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Christian conservatives rally at Miami-Dade County Hall against gender identity non-discrimination law

Christian Family Coalition transgender protest 2013-08-26 007

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

About two-dozen men, women and children came to Miami-Dade County Hall on Monday seeking to keep dead a proposal that would ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.

"We must make sure that this discriminatory transsexual ordinance never returns," said Nathaniel J. Wilcox, director of PULSE, People United Leading the Struggle for Equality.

Wilcox and other conservative activists, including Anthony Verdugo of the Christian Family Coalition and Eladio José Armesto of the Catholic Cultural Fund, introduced several speakers outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in downtown Miami.

"We’re living in a society where many have lost their moral compass and no longer have an understanding of right and wrong, good and evil," said Teresita “Tesi” Miglio, 56, of Miami. "From history we learn that the greatest empires that have existed were destroyed, not by conquering enemies, but from within. They fell into moral decadence."

Miglio referred to the gender identity ordinance introduced in May by Miami-Dade Commissioners Bruno Barreiro and Audrey Edmonson and co-sponsored by Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Sally Heyman.

The plan, which would have amended the county’s existing gay-rights law to ban discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based on gender identity or expression, passed 11-1 on first reading. Commission Vice Chairwoman Lynda Bell voted against.

The proposal then went to the commission’s Health and Social Services Committee, comprised of chairwoman Edmonson, Bell, Commissioners Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Jean Monestime and Javier D. Souto.

Co-sponsors pulled the amendment on Aug. 13, when they realized there weren't enough votes to pass in committee.

SAVE Dade, the county's leading LGBT rights group, blamed Bell for the proposal's failure.

Miami-Dade conservatives then rallied around Bell, the former president of Florida Right to Life.

"As I stand here today, I am truly grateful to Miami-Dade Commission Vice Chair Lynda Bell for doing her duty as a public servant and voting against a proposed ordinance on its first reading," Miglio said Monday. "Unfortunately, she became a victim of discrimination and hate by the very group that was trying to force this discriminatory law on every Miami-Dade County resident. Commissioner Bell, please know that there are numerous human rights organizations that proudly stand by you."

Gay activists nationally are seeking to protect transgender people from workplace, housing and other discrimination, and to provide physical and mental healthcare benefits for people in gender transition.

“Transitioning is the process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. This may or may not include hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery and other medical procedures,” according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the United States’ largest LGBT rights organization.

The Christian Family Coalition campaign this summer against the Miami-Dade proposal included a picture of a man with beard stubble and a blonde wig leering at a frightened little girl in what appears to be a bathroom.

Christian conservatives say that if the Miami-Dade County law eventually passes and they must comply with it, they'll become the victims of discrimination.

"The lack of honesty of the ordinance proponents is also very apparent as their cowardly threats and attacks make clear. They seek to legalize discrimination. Everything for them, nothing for us. They want everything, give us nothing," Wilcox said. "They want protection, but they don’t want our children to be protected. They want protection, but they don’t want our wives and daughters to be protected. That’s discriminatory."

Miglio said the proposed ordinance "was not only discriminatory, but actually put women and children at risk at being raped in bathrooms."

Mara Keisling, founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, called Miglio's claim "utter nonsense."

"But it's also mean spirited," Keisling said. "They know they are lying. There is nothing in the ordinance that would have legalized any illegal behavior."

Click here to view more pictures from Monday's protest. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.

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The is the commission pledge sought by Christian conservatives:

The NO to Discrimination Challenge

Legalizing discrimination in Miami-Dade through a “gender identity and expression ordinance or similar policies is not the answer.

No one should fear losing their job or having their rights violated because of who they are or what they believe.

Miami-Dade must remain an inclusive and tolerant community.

_____________________________            _____________________

SIGNATURE OFFICE / POSITION

_____________________________            _____________________

PRINTED NAME                                                                   DATE

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Again? Its such shame to see people spending so much time hating our community ... specially Eladio Armesto, who is all about the bible and being a good Christian, but is nothing more than a con-artist!
Calls himself a lawyer but never graduated or passed a bar exam. Says he is a doctor in theology, but the university he graduated from does not exist. Almost all the companies listed in his LinkedIn profile are inactive and have the same PO Box address. All the websites of his companies are only a "sample text" in Latin or a copy-paste paragraph "stolen" from other websites, and worst of all ... says he has ten children (only has one or two) and his high school sweetheart, who he wanted to marry left him for a GIRL! Can somebody please expose him for what he is? He is nothing more than a bigot and a liar who loves the media exposure! BTW, I found all the info above by spending only a couple of hours on the web ... I also sent this info more than a month ago to SaveDade and nobody even replied. I feel organizations like Save Dade have underestimated the fanaticism of these people and have not acted with the pressure and focus than they should ...
Thank you Steve for all your good work following up on these stories.

It is contrary to sound public policy to recognize or grant an individual the false “right” to freely disregard and openly misrepresent their biological sex because this will thereafter recognize and grant the false “right” of individuals to disregard and misrepresent their age, race, ethnicity, or any other biological realities.

Trans-Insanity extremists need to understand that there is no constitutional or rational right to demand that society accept my sexual fantasies, my personal opinions or my subjective ‘feelings’ about whether I’m a man or a woman!

This "transsexual" ordinance has absolutely nothing to do with civil rights. It is simply an excuse to unjustly discriminate. Ordinance proponents are not advocating equality, they are pushing insanity! They need to turn the page! Deal with it, sisters. Sign the Challenge!

NOW ARMESTO? WHEN WILL THESE VILE ATTACKS STOP?

First it was Miami-Dade Commission Vice Chair Lynda Bell, now it's respected community leader Eladio Jose Armesto. Who will be the next victim of these delirious, defamatory hate attacks!

