Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 141932
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File Number: 141932 File Type: Ordinance Status: Second Reading
Version: 0 Reference: 14-118 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: GENDER IDENTITY Introduced: 9/3/2014
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/2/2014
Agenda Date: 12/2/2014 Agenda Item Number: 7C
Notes: REQUIRES 6-4 WKS Title: ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 11A OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING, PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS, AND EMPLOYMENT BASED ON GENDER IDENTITY OR GENDER EXPRESSION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: GENDER IDENTITY
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Daniella Levine Cava, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/2/2014 7C Adopted P
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairwoman Sosa explained the rules that would be followed for the upcoming public hearing. Commissioner Bovo pointed out that the Public Safety & Animal Services Committee (PSASC) already heard extensive public testimony and dialogue on this issue, which led to considerable discussions regarding public accommodations, more specifically relating to restrooms and dressing rooms. He proposed an amendment removing the public accommodation component from the proposed ordinance. Commissioner Edmonson indicated that there were at least three co-prime sponsors to this item, noting these commissioners should be given the opportunity to comment on Commissioner Bovo’s proposed amendment. Chairwoman Sosa noted all prime and co-prime sponsors would have the opportunity to speak on Commissioner Bovo’s proposed amendment. She inquired whether the proposed ordinance giving transgender individuals the same rights as other County residents would prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment. Assistant County Attorney Terrence Smith advised that this ordinance would include gender identity and gender expression as an additional protected class under the County’s Human Rights Ordinance, established in 1968. In response to Chairwoman Sosa’s inquiry as to whether this ordinance would permit someone dressed like a woman to use the men’s restrooms, Assistant County Attorney Smith advised that it would not. Chairwoman Sosa indicated that she received concerns that this ordinance would allow men to use women’s restrooms and women to use men’s restrooms. She pointed out that transgender individuals exhibited the characteristics of the gender that they changed to. Commissioner Sosa noted confusion existed in the community and questioned whether the proposed ordinance would allow any man to use women’s restrooms and any woman to use men’s restrooms. Assistant County Attorney Smith clarified that it would not allow a man to use women’s restrooms or a woman to use men’s restrooms. Commissioner Diaz inquired whether the ordinance as written would allow him to use a public women’s facility if he identified as a woman. Assistant County Attorney Smith explained that a transgender person identified with the opposite sex and therefore would be able to use the restrooms of the sex he/she identified with. Commissioner Diaz said that a transgender individual could identify with either sex, and therefore they could use either the men’s or women’s restrooms. Assistant County Attorney Smith further clarified that a transgender person was someone transitioning from female to male or male to female. He said that the person could be at the beginning stage of a lengthy process or have completed the process with either top or bottom surgeries. In response to Commissioner Diaz’ request, Assistant County Attorney Smith read Section 11A-2 (12) as follows: “Gender identity shall mean 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 (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate).” Commissioner Diaz pointed out, and Assistant County Attorney Smith confirmed, that someone could still walk into a public facility based upon how they personally defined their sexual identification. Pursuant to Commissioner Edmonson’s question regarding the definition of a public facility, Assistant County Attorney Smith clarified that a public facility was defined in the County Code (letter A – O) and included: inns, hotels, motels, restaurants, motion picture houses, auditoriums, the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, gas stations, etc. He said that any building open to the public was considered a public accommodation. Commissioner Edmonson said she believed that the example of public restrooms had been put forth as a reason to deny someone’s civil and human rights. She pointed out that entering a restroom of another sex was already against the law. Assistant County Attorney Smith noted he presumed that entering restrooms designated for the opposite sex was illegal if separate facilities were available for both sexes; however, both sexes could freely enter unisex restrooms. Commissioner Edmonson said she did not support Commissioner Bovo’s proposed amendment. She noted over the past five years the Administration received sixteen cases involving allegations from County employees relating to gender identity expression. Chairwoman Sosa clarified that she would not accept any motions from her colleagues until after the conclusion of the public hearing. Commissioner Heyman indicated that the PSASC spent considerable time hearing from the public and discussing this issue, resulting in the cancellation of two other committee meetings. She said the greatest objection to the human rights of transgender individuals pertained to public accommodations, of which public restrooms were a minimal component. Commissioner Heyman said the existing Human Rights Ordinance never stipulated what someone could or could not do in a restroom as a pedophile and a perpetrator depending upon one’s age. She said this consideration was not based upon race or any other characteristic now set for protection against discriminatory practices under the County’s Human Rights Ordinance. Commissioner Heyman said nowhere did this ordinance support activity that would challenge and/or allow for enhanced opportunities for victimization, including in restrooms, public or not. She indicated that transgender individuals included women who were transitioning into males and males into females. Commissioner Heyman said that there were already laws under the Florida Statutes and the County Code prohibiting illegal entry into a restroom for harm, sexual harassment or invasion of privacy. In conclusion, she stated that transgender individuals needed equal protection as they pursued a private lifestyle, noting so much misinformation existed as it related to restroom pedophiles and predators. Commissioner Heyman noted she was also opposed to the proposed amendment. Commissioner Jordan indicated that she also opposed the proposed amendment. She noted there was confusion between transgender and cross dresser. Commissioner Jordan commented that someone would be entitled to use either the women’s or the men’s restrooms if currently in the process of transitioning from one sex to another, as noted by Assistant County Attorney Smith. She emphasized the importance to not make the assumption that a straight male going into a restroom was not a pedophile. Commissioner Jordan said an individual who chose to transition had the right to appropriate accommodations which needed to be protected. Commissioner Monestime expressed his disappointment with the manner in which opponents addressed the issue, especially by those who had been discriminated against in the past. He said it was unfortunate that the issue had been reduced to criminals being in restrooms with children. Commissioner Monestime said that everyone was born with certain rights; that these individuals made very difficult personal decisions about their lives; and that they deserved the right to do so without discrimination