Orlando gives first approval to gay rights

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 20 2002 1:00 AM ET

After an eight-hour public hearing on the issue, the Orlando, Fla., city council on Monday night gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would protect gay men and lesbians from discrimination in the private sector, The Orlando Sentinel reports. Although the council was deeply divided, its 4-3 vote virtually assures that the measure will become law when the council considers it again on December 2. If the proposal is approved, Orlando will join eight other Florida cities and counties that extend discrimination protections to gay people.

"Eleven states, the District of Columbia, and 122 cities already offer sexual orientation protection," said city council member Patty Sheehan, who is a lesbian. "I think we're behind the curve, not ahead of it."