Excellent news tonight from the Florida Panhandle. Voters in Gainesville overwhelmingly reject Amendment 1, which would have eliminated anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.
With 100% of the precincts reporting, the final tally is 11,717 or 58% against changing the law, reports WWSB-TV. The total number voting for Amendment 1 is 8375 or 42%.
Gainesville has prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation since 1998. Discrimination based on gender identity has been prohibited since January 2008. "The fight began after the city commission last year revised Gainesville's anti-discrimination ordinance to protect transgender people," reports the Miami Herald. "That allows the city's approximately 100 transgender residents to use the public restroom of their choosing, along with protecting them from job and housing discrimination. Those supporting repeal say their message has remained consistent: 'Keep men out of women's restrooms!' That's our motive, plain and simple,' said Jim Gilbert, a spokesman for Citizens for Good Public Policy.' "
The thrust of the campaign by Citizens for Good Public Policy—which is a misnomer if there ever was one—was an outrageous television ad that portrayed a predator following a little girl into a public restroom. The police have reported "no" problems with Gainesville's relatively small trans population using any public restrooms. Thankfully the public didn't fall for this exploitative demagoguery.