FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2016
Contact: Evin Willman 904-655-7085
Contact: Meredith Johnson 904-322-9233
JACKSONVILLE, FL — The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality today announced 400 businesses and nonprofits have signed on in support of updating Jacksonville’s non-discrimination laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Businesses and nonprofits were encouraged to show their support for expanding Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance by signing up online or in-person at events.
“We thank the Jacksonville business community as they continue to stand with us in support of a fully-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations,” said Dan Merkan, chair, Jacksonville Coalition for Equality. “We’re proud to have the endorsement of JAX Chamber, the Civic Council and 400 of our local businesses and nonprofits as we continue to spread the word that equal protection is good for business.”
The 400 businesses and nonprofits join the list of Coalition supporters that include local heavyweights Florida Blue, Winn-Dixie, CSX Transportation, Carnival, Haskell, UNF and Wells Fargo. The JAX Chamber and the Civic Council have also endorsed expanding the Human Rights Ordinance. To view the full list of businesses and nonprofits or to sign up your business or nonprofit, visit jaxequality.wordpress.com.
“I’m not only a business owner, I grew up in Jacksonville and I want to see this city reach its potential,” said Michael Miller, vice chairman and co-founder, Brightway Insurance. “From a business perspective, the only way can do this is to make sure that no one is discriminated against. This is also part of Brightway’s culture. We can only do well and reach our potential as a company when our customers, employees and people we do business with can reach theirs. And that just won’t happen if we operate in a climate of discrimination and inequality. And let’s face it—it’s just the right thing to do.”
“The 5 Points Merchants Association is proud to support the work of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality and sign on in support of a fully-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance,” said Christy Frazier, president, 5 Points Merchants Association, representing locally-owned businesses in the Riverside area. “Protecting our LGBT citizens from discrimination is good for our small businesses. No one should ever be fired from a job, denied housing, or refused basic services because of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”