Fort Lauderdale passes anti-discrimination law protecting LGBTQ residents

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass several protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer residents. 

The 44-page non-discrimination ordinance protects the city's LGBTQ community from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations in the city. It also establishes domestic partnership protections and a ban on conversion therapy for minors.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said the ordinance doesn't create special rights for the city's LGBTQ community. 

"It is to establish equal rights for a population that has long been denied such rights," Trantalis said. 

Trantalis hopes the city is setting an example for legislators in Tallahassee to take action. Trantalis worked with Equality Florida, a political advocacy group founded in 1997, to advance the ordinance.

Joe Saunders, the senior political directo of Equality Florida, said many members of the LGBTQ community are relocating to Broward County to buy homes and start families. 

"For the city of Fort Lauderdale to specifically step up and be such a leader in the area of policy is exceptionally exciting," Saunders said. 

Residents Kathleen Stapleton and Jake Moxley praised the measure. 

"The trials and tribulations people have had to go through for years and years and decades, the violence and discrimination, these are things that need to happen for these people to feel comfortable and safe," Moxley said. 

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