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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Vote in favor of protecting gender identity

Gainesville joined 98 cities and counties around the country early Tuesday when city commissioners voted to add "gender identity" to Gainesville's anti-discrimination policy.

After listening to more than 100 citizens comment on the issue, commissioners voted 4-3 for the policy.

Citizens wanting to voice opinions both for and against the ordinance crowded the city hall auditorium and filled the hallway outside.

Because so many people wanted to speak, the commissioners did not actually get to vote on the item until about 1 a.m.

Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Commissioners Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Craig Lowe and Jack Donovan voted for the ordinance, which defines gender identity as "an inner sense of being a specific gender … with or without regard to the individual's sex at birth."

Commissioners Rick Bryant, Ed Braddy and Scherwin Henry voted against the ordinance.

Henry's vote was a reversal from his prior stance.

"I took an oath to protect all the citizens of Gainesville," Henry said at the meeting.

"And in taking that oath, I have to consider the masses of the city also."

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