The proposed Jacksonville “Human Rights” ordinance, by nature, is not based on an accurate understanding of human right violations .
The language in the bill was specifically chosen to market a controversial issue and also attempt to obscure the real motive for it.
The goal of the national Human Rights movement is to have cities like Jacksonville legally place a societal imprimatur on behavior which is against the Natural Law as understood by human reason and Divine Law. This is objectionable to a majority of people including those with deeply held religious convictions.
The proposed ordinance effectively creates special rights when discrimination laws already exist in Jacksonville.
If the ordinance passes, it would financially harm numerous businesses by opening them up to frivolous lawsuits as well irresponsibly placing women and children at risk for assault in bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.
Putting human rights violations in perspective, we can look to history.
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were ruthless dictators whose regimes violated human rights. They mercilessly starved and killed millions of Jewish men, women and children solely because of their faith.
In America, slavery was the central issue at stake fighting the Civil War. Northerners fought southerners to free slaves from the brutal, inhumane practice of ownership of Black Americans in the U. S. . Southerners wanted to continue slavery for their economic profit by harnessing free labor.
It was so bad that in a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Dred Scott V. Sanford (1857), blacks were not even considered citizens.
Slavery was a grave moral injustice and finally eradicated by President Abraham Lincoln. The Dred Scott decision was overturned by the 14th Amendment.
The Civil Rights movement in 1960’s peacefully sought to eradicate unjust laws against blacks in education, seating at restaurants, use of hotels or water fountains, seating in transportation, etc.
Those are examples of authentic human rights violations.
The proposed Jacksonville H.R.O. is egregious and illegal on several fronts.
Under the specious argument of “discrimination,” the law would strip business owners and citizens of Jacksonville of the rights guaranteed to them under the U.S. Constitution, specifically the First Amendment in the Bill of Right as it pertains to religious freedoms: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The liberties guaranteed in the First Amendment are exactly why many pilgrims came to America; to escape the established government religion of the Church of England. Americans sought freedom to worship God according to their beliefs.
When Jacksonville City Councilmen take their oath of office
they place their hand on the Bible and solemnly swear to: “uphold, honor and defend the Constitution of the United States and its laws,” and end their investiture by stating: “so help me God.”
Whoever votes affirmatively for this bill does not possess a clear understanding of the Constitution.
More importantly, a yes vote would violate their professed oath of office as an elected representative of the people of Jacksonville.
The H.R.O. is a solution to a problem that does not exist. In the past ten years, only seven incidences in Jacksonville occurred which were resolved out of court.
Forbes Magazine, as well as the Wall Street Journal, currently rank Jacksonville as the number two city in the country to live and their economy is thriving without this ordinance.
It can be legitimately argued that some in the Jacksonville Council, whether knowingly or not are “establishing a religion” with a totalitarian worldview called by many names including Secular Atheism and Cultural Marxism where God is not acknowledged nor exists.
If the H.R.O. bears merit at becoming a law, the decision should be put in front the voters on a citywide referendum. The open ended language in the legislation (Section 8) giving the General Counsel’s office permission to further add to this deeply flawed bill after its passage is reason enough for its defeat. That wording is a blank check with unknown outcomes that no conscientious member should vote for.
Nineteen people on the Jacksonville City Council do not possess the authority to strip the Constitutional rights of the citizens of their community guaranteed by the laws of our country.
Mayor Lenny Curry should let the City Council know in no uncertain terms that if they pass the H.R.O. he will veto it and allow the people of Jacksonville to decide.
By Nancy McGowan