"Sodomy is not a civil right"


Like many communities around the country in the 1990s, Gainesville found itself in the grip of the "culture wars".  Most people think of Gainesville as a liberal bastion. especially if they're strongly connected to the University.  But long-term residents know that the rural areas surrounding us are as deeply red as any place in the South, and that makes Gainesville's own sporadic tendencies towards illiberal behavior not stand out quite as much as they otherwise would.

In 1993, some people in the LGB community decided that Gainesville should join the ranks of other university towns like Ann Arbor and pass an addition to the County Human Rights Ordinance, specifying housing and employment protections for LGB-identified individuals.  This proved controversial, and after a bruising campaign leading to passage by a county commission vote, the proposed protections were swiftly overturned by voter referendum, and remained off the books for more than a decade.  

Presented here are materials from local media, interviews with other related individuals, and selected letters that were sent to the Commission and providentially escaped the shredder.  This project is ongoing and more material will be added as it becomes available.