HRO petitioners fall short of signatures

By News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 02 2014 03:52:21 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 02 2014 04:52:33 PM EDT
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -

A group of community members that was trying to change a city ordinance that recently passed in Atlantic Beach did not meet their mark.

Many were upset about a new addition to the human rights ordinance commissioners passed last month that specifically bans discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Group spokesman Don Peters said the number of signatures collected would have been enough in just about every city in Florida, except Atlantic Beach, which requires 25 percent of all registered voters. Peters said the group will now focus on the City Commission races in 2015.

The group of volunteers were out all weekend gathering signatures and holding signs asking for another look at the new ordinance. They don't think it's fair for the citizens.

Their petition needed 2,305 signatures by Tuesday afternoon to give voters a chance to decide, but they fell short.

After nearly a year of debate, commissioners approved the ordinance, which is now in effect. It says no one can discriminate against members of the LGBT community for jobs, homes or other opportunities. Violators can be fined or sued.