Controversial local law is attacked in federal court by store owner

Jacksonville’s so-called “human rights” ordinance is under fire.

Pushed through the City Council by the late Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat, the law purported to provide protections to people who didn’t lack protection. In fact, it was primarily to promote the Democrat political agenda.

But the threat of being called “homophobic” or other phony charges caused some Republicans to cave in and vote for the measure.

Mayor Lenny Curry and powerful forces such as the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Civic Council also supported the proposal.

Christie DeTrude owns the Queen of Angels Catholic bookstore on the Southbank. The bookstore serves all customers and sells its products to anybody but DeTrude and her bookstore staff cannot speak messages that violate their faith, she says in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville.

Because men and women are different, she cannot use pronouns or titles that don’t align with a customer’s sex, the Alliance Defending Freedom said in the lawsuit filed on her behalf.

DeTrude also wants to explain this policy and her Catholic beliefs about gender and sexuality in her store and on the store’s website. However, doing so apparently is illegal under Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance, which forbids communications that could lead someone to feel “unwelcome” based on various protected traits. The law threatens Queen of Angels with unlimited fines and damages if it doesn’t comply.

Using pronouns that do not match the person’s sex “would be untruthful, misleading and would violate the divine commandment not to bear false witness,” the complaint alleges.

As an example of the hostile atmosphere in Jacksonville, the suit cited the Duval County School Board debating for nearly eight hours whether to express support for Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, ultimately declining to do so.

The suit seeks to prohibit the city government from punishing the Queen of Angels bookstore for exercising its First Amendment rights.

Millions of Americans oppose the Democrat Party’s attempt to force them to refer to men as women and vice versa. It is, as the suit claims, a violation of their First Amendment rights – in addition to violating logic and common sense.

If someone wants to pretend they belong to the opposite sex, which is a current fad, they are free to do so. But they are not free to impose their beliefs on others and make them indulge in their fantasy.

It has nothing to do with human rights, and everything to do with politics. The socialist policies of the Democrat Party do not appeal to most mainstream Americans and so they constantly seek to create small groups, separate them from the mainstream and incorporate them into the Democrat coalition.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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