to public places. He lamented that some people, particularly some members of the clergy, forgot about tolerance, love and compassion. Commissioner Monestime said criminals could take advantage of people in restrooms anywhere and the discussion should not be centered on transgendered individuals being identified as criminals just because of their identity. Commissioner Bovo questioned whether the cases referenced in the report mentioned by Commissioner Edmonson were countywide or just related to County employees. Deputy Mayor Edward Marquez clarified that there were a total of sixteen reports filed countywide, of which two were associated with County employees. Commissioner Bovo pointed out that there were eleven cases after subtracting the five with no probable cause and that a settlement was made in five cases. He questioned the status of the six pending cases. Ms. Erin New, Legal Liaison, Office of Human Rights and Fair Employment, reported that fourteen external complaints and two internal complaints were filed by County employees. She noted the internal complaints were both closed with findings of no cause. She described the summary of allegations and outcomes of these complaints. Pursuant to Commissioner Bovo’s question as to whether employees found guilty of harassing other employees because of their gender identity underwent counselling, Ms. New noted the County had an Administrative Order, which prohibited unlawful harassment based on protected classifications. She said that transgender employees were protected under the classification “gender or sexual orientation.” Commissioner Bovo stated that transgender individuals were already protected based upon these internal cases. He noted the issue was not a transgender individual using a public facility; rather, the threat was that a deviant, who was always one step ahead of the law, would take advantage of the situation. Commission Bovo read Section 4 of the County’s Human Rights Ordinance, noting the proposed amendment would grant the opportunity to exercise this section and to address issues related to when someone’s rights began and another person’s rights ended. He recommended removing restrooms from this discussion since advocates at the Committee meeting said it had nothing to do with restrooms. Commissioner Bovo said he did not believe that the transgender community should be harassed or discriminated against in housing, work or obtaining a loan. He noted the need to be mindful of the majority of the population who were concerned about these issues and their safety. Commissioner Bovo said transgender did not necessarily mean someone was going to change their sex; and these individuals could live under their perception of what they were for the rest of their lives. He indicated that he was trying to be mindful, noting there was a huge segment of the population who believed that their rights were also being trampled on. He wondered where they would go to file a complaint. Commissioner Bovo stated that it was important to take everyone’s rights into consideration, not just those of a segment of this community. Commissioner Levine Cava pointed out that the Commission members were united in opposing discrimination but divided over restrooms. She noted she was a lifelong advocate for equality, equal opportunity and for child, family and adult protection. Commissioner Levine Cava said that the ordinance was asking for equal rights, not special rights and for the local government to respect those rights. She stated that it was a fundamental right that citizens not be discriminated against in housing or jobs because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Commissioner Levine Cava said that society allowed victimization to flourish; that these issues needed to be addressed; and that they should not be confused with identity issues. Commissioner Edmonson noted the point was that allegations were made, regardless of the number of allegations. She said the commissioners were elected to defend constituents and provide the needed protection against discrimination. Commissioner Edmonson noted transsexual cases were underreported because no established protections existed. She pointed out that similar legislation was already successfully adopted and implemented throughout the country. She said that issues concerning restrooms and dressing rooms were scare-tactics. Commissioner Edmonson suggested that Chairwoman Sosa opened the public hearing at this time. Chairwoman Sosa opened the floor to public comments, noting the foregoing proposed ordinance was not a public hearing item, and called for persons wishing to appear before the Board on the foregoing proposed ordinance. The following persons appeared before the Board: State Representative David Richardson, 1701 Meridian Avenue, #402A, Miami Beach, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. He noted that he was the first openly gay legislator in Tallahassee, FL; that he was proud of this community and its diversity because no one raised an issue about his sexual orientation during his election; and that it was important to provide basic human rights to everyone. State Representative Richardson said he agreed with Commissioner Edmonson that the restroom issue was just an issue causing confusion and that there were laws protecting the public from deviants. Miami Shores Village Vice Mayor Jesse Walters, 440 NE 91 Street, Miami Shores, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Nelson R. Bloom, 7605 SW 164 Court, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Madelyn Rodriguez, 8871 Fontainebleau Boulevard, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. William Thomson, 10451 SW 47 Street, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Ramon Justamante, Pastor, Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana De Hialeah, 16741 NW 81 Avenue, Miami Lakes, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Former Commissioner Katy Sorenson, Miami, noted she was the prime sponsor of the County’s Human Rights Ordinance passed in 1998 which added sexual orientation to the list of protected classes and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Sandra Wong, 19630 SW 87 Avenue, Cutler Bay, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Nannette Bartels, 2208 SE 27 Drive, Homestead, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Roger Gupaugui, 2951 NW 93 Street, Miami, representing Love Your Neighbor, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Marsha Hertig, 11053 SW 129 Place, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Autumnjoy Wong, 19630 SW 87 Avenue, Cutler Bay, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Felicia Roberts, 11237 North Kendall Drive, E-209, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Marc T. Mortensew, 10501 SW 45 Street, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Nercy Radcliffe, 460 NW 124 Avenue, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Clara Gallo, 4420 SW 106 Avenue, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Enrique Marti, Jr., 1550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, addressed the Board on an unrelated item. Reverend James L. Pasley, Grace Church,17300 NW 43 Road, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Shima Wong, 19630 SW 87 Avenue, Cutler Bay, representing Christian Family, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. America George, 11253 SW 151 Place, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Ivonne Fuentes, 21600 SW 104 Court, #103, Cutler Bay, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Andres Arteaga, 11461 Lakeside Drive, #4305, Doral, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Keith Nellis, 10312 SW 128 Place, Miami, representing the Christian Family Coalition, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Kathleen Bush, 12300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Klaus Cano, 9365 Fontainbleau Boulevard, Miami, representing Save Dade, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Maria