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The Orlando City Council agreed Monday to at least a dozen other cities in filing amicus briefs with an appeals court in the hopes of overturning Carsten's ruling. Carsten cited a state law that he determined preempts local measures.
Jon Harris Maurer said Florida Supreme Court case law has established that local governments have the right to enact nondiscrimination ordinances. The state law sets up a system for discrimination complaints to be reviewed by a commission to determine if there is "reasonable cause" before a lawsuit is filed.
AP — A lawsuit over women's right to enter strip clubs chattanooga by men is making Florida cities and counties worry club the future of their local civil-rights laws. An Orlando area strip club denied two Alabama strips access because its policy required women to enter with men to prevent domestic incidents, prostitution and distractions of male clients, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Circuit Judge Keith Carsten sided with the club, ruling that the county's ordinance was preempted by the state's anti-discrimination law. Backers of the local ordinances maintain that federal and state laws set the floor for protection and that local governments can offer further protection.
The women, with backing from cities, counties and activist groups like Equality Florida, have appealed Carsten's ruling. An attorney representing Rachel's, Steven Mason, said the local ordinances violate the constitution. The women sued, arguing Rachel's club had violated the county's human rights ordinance, which protects against discrimination on factors including gender.
The ruling perked the ears of localities across the state, concerned that it could nullify their own anti-discrimination ordinances.