More than 60 activists huddled in the shade during a rally on Sunday in support of an amendment to the Miami-Dade County human rights ordinance. They were joined by faith leaders including Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Unity on the Bay and All Souls' Episcopal Church.
The amendment adds to the human rights ordinance protection of individuals regardless of gender identity or gender expression. The original human rights ordinance was passed in Miami-Dade back in 1998. It bans discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based on sexual orientation. This protects gay and lesbian individuals, but according to those who rallied in support of the amendment, it leaves out protections for transgendered individuals.
County commissioners Bruno Barreiro and Audrey Edmonson introduced the proposed amendment this summer. Their efforts were ultimately blocked and the amendment was pulled from committee in August. One effort to prevent passage was led by the Christian Family Coalition, which rallied a group of conservative religious activists.
Allison Grisham is founder of Interfaith Out, a committee of SAVE Dade, a Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activist organization.
"We are here as people of faith to support the human right of every person on the planet," she said.
Joining together with people of faith is one part of the effort toward reintroducing the amendment.
The timeline for that reintroduction has not been sorted out yet, but SAVE Dade Executive Director Tony Lima said the goal now is to educate the community about the amendment and transgendered individuals.