P. Aburto, 531 SW 8 Avenue, Miami, representing Miami Dade County Pride, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Belky Hernandez, 2652 SW 23 Avenue, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Pastor Olden Reese, 17610 NW 41 Avenue, Miami, representing PULSE, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Monica Verdooren, 6875 West Flagler Street, #305, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Paulette Daron, 2422 NW 12 Avenue, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Vanessa Thomas, 6023 NW 22 Avenue, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Natalie J. Isaac, 1426 SW 2 Street, #8, Miami, representing the Trans Community, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Robin Schwartz, 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, representing the Aqua Foundation for Women, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Constance Collins, 1514 NW 2 Avenue, #1, Miami, representing Lotus House Women’s Shelter, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Charo Valero, 711 NE 23 Terrace, Miami, representing SAVE, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Reverend Robert Meyers, Pastor, Miami Baptist Church, 14955 SW 88 Street, Miami, 14380 SW 166 Street (residence), Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance, as amended by Commissioner Bovo. Mr. Nathanial Wilcox, 3111 NW 135 Street, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Geneva Smith, 17850 NW 22 Avenue, Miami Gardens, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Antonio Verdugo, 10005 SW 28 Street, Miami, representing the Christian Family Coalition, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Marcia Carty, 3321 NW 214 Street, Miami Gardens, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Carmen Sotomayor, 8310 NW 10 Street, #54, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Armando V. Pomar, 7710 Abbott Avenue, Miami Beach, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Reverend Grey Maggiano, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 464 NE 16 Street, representing Women’s Association and Alliance Against Injustice and Violence (WAAIVE), spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Madame Renita Holmes, 350 Lebrae Place, Miami, representing Women’s Association and Alliance Against Injustice and Violence (WAAIVE), spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance with additional conversation. Mr. Gilberto del Pino, 14354 SW 283 Street, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Dr. Raul Hernandez, 4450 SW 4 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Michael Rajner, 2607 NE 8 Avenue, Wilton Manors, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Bishop S.F. Makalani-Mattee, 2040 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, representing the Pride Center, and representing the Broward County Commission as a Broward Human Rights Board member, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Yasser Martinez, 15098 SW 112 Lane, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Patricia Cooper, 6441 SW 163 Court, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Marta B. Pedrosa, 8371 SW 27 Lane, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Marsha Juben, 235 Sedonia Avenue, #201, Coral Gables, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Tobias Packer, 570 NW 48 Street, Miami, representing SEIU Florida, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Lissette Espinosa, 3600 SW 114 Avenue, 101, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Beatriz Viera, 10018 Hammocks Boulevard, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Eva Nuell, 6323 NW 22 Court, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Daniel Allen, 1230 SW 99 Avenue, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Elizabeth Regalado, 6751 SW 75 Terrace, South Miami, SAVE Board Member, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Jose Pereda, 46 NE 171 Terrace, North Miami Beach, representing the Christian Family Coalition, spoke in support of the proposed amendment excluding bathrooms, and other public facilities. Mr. Gabriel Garcia-Vera, 550 NE 94 Street, Miami, Florida Field Coordinator, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Francesco Duberli, 650 Coral Way, #506, Coral Gables, Executive Director, Survivors Pathway Organization, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Georg Ketelhon, 2425 SW 20 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Luigi Ferrer, 6700 SW 52 Street, Miami, representing the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Krysta Cascio, 14730 NW 6 Court, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Emily Garcia, 12902 SW 88 Terrace, Miami, representing Save Dade, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Andy Weaver, 1335 W 49 Place, #502, Hialeah, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Jeffrey Grisales, 16235 SW 107 Court, Miami, representing Save Dade, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Gina Duncan, 530 E Central Boulevard, Orlando, representing Transsexual Inclusion Director, Equality Florida, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Landon J. Woolston, 11925 NE 2 Avenue, North Miami, Homeless Liaison for the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth project, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Arianna Lint, 4910 NE 18 Terrace, Miami, representing Sunserve, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Stratton Pollitzer, 739 NE 121 Street, North Miami, representing Equality Florida, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Patricia Moore, 651 NW 58 Street, #212, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Monica Sanchez, 641 E 7 Street, Hialeah, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Olga Golik, 6200 SW 19 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Samantha Avila, 12905 SW 218 Terrace, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. William Pena Wells, 16750 NE 4 Place, #911, North Miami Beach, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. A.A. Max Tovar, 9741 NW 45 Lane, Doral, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance and presented to the Clerk of the Board over 2,200 signatures opposing the item. Ms. Esther Parker Phillips, 20608 NE 7 Court, North Miami Beach, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Vivian Peon, 11390 SW 57 Terrace, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Princess, 22601 SW 125 Avenue, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Reverend Chris Jackson, Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Juan Guerro, Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21 Street, and President, Faith in the City, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Lumar Garza, 9865 NW 25 Terrace, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Nancy Brodzki, 368 NW 118 Avenue, Coral Springs, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Tony Lima, address not provided, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Valerie Trueba, 13501 SW 128 Street, #115, Miami, representing US Representative Frank Artilles, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance, modified by Commissioner Bovo’s proposed amendment. Mr. Joe Davila, 9841 SW 164 Court, Miami, spoke against the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Chaunce O’Connor, 107690 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, representing SAVE, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Justin Wales, 14840 SW 87 Court, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Parker Pera, 2442 SW 13 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Jose Vilanova, 6190 SW 149 Avenue, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Kristina Quinones, 989 SW 149 Court, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Dian y Alarcon, 8207 NW 191 Lane, Miami Gardens, representing the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Jennifer Ann Love, 2001 Biscayne