MIAMI, FL — Leading South Florida LGBT advocacy group SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, formerly SAVE Dade) welcomed today the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners’ approval of a procedural “first-reading” vote to consider an update to the countywide Human Rights Ordinance that would extend protections from discrimination to all residents. The measure was brought forward by Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Bruno Barreiro, with co-sponsorship from Commissioners Sally Heyman, Barbara Jordan, and Dennis Moss.
“While today was only the first step of many before we are able to secure this critical update, I’m confident that by standing TOGETHER we can keep the pro-equality momentum going to pass this measure later this year,” said SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima in response to the vote.
The Human Rights Ordinance as it currently stands only protects limited groups of people, notably leaving a loophole to discriminate against people who are transgender and people who don’t go along with typical gender expectations. It means that if you don’t conform to what a person thinks is a man or a woman, that person could discriminate against you, and it would be legal.
People who are transgender are especially affected by the loophole, but left open, it has the potential to affect anyone who doesn’t go along with gender stereotypes, including gays and lesbians.
Today’s vote in favor of human rights for all comes just weeks after a resounding win by pro-equality Commissioner-elect Daniella Levine Cava over anti-LGBT incumbent Commissioner Lynda Bell, who became known for her vote to kill a similar proposal in 2013.
“When Commissioner Bell refused to stand up for human rights for her constituents, we made our voices heard by replacing her with a dependable pro-equality vote in Daniella,” said SAVE Deputy Director Maria Barth. “Today’s positive vote is the first step towards leveraging that enthusiasm into action to pass a Human Rights Ordinance that protects everyone, including people who are transgender.”
The effort is SAVE’s latest as part of its TOGETHER 2014 initiative to elect candidates and pass policies that are pro-equality. For more information on SAVE’sTOGETHER 2014 effort, please visit savedade.org/2014.
About SAVE: SAVE’s mission is to promote, protect and defend equality for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Established in 1993, SAVE accomplishes this mission through education initiatives, outreach, grassroots organizing, and advocacy. Starting with the landmark passage of Miami’s Human Rights Ordinance in 1998 to recent enactments of domestic partner benefit policies, SAVE continues to lead the fight for LGBT equality through grassroots action focused on civil rights, parental rights, and relationship recognition through political advocacy, community outreach, candidate endorsements.