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'MAKE US FREE' The County Commission sits in session earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel AMID A CONDO DISCRIMINATION DISPUTE AND ARSON INVESTIGATION, LGBT RIGHTS ADVOCATES ASK THE COUNTY COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Julia Nowak asked the Sarasota County Com- dinance after she discovered discriminatory mission for one thing Tuesday morning, Aug. language embedded in documents approved 27: "Write an ordinance to make us free." by the Venice condo complex, Casa Di Amici. That document, a human rights ordinance, The rules would have limited condo ownerwould offer protection against discrimination ship to married couples and individuals — in in employment and housing based on age, dis- effect banning gay and lesbian partners. After ability, gender, marital status, national origin, pointing out the offending language behind religion, sexual orientation, gender identity closed doors, Nowak went to the media, in and veteran status. While the cities of Sara- an effort to apply "public pressure," she tells sota and Venice both have similar measures The Sarasota News Leader. What surprised on the books, Sarasota her most was that, beCounty has yet to OK cause the complex is This issue won't go away. such protections. located in unincorporated Sarasota County, Nowak, an Englewood Ken Shelin LGBT advocate the language was perrealtor, was inspired Sarasota to stand up for the orfectly legal.

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