Miami-Dade County adds gender identity to human rights ordinance

Miami, Fla.

Miami, Fla. D Ramey Logan

Miami, Fla.D Ramey Logan

Miami, Fla.

MIAMI — The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday voted to amend its existing Human Rights Ordinance to prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

The county is the latest of more than two dozen Florida municipalities to enact such a measure.

The human rights ordinance already bans discrimination based on gender, religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. The amendment to add gender identity and expression was approved by a vote of 8-3.

“As Florida’s most populous county, it was critical that Miami-Dade join the 27 other Florida municipalities that already have these protections.” said Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director of Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT advocacy group.

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“With today’s victory, more than 50 percent of Floridians are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, giving a major boost to our ongoing efforts to pass these protections statewide,” said Pollitzer, in a statement.

Opponents claimed that if people can determine their own gender it will make it easier for sex offenders to commit attacks in public restrooms, but supporters called the opponents’ restroom argument a red herring, saying the ordinance would not change which restroom people are allowed to use.

Commissioners Esteban Bovo, Jr., Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Juan C. Zapata voted against the transgender protections.

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