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LGBTQ+ Community

LGBTQ+

 

Policies and Ordinances the City of Orlando has established to support our local lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Community

Orlando is a City for everyone. Our community is known worldwide for being a welcoming and inclusive city for everybody, regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation and gender identity. Since Mayor Buddy Dyer took office, he has preserved an inclusive government that fosters diversity by establishing local programs, ordinances and laws that benefit the LGBTQ community, including:

  • Non-Discrimination Ordinance: The City of Orlando has had a non-discrimination ordinance and related City board since 1973 charged with fostering equality in Orlando and it continues to be active in promoting the City’s recent equality initiatives.
  • Same-sex Domestic Partnership benefits for City workers: Since 2009, the City offers domestic partner health benefits, legal dependent benefits and equivalent family leave.
  • Domestic Partnership Registry: Approved by the Orlando City Council in December 2011, the ordinance created the City’s first-ever Domestic Partnership Registry. Since then, 13 other Florida jurisdictions have used the City of Orlando’s registry as a model. Currently, more than 1,300 couples have registered on the registry.
  • Support of marriage equality in court briefs: On June 23, 2014, the Mayor and City Council authorized the filing of amicus curiae(friend of the court) briefs in support of marriage equality in several Florida cases trying to overturn the Florida same-sex marriage ban.
  • Gender Identity added to Anti-discrimination Chapter 57: On July 28, 2014, Chapter 57 Review Board, unanimously recommended to our City Council that gender identity be added as a protected class to the City’s Recruitment & Employment and Harassment policies and procedures. City Council unanimously approved an ordinance adding gender identity on August 11, 2014.
  • Funds for the homeless & HIV/AIDS: Through our City of Orlando Housing Department, Orlando provides funding through its Housing Opportunities for People with Aids grants for both homeless and elderly LGBT people as well as specific supportive programs for people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • New LGBTQ liaisons appointments: In 2014, the City established a formal liaison positions at the Mayor’s office and Orlando Police Department (OPD). Mayor Dyer designated Luis M. Martinez, Director of Multicultural Affairs, as his Liaison for the LGBTQ community. Moreover, James Young has been appointed by Chief Mina in this new OPD role.
  • Orlando Police Department (OPD) Anti-Bullying Program: The Orlando Police Department (OPD) was the first police agency in the Greater Orlando area to introduce an Anti- Bullying Program to public elementary schools. The program was established in 2011 as part of the Super Kids Program, a 9-week lesson plan that is included in the 5th grade curriculum at the City’s 27 public elementary schools. The program creates awareness to 5th grade students about how to recognize bullying and provides information on the Speak Out Help Hotline and other resources available to improve the safety and security of schools and communities.
  • The Orlando Police Department (OPD) adopted a Transgender Persons Policy: OPD adopted a Transgender Persons policy to codify through policy one of the tenets of this agency: to treat all people with dignity and respect. The purpose of this order is to establish guidelines for the appropriate treatment of transgender individuals who come into contact with and/or require the services of OPD. It’s important for OPD officers and personnel to know, understand and utilize the appropriate nomenclature and preferable manners of address, and be aware of laws including public accommodations and other issues attendant to this population.
  • Public Safety and Law Enforcement Training: Lieutenant James P. Young, OPD’s LGBTQ liaison, has participated and instructed in a public safety and law enforcement training program available for the public and Central Florida law enforcement agencies to understand the dynamics of the LGBTQ community and common issues LGBT individuals face, including being able to create policies that address LGBTQ issues, build community trust and create a better perception of law enforcement and public safety within the community.
  • Mayor Dyer’s Stand Up campaign: In October 2014, Mayor Dyer launched StandUp Orlando, another anti-bullying initiative to publicly demonstrate his commitment to bullying prevention and to ensure our community continues to be a place of belonging, acceptance and respect for all people. More than ten sponsors joined Mayor Dyer to launch Stand Up Orlando, which encourages safety and positive relationships among our students, parents, administration and teachers.
  • Vowed & Proud Wedding Ceremony: On January 6, 2015, Mayor Dyer officiated a samesex wedding ceremony at Orlando City Hall that celebrated the historic first day that marriage was recognized for same sex couples in Florida. Forty-four loving gay and lesbian couples participated in the Vowed and Proud Wedding Ceremony, gaining access to the institution of marriage, and to a safety net of over 1,200 legal and economic protections for their families.
