On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade County
Commission voted overwhelmingly to prohibit discrimination based on
gender identity or gender expression in the areas of employment,
housing and public accommodations.
With an 8-3 vote, commissioners agreed
to amend the county's existing Human Rights Ordinance (HRO).
Miami-Dade is Florida's most populous
and third largest county. It covers all or part of five
congressional districts and is home to nearly 2.5 million Floridians,
as of the 2010 Census.
According to Equality Florida,
Florida's leading LGBT rights advocate, Miami-Dade is the state's
28th municipality with such protections.
The ACLU of Florida lobbied for
“People should be judged based on
their merits and qualifications – period,” ACLU of Florida
Executive Director Howard Simon said in a statement. “This basic
principle of equality is one that people in this county pride
themselves on, and which the Human Rights Ordinance protects. For
decades, this ordinance has been the battleground for some of the
most important fights between those who want a fairer and welcoming
community and those who would use religion as a tool to discriminate.
Today, fairness won.”
Leading opponents of passage were the
Christian Family Coalition and the Florida Democratic League.