Ok, so the Jacksonville City Council held its weekly meeting last week and on the agenda – a gay rights bill. This is an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Personally, I didn’t think that there was a need for such an ordinance – I didn’t think that a city as diverse as Jacksonville, Florida needed to have a law on the books ensuring the rights of our gay population. But the human resources blood that flows within me realizes that if you don’t have it in writing, it doesn’t exist. The city council however, showed me that there is a need for a law protecting our gay community. Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover sexual orientation, nor does it protect affinity groups, so the ordinance is necessary. There were hundreds of supporters who turned out for the council meeting, and in accordance with the rules of the council, each was allowed three minutes to pledge their support for the ordinance. At that moment, I was proud of this community and the obvious realization that ALL men are created equal. Unfortunately, some of our esteemed elected officials did not share those sentiments.
Now let me go on record by saying that I do not have faith in the city council and its ability to carry out the business of city government. Most of the members are inherently under-qualified, and it seems as though everyone knows this, except for them. If you belong to a group people and you don’t know who the incompetent one is, then its you. We elect these folks, knowing full well that they are not equipped to discharge the duties of the office that they have been elected. Case in point: Kimberly Daniels’ exchange with one of the speakers and her reference to bestiality. This line of questioning was totally inappropriate and embarrassing. And as a woman who used to sell sex for a living, I would think that her level of evolvement would have been higher. Sadly, I think she is too stupid to realize the magnitude of her gaff. Furthermore, the council does not understand the meaning of separation of church and state. Perhaps a Civics 101 course is in order. Case in point: Don Redman not supporting the ordinance because it is contrary to the Bible. Really? The Bible has nothing to do with an ordinance designed to prevent discrimination based on sexual preference. Period. Your personal beliefs don’t belong in the discussion, and you should not govern that way. Stick to the letter of the law and you should be fine. Stop leaning in the Bible and govern in the best interest of ALL citizens. If you truly believe that an individual should be discriminated upon based on their sexual preference, say so. But say it because YOU believe it, not because you THINK the Bible condones it. Come out and say that you believe that it is ok to deny rights to gays and lesbians. Say that you believe that not all men are created equal. Say that you believe that a segment of society should be ostracized. Say that is why you voted against this ordinance. With one simple vote, the strides of our society during the 1960s would be erased, simply because we think it is acceptable to deny rights to members of society. In America, as I understand it, we should not deny life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because we don’t agree with how someone lives that life, enjoys that liberty, and pursues that happiness.
The Jacksonville City Council should be ashamed at their behavior during this process, and I for one, think that they should be sent back under the rocks from which they came.
Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012