Liberty Counsel filed a Motion for Summary Judgment today in John Parsons v. City of Jacksonville, Florida, a lawsuit to invalidate a city ordinance that adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as “protected categories” under Jacksonville law. Liberty Counsel’s motion shows the court that the ordinance, dubbed the “Human Rights Ordinance” or “HRO,” is so clearly illegal that it should be invalidated without the need for a trial.
Yesterday, the City of Jacksonville filed a Motion to Dismiss Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit against the HRO, on the theory that the plaintiff lacks legal standing to file the lawsuit because he has no “special injury.” However, Liberty Counsel is prepared to show the court that any resident of Jacksonville can file suit challenging the validity of the HRO under the applicable statutes and well-settled precedent. Notably, the city’s motion makes no attempt to defend the validity of the HRO under Florida law.
Prior versions of the HRO were defeated twice in Jacksonville with help from Liberty Counsel and others. Radical LGBT activists chose the language of the current HRO, which violates Florida and Jacksonville law, and, with the help of their allies on the City Council, deceived other city officials and the public into believing the “new” HRO was somehow different from the previously defeated versions.
“The violations of Florida and Jacksonville law by the HRO authors and sponsors are so clear that no trial is necessary,” said Liberty Counsel’s Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs, Roger Gannam, a former long-time Jacksonville resident. “City officials were wrong to choose the radical LGBT agenda over the rule of law and the fair and honest people of Jacksonville. This law deceptively and unnecessarily puts women in harm’s way, by opening their facilities to men, and forces Jacksonville’s businesses and citizens to celebrate the same-sex relationships of others under threat of fines and even loss of their businesses,” said Gannam.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.