"Susana", if that's your real name, spreading lies and misinformation will get your cause nowhere. In fact, you do yourself a great disservice because fair-minded, intelligent people effortlessly see through your resentment-filled vitriol, and your deceitful and hateful rhetoric.

Hey "Susana" get a life, cease the senseless defamation, and STOP THE VICIOUS HATE. We can all do without it. Thank you.

The Christian Coalition tactic of mixing gender dysmorphia with pedophilia is ridiculous and needs to be stopped now. Transgendered individuals are often tortured by feelings they don't understand or that society doesn't wish them to express. TG's are discriminated against simply because they are trying to be who their brain tells them they are. The only people who are going to bother the wives and children are people like Wilcox and Miglio.

Corrupt Miami and Miami Beach officials. All they want is more pay and power and more police brutality to keep the taxpayers quiet. It's impossible to do anything anymore in South Florida without being attacked by a lunatic obnoxious cop.

How much longer are people going to let fairy tales and myths guide their thinking. If some super powered omniscient being is against gays having rights, I would imagine it would have the power to let his will be known by some other method than the mouth of deluded morons. For once and for all THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GODS. THEY ARE ONLY FAIRY TALES!

Wilcox :"They want protection, but they don’t want our children to be protected. They want protection, but they don’t want our wives and daughters to be protected. That’s discriminatory."
Why do gays hate people that are not gay? We will NEVER admire your life style. Why should we? Only two genders exist. Male & female. That is not just a religious belief. It is a biological fact.

The entire if I can not discriminate I am discriminated against thing is quite amazing - and effective.

That said - forcing Women to accept in process transgendered males (men becoming women)into Female Bathrooms is a losing and disrespectful request.

Not a popular opinion in the LGBT community - but it is mine and I understand how disrespected those who oppose this feel.

Why lose protections for housing and job safety for this overreach?

We already have unisex bathrooms. They are called "Family bathrooms". Convert all bathrooms to Family Bathrooms, and the arguments against trangender equality fail. Several cities have ordinances allowing individuals to use the bathroom consistent with their self-perceived gender. It hasn't been a problem. The same people who argue against trangender equality are the same people who argue against sexual orientation equality. Bigots are bigoted regardless of the cause.

Face it everyone, Miami-Dade county is riddled with intolerant bigots and fascists. The LGBT community in Miami-Dade is at a crisis mode with so many bigots living in this county. One of the commissioners in Miami-Dade county actually believes that discrimination against ANYONE and their lifestyle desires should still take place in the system. It wouldn't surprise me if that one particular person (you know who I am talking about) still believes in segregation and Jim Crow laws. Just move one county north to Broward to have your rights and freedoms back. Miami-Dade county is sliding backwards into the slippery slope of regression and not going forward. Miami-Dade is about 40 years behind the rest of the county, maybe more than that. And we're supposed to believe that this "progressive" city of Miami is so tolerant and accepting of other people as if it's a 21st century city. Get out of here with that nonsense.

Typo* in my previous comment. I meant to say, Miami-Dade is about 40 years behind the rest of the country* (not county). That is all.

As a Presbyterian Christian, it SADDENS me that the Christian Family Coalition does not believe in EQUAL rights for EVERYONE. God does not care how you were born or what you look like because he loves everyone. My God is a humble God and he loves everyone. It doesn't matter what race, color, ethnicity, religion, creed, culture, sexual identity, disability, etc., because God created all men and women equally. Maybe this so-called Christian Family Coalition should really stop hating and start loving more because God is LOVE.

Get a life people. Dont you see this picture, a man in women's bathroom. If your dauther is in it and get rape, what would you say about that ? I am a father of two dauthers and i won't like to see this scene in my family.

We are living in the end times, moral decadence destroys all empires and nation-states.

As a country and a society, we are all starting to get to the main question about religion, I think. It's not really about Islam in America, because in America, it's not Muslims who are interpreting our faith as a demand to persecute others. They had the 50th anniversary of that black minister guy the other day in Washington. And next to the President's speech, the most outstanding moment for me perplexed and scared me at first, but I see it as a masterstroke of the event organizers. They had this lady sing JESUS IS LOVE, by Lionel Richie. It is still stuck in my head. I thought at first, "too religious." But you know what? It shows exactly what's wrong with today's "conservative Christians." Religion should never be about persecuting anyone. If a Muslim persecutes, he is not imitating our Prophet Muhammad. We are taught that he was the most gentle man who ever walked the earth. That he was smart and called to our faith only with the best words. God tells him in our book, "You are only a warner. You cannot compel them." Now if Islam tells us to be nice to non-believers, how much more so is the Biblical example of Jesus? Where in the Bible does Jesus go to city hall to fight to make sure some citizens are never seen as equal under secular law? Which Apostle did it? They are not doing what Jesus did. Jesus and Moses and Muhammad were surrounded by disbelievers. They had to be smart, kind, generous, patient and tolerant because our traditions say they began as single men, with only the voice of God to guide them. That group at County hall was more of a mob. True religion is I go at a person one on one, first knowing that no one listens to you if they don't like you. Okay, so there are sinners out there and I need get them to see God. Nothing in Christianity says go to the government and get the government to tell them they don't have rights because then they'll see the light. I close with adding, this is even more so the case in Islam. We had the first multicultural religious community Andalusia. After the moors were driven out, Isabella and Ferdinand came in and began the Spanish Inquisition. So we have those who believe God tells them to use the government to punish private sin and they do this INSTEAD OF taking care of the poor and weak in society. And they fight to make sure the government does not take care of the elderly, the poor and the weak among us....and then they have the nerve to claim they are imitating Jesus....

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