  • Gender Identity added to Supplier Diversity section on Chapter 7 Procurement Code: On May 23, 2016, gender identity was added to Chapter 7 Procurement Code to support equal opportunity in diversity on procurement process.
  • Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit (OYES): The City has hosted for three years in a row the annual OYES Summit to empower the Central Florida lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and allies with resources and education to support understanding, acceptance and inclusion in our community. OYES Summit has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Mayor’s Multicultural Affairs Office, the Office of Community Affairs & Human Relations, Commissioner Patty Sheehan and local community partners.
  • City of Orlando obtained the highest score of 100 at the Municipality Equality Index (MEI): For the third year in a row, the City has obtained the highest score of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which reflects our going commitment of preserving a democratic and inclusive government that serves and represents our diverse community. The Municipality Equality Index (MEI), a nationwide evaluation of more than 400 cities on how inclusive the city’s laws and policies are for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.
  • LGBTQ Safe Place Initiative: On December 12, 2016, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Orlando Police Chief John Mina launched LGBTQ Safe Place, a new public safety initiative that is part of the City of Orlando’s continuing commitment to ensuring Orlando is an inclusive, diverse and accepting place that is safe for all residents and visitors. The mission of the Safe Place Initiative is to partner with businesses in the City of Orlando to provide the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community with easily identifiable and safe places throughout the City they can turn to if they are the victims of crime or feel threatened or uneasy.
  • Pulse Tragedy
    • Orlando United Assistance Center: The City of Orlando in partnership with federal, state, local and community agencies, established the Family Assistance Center (FAC) at World Camping Stadium to offer individuals who have been affected by the Pulse tragedy a critical connection between victims and services from 35 different on-site agencies, like travel, lodging, funeral services, child care and counseling they need as part of their recovery. More than 750 individuals and 243 families visited the FAC for assistance. In addition, 179 individuals and 83 families have returned to the FAC at least a second time. After one week, the City and Orange County governments partnered with Heart of Florida United Way to relocate FAC to a new location named the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC) to continue providing long-term assistance to those directly affected by the Pulse tragedy. Heart of Florida United Way has a vast network of partners in the nonprofit sector to address the variety of needs of those impacted by the tragedy quickly and efficiently connect those in need to the resources available. Culturally-experienced representatives from the Hispanic and LGBTQ communities will continue to be present at the center to provide support.
    • OneOrlando Fund: The OneOrlando Fund was established through the generosity of businesses, foundations and individual donors. Following the horrific tragedy at Pulse, there was a tremendous outpouring from the community seeking to provide financial support. In response, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the formation of the OneOrlando Fund. Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center) and the National Compassion Fund announced a partnership with the OneOrlando Fund to ensure all funds collected for victims are disbursed in a unified process that will expedite funds, ensure transparency and safeguard against fraud. On Monday, September 26, 2016, the final distribution plan for the OneOrlando Fund was unanimously approved by the Board. The processing of payments from the OneOrlando Fund began on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. The OneOrlando Fund has distributed $27,410,000 for 299 claims, representing 98 percent of all eligible claims filed. 
    • LGBTQ Alliance: Luis Martinez, Mayor Dyer’s LGBTQ Liaison, and Manuel Soto, the City’s Emergency Manager, are part of the LGBTQ Alliance, a group of local LGBTQ community leaders created to provide valuable resources and information to continue meeting the needs of Pulse’s survivors and victims’ families.
    • Offering Bilingual Information to our Hispanic community: Because the majority of Pulse’s victims and survivors are Hispanic, the City provided important information in Spanish at all times to our Hispanic community about City’s services, the Orlando United Assistance Center, the OneOrlando Fund and any other critical information.

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