The Jacksonville City Council in Florida overwhelmingly opposed an ordinance that would specifically protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents from discrimination.
City officials voted 17-2 against the non-discrimination measure.
The ordinance would have added sexual orientation to laws restricting discrimination based on age, race, and gender for housing, employment, and public accommodations.
"This is an extraordinary victory for the people of Jacksonville who rose up and made it clear they were not going to allow some secret council of elite power brokers or activists from outside Jacksonville to force extreme policies upon them," said Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger.
Supporters claimed approval was necessary to attract new business to Jacksonville.
But opponents felt the ordinance would force people of faith to bend their beliefs to fit the law or face legal action. Many also saw the ordinance as part of a larger effort to "normalize" same-sex relationships in Florida.