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability and marital status.

On October 15, the commissioners will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to create a domestic partner registry.

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