Miami-Dade County has expanded its human rights ordinance to include banning discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
The 8-3 vote, after more than four hours of debate and public comments, prompted a burst of applause from advocates who leaped from their seats in celebration. They had spent all day at County Hall anticipating a victory, but also defending themselves against ardent critics who claimed the expanded law would erase the privacy barriers between men and women in bathrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms.
Most commissioners dismissed those arguments as baseless and agreed to amend the county’s human-rights law, which forbids discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation, to protect transgender and gender non-conforming people.
“We were elected to defend these people and provide the protections that they need,” said Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, who spearheaded the legislation.