Boulevard, #2103, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Maria Roldan, 9900 SW 161 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Alexander Haupt, 8231 NW 8 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Ms. Tabias Moral, 1200 NE Miami Gardens Drive, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Mr. Christian Ulvert, 2686 NE 135 Street, Miami, spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Chairwoman Sosa closed the floor to public comment after no other person appeared wishing to speak. Commissioner Edmonson stated that it was not a matter of restrooms but one of human and civil rights, equality and respect. She asked her colleagues to support the foregoing proposed ordinance. Commissioner Zapata said that the community had struggled with discrimination biases over time. He noted he was hopeful that the Commission could take a small step forward, united as a body and a community, by accepting Commissioner Bovo’s proposed amendment. He indicated that this was a complex issue and it was difficult to accept all of its components at one time; that this legislation could cause fear to a significant portion of the population; and that time was needed to fully educate the community. Commissioner Zapata said he was responsible to his District and could not support the proposed legislation without the proposed amendment. Commissioner Diaz stated that it was important to take everyone’s beliefs into consideration, noting fear and abuse existed on both sides of the issue. He said that people had a right to live, work and express themselves freely. Commissioner Diaz pointed out that the threat came not necessarily from the transgender community, but from people taking advantage of the transgender situation to do something wrong. He stated that those who were opposed to the proposed ordinance were concerned about more than just restrooms and that the overall issue required additional evaluation. Commissioner Diaz noted a better balance was needed to be fair to everyone involved. He said he supported the proposed ordinance without the component about public facilities, noting additional solutions were necessary to protect everyone. In response to Commissioner Diaz’ question, Assistant County Attorney Smith indicated that the meaning of “some other gender” as provided in Section 11A-2(12) was someone not identifying with either sex and that there were many interpretations of this state of being. Commissioner Diaz said that he did not support the proposal, noting the situation needed further evaluation based upon this language because some people might try to abuse the issue and do the wrong thing. Commissioner Bovo acknowledged speakers on both sides of this emotional issue. He said it was important to identify and be conscious of when someone’s rights began and another person’s rights ended. Commissioner Bovo noted a transgender individual should not be discriminated against in employment, credit, or housing; however, the rights of others were also important. He indicated that this Country was built on people advocating for issues; however, expressed concern that individuals could lose their employment and a lot more for expressing their opinions. Commissioner Bovo questioned what harm would be done if the restroom provision was removed from the legislation, noting the vast majority of people who spoke said that the issue was not about restrooms. Responding to Commissioner Bovo’s question, Assistant County Attorney Smith explained that no changes would need to be made to restroom facilities in mom and pop restaurants if this proposed resolution was adopted. He noted transgender individuals could file complaints with the Commission on Human Rights for investigation in the event they were denied access to a public facility. Pursuant to Commissioner Bovo’s comment that the proposed ordinance would interfere with the rights of business owners to manage their businesses, Assistant County Attorney Smith noted the proposed ordinance would regulate discrimination against a person in public accommodations based upon gender identity or expression. He reiterated that a complaint could be filed with the Commission on Human Rights if someone was denied access based on religion, race or any other protected class. Assistant County Attorney Smith further noted an individual could file a complaint under the County’s Human Rights Ordinance for discrimination based on religious belief, unless the facility was covered by one of the exceptions. He stated that, as with State and federal laws, religion was a protected class under the Human Rights Ordinance. Assistant County Attorney Smith further clarified that the victim of discrimination was the proper party to lodge a complaint; however, indicated that a business owner did not have that right if he/she denied access to a transgender individual based upon religious beliefs. In conclusion, Commissioner Bovo noted there was a grey area where someone’s rights began and another person’s rights ended. He said he did not support discrimination and the report presented by the County demonstrated that there was an established mechanism to register and track complaints. Commissioner Bovo reiterated his suggestion that Commissioner Edmonson accepted his amendment to exclude restrooms, public showers, locker rooms, and dressing rooms from the proposed ordinance. Commissioner Heyman commented that the Commission regularly regulated private entities doing business in Miami-Dade County on issues affecting housing, employment and business as it pertained to hours, use, fees and governing structures. She pointed out that laws promoting privacy in restrooms and penalties associated with violating those laws already existed. Commissioner Heyman said the public comments today (12/02) displayed such misunderstanding that they affirmed the need to ensure that sexual expression, sexual identity, gender identity, and gender expression were included as human rights deserving equal protection. She noted the law as originally proposed by Commissioner Edmonson would hopefully better educate people to respect others rights. Commissioner Diaz inquired whether the owner of a female only spa could deny access to a person who fell into the category of some other gender and appeared to be male, under the provisions of Section 11A-2(12). Assistant County Attorney Smith responded that it would be a violation of the ordinance for the spa owner to tell this individual to leave, and the aggrieved person could file a complaint under the County’s Human Rights Ordinance and potentially file a lawsuit for mistreatment or prejudice, similar to any other protected class. Chairwoman Sosa pointed out that the ordinance was not a defense for criminal behavior, noting statistics demonstrated that pedophiles were usually quiet husbands at home with children. She said that the ordinance already existed in Miami-Dade County and that the only change was to add transgender individuals. Chairwoman Sosa indicated that Broward County, Leon County, Monroe County, Palm Beach County, Volusia County, the City of Gainesville, the City of Key West, the City of Lake Worth, the City of Miami Beach, the City of Tampa, and the City of Oakland Park already had the same ordinance without problems. She said she believed that most people behaved well and had a good heart. Chairwoman Sosa observed that similar arguments were made before the existing Human Rights Ordinance sponsored by former Commissioner Sorenson was adopted many years ago; yet the problems that were predicted did not materialize. She said that parents accompanied their children when they had to use public restrooms; that hange made people afraid and being afraid was a valid tendency; and that everyone in this community needed to come together and help one another. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance, as presented. Commissioner Heyman asked to be listed as an additional co-prime sponsor and Commissioner Moss asked to be listed as a co-sponsor.

Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 11/12/2014 1G1 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Alexander Bokor read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Commissioner Edmonson asked the County Attorney’s Office representative for clarification regarding the basis of the lawsuit filed regarding this issue. Assistant County Attorney Terrence Smith advised that on Friday, Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Chairwoman Sosa received a lawsuit from private citizens seeking to enjoin the County from holding this hearing and also to enjoin BCC Chairwoman Sosa from referring the matter to this Committee. He stated that a hearing was held this morning (11/12) before Honorable Judge Daryl Traywick, who determined that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the lawsuit and that no likelihood of success on merits existed. Mr. Smith noted Judge Traywick denied the temporary injunction on petition and dismissed the lawsuit allowing the public hearing to be conducted today (11/12). Chairwoman Heyman recognized State Representative David Richardson to state his position before the Committee. 1) Florida State Representative David Richardson (District 113), appeared before the Board in support of the foregoing ordinance (Item1G1) and noted that he was the first openly gay State Legislator in the history of the State of Florida when elected in August 2012. He expressed his belief that everyone had the right and opportunity to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. Representative Richardson recalled his experience with acts of discrimination earlier in his life and noted it was fortunate that this County respected the gay and lesbian community and proposed that the protections now include the transgender community. He acknowledged the need for a better understanding of why this additional measure was necessary and explained that this was a human rights issue and all people should have same rights and privileges. Representative Richardson urged the members of the Commission to support this ordinance. Displaying the large amount of speaker request cards, Chairwoman Heyman requested that, in an effort to expedite the public hearing process and allow everyone the opportunity to be heard, she would ask that one person in a group representing the same organization act as spokesperson for that organization. She provided guidelines for speakers to make presentations and recognized the following organizations in opposition to the foregoing ordinance: The Attorneys Lawyer Guild and The Hispanic Ministers Association of Greater Miami. An unidentified speaker appeared before the Committee and announced that 233 individuals were registered to speak in opposition to the foregoing ordinance and should receive their due process to state their position before this Committee. Chairwoman Heyman called for organizations present in support of the foregoing ordinance and the following representatives of organizations appeared: Mr. Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director, Equality Florida; Mr. David Barkey, Anti-Defamation League’s Southeastern Area Counsel; American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives; Aqua Foundation for Women; Unity on the Bay and Faith in the City; and City of Miami Beach LGBT Business and Enhancement Committee. Madam Renita Holmes appeared before the Committee and noted some organizations needed additional information to determine their position and asked if those individuals would be allowed to appear before the Committee. Chairwoman Heyman reminded Ms. Holmes that no interaction between speakers and Committee members occurred during the public hearing. She explained that after speakers for and against this issue had made their presentations, those individuals seeking information would be called, and that a County representative would respond to their requests at a later date. Upon hearing her colleagues’ request that everyone be allowed to speak before she closed the public hearing, Chairwoman Heyman agreed to extend this meeting until all speakers had presented their concerns. She noted the Transportation and Aviation Committee meeting scheduled for 2:00 p.m., here in Commission Chambers, would need to be rescheduled to accommodate the extension of this meeting. In an effort to provide audio/visual accommodations to those individuals required to wait in the lobby due to capacity restrictions in Chambers, Chairwoman Heyman delayed the public hearing and moved the agenda forward to Item 1F3. Chairwoman Heyman opened the public hearing calling for those representing organizations and the following individuals appeared: 2) A representative for the Attorneys Lawyer Guild appeared in opposition and addressed the issue of ramifications to businesses adoption of this ordinance would cause. He noted legal research on whether transgender individuals were discriminated against in Miami-Dade County indicated these individuals were already protected by the Federal government with respect to employment via the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and housing via the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He noted that in questioning supporters of this issue as to specific instances where the discrimination took place; only two (2) incidents were identified. The representative indicated the answer to the question whether there was really a problem for which protections needed to be afforded to transgender individuals was no. He spoke in opposition to the foregoing proposed ordinance. 3) Mr. Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director, Equality Florida, 739 N.E. 121 Street, North Miami, appeared in support and provided statistical data regarding the level of support for this legislation within the State of Florida. 4) Mr. Michael Rajner, 2607 N.E. 8 Avenue, Wilton Manors Florida, Co-Founder Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives and Vice Chair Broward County Human Rights Board for the Broward County Commission, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing ordinance. 5) Dr. Alberto Delgado, President, Hispanic Ministers Association of Greater Miami, appeared in opposition and stated that the rights of transgender individuals were already protected. He expressed concern that this language discriminated against women by violating their right to privacy from males in public restrooms. 6) Ms. Gina Duncan, Transgender Inclusion Director, Trans*Action Florida, Inc., appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. 7) Mr. Howard Simon, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, appeared and spoke in support of this ordinance amending the Human Rights Ordinance and urged the Committee to adopt this legislation. 8) Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee, staff member, Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, and Broward County Human Rights Board member, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing ordinance. 