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Not having enough votes, Miami-Dade County drops plan for trans-inclusive human-rights ordinance

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday withdrew a proposal adding gender identity and expression to the county’s current anti-discrimination law.

“The commission has decided to withdraw the item in order to allow more time to educate the county commission on this important issue,” said Maria Barth, deputy director of SAVE Dade, the county’s leading gay-rights group.

The plan, which couldn't gather enough votes at the committee level, would have banned discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based on gender identity or expression.

The county’s existing gay-rights law that passed in 1998 doesn’t cover transgender people. Monroe County and Key West updated their human rights ordinances in 2003, Miami Beach in 2004, Palm Beach County in 2007 and Broward County in 2008.

Tuesday night, Equality Florida, the statewide gay-rights group, announced a trans-inclusive anti-discrimination law passed 4-0 in Alachua County, including the Gainesville area.

In May, Miami-Dade Commissioners Bruno Barreiro and Audrey Edmonson filed a trans-inclusive amendment, co-sponsored by Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Sally Heyman. The amendment passed on first reading with an 11-1 vote. Only Miami-Dade Commission Vice Chairwoman Lynda Bell voted against.

The amendment 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.

After lobbying by Miami-Dade's statewide Christian Family Coalition, the committee declined to discuss the proposal at its July 8 meeting and originally decided to defer until Aug. 26.

On Tuesday, commission co-sponsors dropped the plan.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said Tuesday’s decision “is the step that needed to be taken.”

“It’s fairly apparent the education failed and the politics failed,” she said. “They now know who they need to educate and who they need to advocate with.”

Comments

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Wow, influenced by the Christian Family Coalition of Miami-Dade County......
I guess they didn't hear the news today......Religious people are more likely to be less intelligent than atheists, according to a new study.

I have to agree...thats a shame.

who is the OPPOSING vote and why does the herald always protect troglodytes?

So if I run a restaurant and guy dressed like a woman comes in to apply for a job as a greeter, it would then be illegal to deny that person the job?

Ridiculousness!

The cost to businesses in sue-happy Miami Dade would be staggering. Imagine: if you don't have gender neutral bathrooms (which 99%+ of restaurants/hotels/concert halls don't), you would have to permit men dressed as women to use the women's bathroom or risk being sued. If an incident occurred in those bathrooms, the women victims would sue. This ordnance would force all businesses to create gender neutral bathrooms, which take up more space and cost big bucks. This is even more ridiculous than Natatcha Milian's stroller parking space ordinance.

Firstly, this amendment isn't for a 'guy dressed like a woman', it is for a person born in a natal sex and transitioning or has transitioned to another. What if someone applies that is a disheveled, homeless hobo? What if it is a man applying for a greeter at a woman's store? What you are referring to is job description, this would ensure that a trans* candidate that is a fit for a position can not be thrown aside simply because of their gender identity. Secondly, this vote is not intended to change bathrooms; that is something the CFC has latched on to in their smear campaign. This amendment is focused on employment and housing, to endure that a transgender person isn't denied services or fired from their job because of their expressed gender variance.

Its laughable that these smear jobs ALWAYS focus soley on transwomen, but totally leave out the TRANSMEN!

Even worse, when they bring up the bathroom issue, they would rather Bulky, Hairy, Testosterone using TRANSMEN be pushed in with their wimmenz! (Would love to see our community stage a sit in, and show their hypocrisy for what it is... Scare tactics!)

And even worse irony... Gender neutral bathrooms would LOWER END COSTS! Since the same bathroom can be used by everyone, they can essentially reduce the bathrooms by about 1/3 and still have it be workable! Maybe keep one single occupancy bathroom for the super squeamish who are terrified of change... If its busy, they can WAIT!

Seriously guys, if you don't like the costs of doing business, close up shop, and let someone more educated open a business instead!!!

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