May 23, 2011
ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363-2737 or media@aclufl.org

DELAND – The Volusia County Council last week approved a historic Human Rights Ordinance protecting residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“It’s taken a long time and a great deal of work but we’re pleased these important protections are now the law of the land in Volusia,” said George Griffin, President of the Volusia-Flagler Chapter of ACLU of Florida. “Our supporters, and especially Councilmember Josh Wagner who sponsored the ordinance, deserve credit for seeing this process through.”

After hearing from about a dozen supporters of the proposal, but no one in opposition, the Council approved the measure on a 6-1 vote. Councilwoman Joie Alexander was the lone dissenter.

The Volusia HRO bans discrimination in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation like restaurants or bars on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In passing the HRO Volusia joins other Florida Counties with basic HRO protections including Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade.

Griffin, Wagner and Larry Glinzman, a leader of Volusia Equality and in Volusia-Flagler ACLU Chapter, began working on the proposal, meeting with County leaders and rallying supporters more than a year ago.

In March of 2011, Griffin and the Volusia-Flagler Chapter successfully convinced the Volusia School Board to add “gender identity or expression” to the school’s policies against bullying and harassment.

“There’s still a long way to go on the path to full equality and real nondiscrimination,” Griffin said. “But this is a great milestone and represents continued progress for the Volusia community.”

The success in protecting Volusia residents and visitors against gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination is part of the ACLU of Florida’s longstanding commitment and work through litigation and advocacy to secure and protect the rights of LGBT Americans.

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2011 Press Releases