9) Ms. Elizabeth Regalado, Save Dade Board member, 6751 SW 75 Terrace, South Miami, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. 10) Ms. Carla Silva, representing the Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) Youth, 1175 N.E. 125 Street, North Miami, appeared and spoke in support of including gender identity and expression in the foregoing proposed ordinance. 11) Mr. Juan del Hierro, representing Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21 Street, appeared in support and named several other organizations that joined with the organization in support of this proposed amendment to the Human Rights Ordinance to include gender identity/expression. He noted he was also President of Faith in the City, a coalition of faith communities that include Unity on the Bay, Temple Israel, First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Touching Miami with Love, and others. 12) Mr. David Barkey, Southeastern Area Counsel, Anti-Defamation League, 621 NW 53 St, Boca Raton, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. 13) Ms. Elizabeth Schwartz, City of Miami Beach Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Gay, Transgender (LBGT) Business Enhancement Committee member, 690 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, and Co-Chair Miami-Dade LBGT Attorneys Association, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing ordinance. 14) Ms. Sarah Reece, Director, Academy for Leadership and Action, National LBGTQ Task Force, 801 Arthur Godfrey Road, Miami Beach, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. 15) Ms. Robin Schwartz, Executive Director, Aqua Foundation for Women, 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. 16) Mr. Tony Lima, Executive Director, Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, appeared and spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance. Seeing no other individuals representing organizations, Chairwoman Heyman opened the floor to individuals wishing to be heard and the following individuals appeared: 17) Pastor Luis Lopez, 119 E 6 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 18) Mr. Christian Ulvert, 2929 S.W. 3 Avenue, appeared in support; 19) Ms. Rocio Torres, 1925 Madison Street, Hollywood, appeared in opposition; 20) Ms. Yanis Perez, 60 W. 9 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 21) Ms. Elizabeth Marmol, 16678 Golfview Drive, Weston, appeared in opposition; 22) Ms. Parker Phillips, 20608 N.E. 7 Court, Miami, appeared in support; 23) Ms. Haydee Meras, 465 E. 29 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 24) Mr. Joseph Yates, 245 N.W. 133 Street, North Miami, appeared in opposition; 25) Ms. Arianna Lint, 4910 N.E. 18 Terrace, appeared in support and noted she was the director of a Broward County transgender organization; 26) Ms. Paula Morales, 12321 S.W. 20 Terrace, Miami, appeared in opposition; 27) Ms. Santa Barroso, 3520 N.W. 95 Street, appeared in opposition; 28) Mr. Roger Yupanqui, 2951 N.W. 93 Street, appeared in opposition; 29) Mr. A. Max Tovar, 9741 N.W. 45 Lane, Doral, appeared in opposition; 30) Ms. Cecilia Moran, Minister, 3320 S.W. 23 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 31) Mr. Oscar David Acosta, 17020 N.W. 33 Court, Miami Gardens, appeared in opposition; 32) Ms. Fanny Matos, 7897 N.W. 200 Terrace, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 33) Mr. Albert Ixchu, 28945 S.W. 187 Avenue, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 34) Ms. Juana Maribel Escoto, 1230 W. 54 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 35) Mr. Frank Figuerdo, 4625 S.W. 147 Court, Miami, appeared in opposition; 36) Ms. Violeta Velezmoro, 13332 S.W. 116 Court, Miami, appeared in opposition; 37) Mr. Rene Hernandez, 3228 W. 14 Lane, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 38) Ms. Mercedes Milanes, 8945 N.W. 164 Street, Miami Lakes, appeared in opposition; 39) Ms. Patty Flores, 13120 S.W. 92 Avenue, Miami, appeared in opposition; 40) Mr. Joe Davila, 9841 S.W. 164 Court, Miami, appeared in opposition; 41) Mr. Elder Ortiz, 2270 N.E. 136 Street, North Miami, appeared in opposition; 42) Ms. Ivonne Landero, 3130 N.W. 29 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition. 43) Ms. Jessica Lam (formerly Jesus Lam), 683 S.E. 6 Place, Hialeah, appeared in support; 44) Mr. Jose Alvarez, 1924 N.W. 17 Avenue, Miami, appeared in opposition. 45) Ms. Felicia Roberts, 11237 N. Kendall Drive, Miami, appeared in opposition; 46) Ms. Kayla Meza, 332 N.E. 171 Terrace, North Miami Beach, appeared in support; 47) Mr. Juan Murillo, 451 S.W. 4 Court, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 48) Mr. Victor Lopez, high school student at Miami-Dade Public Schools, 1799 N.E. 178th Street, along with his mother, Ms. Romero, appeared in support; 49) Mr. Danys Arteaga, 7441 Wayne Avenue, Miami Beach, appeared in opposition; 50) Ms. Gladys Weeks, 1828 N.W. 9 Avenue, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 51) Ms. Caridad Diaz, 20231 N.W. 42 Avenue, Miami Gardens, appeared in opposition; 52) Ms. Linda Simmons, representing the African American Foundation of Greater Miami, 1650 N.E. 135 Street, North Miami, appeared in opposition; 53) Mr. Jorge Diaz, 20231 N.W. 42 Avenue, Miami Gardens, appeared in opposition; 54) Ms. Pamela Sweeney, 700 N.E. 61 Street, Miami, appeared in support; 55) Mr. Ronny Chica, 3456 W. 90 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 56) Mr. Rodrigo Angel, 13670 N.E. 16 Avenue, North Miami, appeared in opposition; 57) Ms. Belky Hernandez, 2652 S.W. 23 Avenue, Miami, appeared in support; 58) Ms. Elvia Angel, 13670 N.E. 16 Avenue, North Miami, appeared in opposition; 59) Mr. Aramis Rodriguez, 10370 S.W. 220 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 60) Ms. Maria Dominguez, 711 N.E. 23Terrace, Miami, appeared in support; 61) Mr. Luilly Hernandez, 5602 SW165 Court, Kendall, appeared in opposition; 62) Ms. Lisi Lau, 95 S. Edgewater Drive, Coral Gables, appeared in support; 63) Mr. Jorge Gonzalez, 5311 N.W. 7 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 64) Ms. Evelyn Perez, 290 E. 45 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 65) Ms. Eva Montoya, 431 N.W. 84 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 66) Ms. Ana Romero, 10370 S.W. 220 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 67) Ms. Candace Utt, 14830 Lincoln Drive, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 68) Ms. Renita Holmes, 350 Labrae Place, Miami, appeared and requested information; 69) Ms. Diana Marquez, 9880 N.W. 77 Avenue, Hialeah Gardens, appeared in opposition; 70) Mr. Conrad De La Torres, 16325 S.W. 288 Street, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 71) Ms. Ana Rivera, 9880 SW 77 Ave, Hialeah Gardens, appeared in opposition; 72) Mr. Enrique Alfonso, 3189 W. 78 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 73) Ms. Cassandra