Revoking Petition Signatures
The group "Citizens For Good Public Policy" turned in more than 8,600 signatures to the Alachua County Supervisor of Election's Office. So far, close to 4,300 of the more than 5,500 signatures needed to get the amendment on the ballot have been verified. One group, however, isn't happy about it.
Mae Shields signed the petition against the Transgender Ordinance because she says that she was told that the ordinance would make it legal for men to use the women's restroom.
"Of course as a woman, I don't want a man entering my restroom so the petition sounded good enough," said Shields. "It was going to stop that."
But then, Shields became the first person to have her name removed from the petition.
"After signing the petition, I learned that the charter amendment was about so much more than that," said Shields. "It was about removing existing and future anti-discrimination policies in the city of Gainesville for gay and lesbian and transgender individuals."
That's why Shields has joined the group "Equality is Gainesville's Business." They hosted a rally in front of City Hall Wednesday afternoon to protest the method that the signatures for the petition were obtained.
"A number of people have been misled about the petition gathering process," said Terry Fleming, member of "Equality is Gainesville's Business." "They were told one set of information but in fact they were virtually misled, often by inflammatory language about sexual predators and pedifiles and of course that wasn't what the petition gathering process was about."
Officials from "Equality is Gainesville's Business" say they'll continue to spread the word about what they think the petition against the Trangender Ordinance really means.
Members of the group that created the petition did not return calls seeking comment for this story.
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