For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Shelbi Day, Staff Attorney, ACLU-FL LGBT Advocacy Project, (352) 219-4709 or sday@aclufl.org
Howard Simon, Executive Director, ACLU of Florida, cell: (786) 208-7103

ACLU of Florida

Gainesville Voters Reject Discriminatory Effort to Remove Gainesville’s Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT People

GAINESVILLE, FL - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida applauds
Gainesville voters' overwhelming rejection, 58% to 42%, of an effort by
anti-gay crusaders that would have repealed protections against
discrimination for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
people in housing, employment, public accommodation, and credit
extension services.

The Gainesville Charter Amendment was the first vote on civil rights
and equality for LGBT persons in Florida since the passage of Amendment
2, the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment, in November, 2008.

For over a year, supporters of Charter Amendment 1 have waged a
fear-based campaign that blatantly misled voters about the intent and
impact of Charter Amendment 1. "Today Gainesville voters turned out in
record numbers and said no to discrimination," said Shelbi Day, staff
attorney for ACLU of Florida's LGBT Advocacy Project, who was on the
ground in Gainesville working with the local group opposing Charter
Amendment 1. "Gainesville voters overwhelmingly rejected a fear-based
campaign of lies and misinformation and stood up for protection from
discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Voters sent a clear message that the discrimination stops right here,
right now."

"Protecting Gainesville's anti-discrimination protections for
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is a significant
achievement. I congratulate everyone who worked so hard to help bring
about today's victory," stated Howard Simon, Executive Director of the
ACLU of Florida. "But let us also remember that this is but one step
toward dismantling the barriers to complete legal equality for LGBT
people. Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work dismantling
the many remaining barriers to full equality for LGBT Floridians."

The ACLU of Florida, which has approximately 800 members and
supporters in Alachua County, including Gainesville, provided
significant support to Equality is Gainesville's Business (EQGB), the
Gainesville-based political committee created to defeat Charter
Amendment 1. A full time ACLU staff attorney was sent to Gainesville
for the final six weeks of the campaign, providing important
communications and legal support for the campaign. Additionally, the
ACLU of Florida mobilized volunteers to phone bank from several of its
offices around the state and the ACLU-FL's Northeast Regional Office
Director, Benetta Standly, worked to build important alliances for the
campaign.

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