Hefton,1201 Normandy Drive, Miami Beach, appeared in support; 74) Ms. Julissa Welch, 730 N.W. 75 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 75) Ms. Vannesa Romero, 1799 N.E. 178 Street, North Miami Beach, appeared in support; 76) Ms. Iraida Valdes, appeared in opposition; 77) Mr. Chaunce O’Connor, 107690 Overseas Highway, appeared in support; 78) Ms. Janet Reyes, 10820 S.W. 200 Drive, appeared in opposition; 79) Ms. Beatriz Viera, 10018 Hammocks Boulevard, Miami, appeared in opposition; 80) Ms. Qualisa Thomas, 1421 N.W. 103 Street, Miami, appeared in support; 81) Ms. Carmen Diaz, 9952 S.W. 8 Street, appeared in opposition; 82) Ms. Ideliza Carmenate, 10651 Hammocks Boulevard, Kendall, appeared in opposition; 83) Ms. Aurora Garcia, 7571 S.W. 149 Court, Miami, appeared in opposition; 84) Mr. Nathaniel Wilcox, 3111 NW 135 Street, appeared in opposition; 85) Ms. Claudia Patricia Maltez, 16050 S.W. 71 Terrace, appeared in opposition; 86) Mr. Marlon Bravo, 320 N.E. 165 Street, North Miami Beach, appeared in opposition; 87) Ms. Maria Luisa Barton, 7390 S.W. 112 Court, Miami, appeared in opposition; 88) Ms. Isabel Rached, 13339 S.W. 112 Court, Miami, appeared in opposition; 89) Ms. Silvia, 430 N.W. 32 Place, Miami, appeared in opposition; 90) Ms. Nubia Cardena, 3681 S.W. 13 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 91) Dr. Raul Hernandez, 9450 S.W. 4 Street, Miami, appeared in support; 92) Mr. Landon J. Woolston, 11925 N.E. 2 Avenue, appeared in support; 93) Ms. Maidember Guemes, 13860 S.W. 148 Place, Miami, appeared in support; 94) Mr. Ramon Justamante, 16741 N.W. 81 Avenue, Miami Lakes, appeared in opposition; 95) Mr. Anthony Verdugo, Christian Family Coalition, 8450 Coral Way, Miami, spoke in opposition; 96) Ms. Malena Yupaqui, 2950 N.W. 93 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 97) Ms. Nuris Zuniga, 430 N.W. 32 Place, Miami, appeared in opposition; 98) Mr. Yoel Sotolongo, 6100 E. 2 Avenue, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 99) Mr. Clemente Barrios, 285 E. 19 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition; 100) Ms. Maria Duany, 1540 N.E. 191 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 101) Ms. Adela Fonseca, 950 N.W. 95 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 102) Ms. Sobeyda Medina, 113 S.W. 15 Road, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 103) Ms. Yareli Guerrero, 2607 N.W. 27 Avenue, Miami, appeared in opposition; 104) Ms. Luz Gerdts, 13410 SW 53 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 105) Ms. Chris Garcia, 14520 S.W. 289 Street, Homestead, appeared in opposition; 106) Ms. Lourdes Aguirre, 14341 Glencairn Road, Miami Lakes, appeared in opposition; 107) Kathleen Bush, 199 N.E. 14 Street, Miami, appeared in opposition; 108) Mr. Parker Pena, 2442 S.W. 13 Street, Miami, appeared in support; Deputy Clerk Alan Eisenberg announced the receipt of official notice that the Transportation and Aviation Committee (TAC) Meeting, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today (11/12), would be cancelled due to the proceedings currently in progress. 109) Mr. Obed Jauregui, 397 Palmetto Drive, Miami Springs, appeared in opposition; 110) Mr. Eddy Peña, 8880 S.W. 8 Street, Miami, appeared on behalf of the law enforcement community which would enforce this legislation and requested further research performed to determine the impact and provide more information; 111) Ms. Jesus Recinos, 751 E. 47 Street, Hialeah, appeared in opposition 112) Ms. Maria Bart, Deputy Director, SAVE, Inc., 4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, appeared in support; 113) Mr. Pete Versage, 16700 S.W. 272 Street, Homestead, appeared in opposition; and 114) Mr. Mauricio Pineda, 13200 S.W. 54 Court, Miramar, appeared in opposition. Seeing no other persons to appear wishing to be heard, Chairwoman Heyman closed the public hearing and, on behalf of the Committee, commended the audience on the level of respect displayed during today’s (11/12) proceedings. She expressed appreciation to everyone for their patience while waiting to voice their positions. Commissioner Edmonson thanked everyone who provided input on this important issue. She noted the Human Rights Ordinance needed to be modernized to protect against discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Commissioner Edmonson expressed her support of this ordinance and noted the Board repeatedly emphasized its desire to be all inclusive in supporting diversity in housing, public service and facilities, and the workplace. She stated this County needed a Human Rights Ordinance that protected everyone, including the transgender population. It was moved by Commissioner Edmonson that the foregoing proposed ordinance be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners, with a favorable recommendation. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Barreiro, followed by discussion. Commissioner Barreiro expressed his support of the foregoing proposed ordinance and asked to be listed as a co-sponsor. Commissioner Bovo expressed opposition to this ordinance and questioned who would determine a person’s gender. Assistant County Attorney Terrence Smith advised that the determination of gender would fall under the responsibility of a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other medical professional. Commissioner Bovo expressed concern that while this ordinance granted rights to a minority within a minority, it could also violate the rights of the majority; adding that it could also allow individuals to take advantage of a loophole and abuse this law. In response to Commissioner Bovo’s inquiry regarding complaints filed within the County by transgender individuals and the resulting adjudication, Ms. Erin New, Legal Liaison, Office of Human Services and Fair Employment Practices, Human Resources Department, stated between five to ten complaints had been received by the Human Rights Commission, in the past four years. She noted these complaints were accepted under the umbrella of gender or sexual orientation discrimination since no formal protections currently existed for that type of complaint. Commissioner Bovo asked the Administration to provide a report to the full Board, listing the number of discrimination cases filed by transgender individuals, with respect to employment and housing that resulted in a law suit, law enforcement, or action by the County Commission. He asked that this report also include information on a cost analysis for designating bathrooms a third category and whether the definition for family restroom allowed access to transgender individuals before this goes before the Board. Chairwoman Heyman indicated she viewed this as a civil rights issue that clearly dealt with discriminatory practices against people. She expressed her support of this legislation and asked to be added as a co-sponsor to this item. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance as presented.

