Atlantic Beach City Commission approves human rights ordinance

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ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - The Atlantic Beach City Commission unanimously approved a human rights ordinance on Monday night that will give protection to members of the community based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

The ordinance applies to employment, housing and public accommodations.

Atlantic Beach is now the first city in Northeast Florida with an ordinance with protections that explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Maria Mark was in favor of Monday's vote.

"I hope it doesn't create a divide in the city," Mark said. "I feel people really need to listen to supporters and why we need this and why it's important we have it."

Judith Johnston was not in favor of the vote.

"I think this is unnecessary legislation," Johnson said. "I think small business is already burdened with regulations, legislation and taxes. I don't think this is going to be very helpful for business."

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