Share story

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The city attorney in Jacksonville says an initiative intended to challenge a new gay rights law cannot be legally placed on the November ballot.

The Florida Times-Union reports that city general counsel Jason Gabriel said in a memo this week that the initiative is “defective” because it would grant local voters a power they do not have. Gabriel says only the Jacksonville city council has legislative authority.

A conservative group called Empower Jacksonville has been collecting signatures in an attempt to get the initiative placed on the November ballot. It would overturn the city’s human rights ordinance, which was changed by the council last year to prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender people.

An Empower Jacksonville spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.