Tags: gender identity | discrimination | cross-dressing | Miami-Dade

Miami County May Ban Discrimination Against Transgender Gays

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 11:00 AM

Miami-Dade County commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to add "gender identity" and "gender expression" to a long list of categories forbidding discrimination under county law.

The "Gender Identity" ordinance would ban discrimination in the use of all public accommodations and has been bitterly opposed by a Florida state legislator and the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).

They argue that the provisions would allow transgendered men self-identifying or dressing as women to use women's restrooms and make the commission of sex crimes easier, The Miami Herald reports.

That opposition caused a similar proposal, backed by commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Bruno Barreiro, to be withdrawn last year.

But the election of Daniella Levine Cava, who favors the ordinance and was backed by SAVE Dade, the leading Miami-Dade gay rights group, over ordinance opponent Lynda Bell changed the political makeup of the commission and increased the ordinance's chances of passage, CBS News reported.

The Herald notes that state Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, has asked that the ordinance, which already exempts religious groups and private clubs, be rewritten to exempt bathrooms and lockers, showers and dressing rooms.


"Here’s the reality: Less than a quarter of 1 percent of society is transgender," Artiles wrote. "The way the law is drafted now affects the remaining 99.9 percent of people in a bad way."

The CFC said in a statement, "Approval of this proposed highly dangerous, discriminatory ordinance is nothing short of criminal. It legalizes discrimination against everyone who disagrees with an individual's 'sexual identity or expression' fantasy.

"Whenever you refuse to go along with whichever 'transsexual' claims to be his sexual identity or expression, you will be fired, persecuted or sued."

The CFC notes that in a public hearing on the proposal, out of 112 who spoke, 81 opposed the ordinance and only 31 favored it.

The ordinance would ban discrimination in "employment, family leave, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, and housing accommodations," the Christian Post notes.

Commissioner Edmonson told CBS, "This country is evolving in a way where we’re more accepting, so I think this is a good time to bring it back."

The ordinance notes that there are about 14 counties and municipalities that have similar ordinances in Florida, and that there are between 5,020 and 20,080 transgendered people currently living in Miami-Dade County.

It defines "gender identity" as "a person's innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth."

"Gender expression" is defined as "all of the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, grooming, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions."

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Miami-Dade County commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to add "gender identity" and "gender expression" to a long list of categories forbidding discrimination under county law.
gender identity, discrimination, cross-dressing, Miami-Dade
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2014-00-02
Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 11:00 AM
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