Miami-Dade County Takes First Step Toward Transgender Protections

Sep 16, 2014

Supporter of Miami-Dade's transgender community wave their hands in the Miami-Dade County commission chambers after the commission votes to outlaw discrimination against transgender individuals.
Credit Walt Michot / Miami Herald

The Miami-Dade County Commission gave preliminary approval Tuesday to add transgender protections to the county’s human rights law.

Last year, Miami-Dade County considered outlawing discrimination against transgender individuals as it already does for other groups.

But the item failed to draw enough support and was withdrawn.

On Tuesday, the commission revisited the issue.  It passed unanimously.

A few members of the public spoke in support of the transgender community. No one spoke in opposition.

Charo Valero said the ordinance would cover basic protection for a very vulnerable part of our community.

“People who are transgender experience twice the rate of unemployment and they experience an unprecedented amount of work place discrimination,” she said during public comment. 

The item will face two more votes before it is enacted as county law, but Tony Lima, executive director of SAVE, a gay-rights group, says this is a win for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“It’s the power of the community getting together saying we won't take intolerance and discrimination,” he said.