The Riviera Beach City Council unanimously voted to enact the Riviera Beach Civil Rights Ordinance on September 16, 2020. The ordinance will go in effect in October.
This ordinance bans discrimination based on gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, military status, disability, pregnancy, familial status, citizenship, age, sex, national origin, or religion within the city of Riviera Beach.
Riviera Beach, part of Palm Beach County, has approximately 35,000 residents, nearly 25,000 of whom are black.
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC), requested City Council Chair, Douglas Lawson, introduced the Riviera Beach Civil Rights ordinance.
“PBCHRC stands together with Black Lives Matter, which has always put LGBTQ voices at the center of the conversation,” PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin Lewis told City Council members. “However, we acknowledge that while our work has benefitted both the LGBTQ and Black residents of Riviera Beach, as an organization, PBCHRC has not done enough to align our missions with work for racial justice. Today, we publicly state our support in a unified way.”
“While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited nationwide, there are no federal or statewide laws in effect in Florida which protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing and public accommodations,” said PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch.
Out of 411 cities, towns and villages in Florida, only 35 have enacted LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights ordinances.
Learn more about the Riviera Beach Civil Rights and Palm Beach County Human Rights Campaign updates here.
The West Palm Beach City Commissioners also recently adopted a resolution to create Palm Beach County’s first LGBT Pride rainbow crosswalk. Read more about the proposed crosswalk in the South Florida Gay News.