Board of County Commissioners 9/17/2014 Municipalities notified of public hearing Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 11/12/2014 9/16/2014

Board of County Commissioners 9/16/2014 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 11/12/2014

Board of County Commissioners 9/16/2014 4A Adopted on first reading 11/12/2014 P
REPORT: First Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and set for public hearing before the Public Safety and Animal Services Committee on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

County Attorney 9/5/2014 Referred Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 11/12/2014

Board of County Commissioners 9/5/2014 Requires Municipal Notification

County Attorney 9/3/2014 Assigned Terrence A. Smith 9/5/2014

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 11A OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING, PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS, AND EMPLOYMENT BASED ON GENDER IDENTITY OR GENDER EXPRESSION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY

WHEREAS, until recently, data on the prevalence and character of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people has been limited to small studies and anecdotal reports; and
WHEREAS, in the first comprehensive national effort to document this problem, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2011 launched a six-month data collection process, interviewing 6,450 transgender people from all fifty (50) states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the United States Virgin Islands, via an extensive questionnaire that covered critical topics such as employment, education, health care, housing, public accommodation, criminal justice, family life and access to government documents; and
WHEREAS, the final study resulted in the publication of the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Study entitled “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey” (“Study”); and
WHEREAS, the Study revealed that gender identity or gender expression discrimination was pervasive throughout the entire sample; and
WHEREAS, according to the American Psychological Association “gender identity” is an individual’s sense of being either male or female, man or woman, or something other or in-between. “Gender expression” describes the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions, and
WHEREAS, the Study showed that (1) 90 percent of the respondents reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination in employment, with 47 percent reporting that they experienced an adverse job outcome such as being fired, not hired or denied a promotion; (2) 19 percent of the respondents were denied housing; and (3) 53 percent of the respondents reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in places of public accommodations, such as hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and governmental agencies; and
WHEREAS, the Study further showed that (1) the combination of anti-transgender bias and persistent, structural racism was especially devastating for all respondents, but even more so for transgender people of color; (2) that the respondents lived in extreme poverty, i.e. the respondents were nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 per year compared to the general population; and (3) that a staggering 41 percent of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6 percent of the general population, with rates rising for those who lost a job due to bias (55 percent), were harassed/bullied in school (51 percent), had low household income, or were the victim of physical assault (61 percent) or sexual assault (64 percent); and
WHEREAS, also based on an exit poll conducted in Miami-Dade County by SAVE Dade Inc., during the 2012 General Election, over 90 percent of voters responding disagree that people should be fired from the workplace simply for being gay or transgender; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding this overwhelming data on discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people there are very few federal and state laws that offer protections for them based on gender identity or gender expression; and
WHEREAS, in fact, it was not until 2013 that Congress extended protections to transgender and gender non-conforming people, who are victims of domestic and sexual violence: and
WHEREAS, on March 7, 2013, President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women’s Act (“Act”), which now offers protections against discrimination based on gender identity in those programs that receive federal funding; and
WHEREAS, the Act is a step in the right direction, neither the federal or the State of Florida’s civil rights laws extend similar protections based on gender identity or gender expression in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding the lack of nondiscrimination laws based on gender identity or gender expression on the federal and state level, many local governments have taken the lead by enacting nondiscrimination laws that extend such protections; and
WHEREAS, currently, there are approximately fourteen (14) Florida counties and cities, including Broward County, Leon County, Monroe County, Palm Beach County, Volusia County, City of Dunedin, City of Gainesville, City of Gulfport, City of Key West, City of Lake Worth, City of Miami Beach, City of Tampa, and City of Oakland Park, that have extended protections based on gender identity or gender expression; and
WHEREAS, based on a letter received by this Board from the Miami-Dade HIV/AIDS Partnership there are between 5,020 and 20,080 transgendere people living in Miami-Dade County, who do not have similar protections as those similarly situated persons living in neighboring counties or cities; and
WHEREAS, this Board has a responsibility to protect the residents of Miami-Dade County from all forms of discrimination; and
WHEREAS, this Board can improve transgender and gender non-conforming people’s lives in a significant way by advancing anti-discrimination protections to them; and
WHEREAS, this Board has already, in exercising its police powers related to public safety, health and general welfare, declared as the policy of Miami-Dade County to eliminate and prevent discrimination in employment, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, and housing accommodations based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status or sexual orientation as well as source of income in housing only; and
WHEREAS, this Board in furtherance of this policy enacted Ordinance No. 97-17, as amended, which is codified in Chapter 11A of the Code of Miami-Dade County (“Code”); and
WHEREAS, for purposes of enforcement of Chapter 11A, this Board established a quasi-judicial board pursuant to Section 11A-5 of the Code known as the Miami-Dade Commission on Human Rights (“Human Rights Commission”), which has jurisdiction to hear matters arising from claims of discrimination in employment, family leave, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, and housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation and source of income; and
WHEREAS, this Board also established the position of the Human Rights Commission’s Director whose duties, functions, powers and responsibilities include but are not limited to enforcement of Chapter 11A, Articles II, III, IV, V, and VIII, investigating claims of discrimination, conciliation, issuing probable cause determinations and staffing the Human Rights Commission; and
WHEREAS, this Board, in exercising its police powers related to public safety, health and general welfare, declares as the policy of Miami-Dade County that the elimination and prevention of discrimination in employment, public accommodations, credit and financing practices; and housing accommodations because of gender identity or gender expression is in the best interest of Miami-Dade County,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Sections 11A-1 and 11A-2 of Article I of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, are hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 11A-1. Declaration of policy and scope.
(1) Policy. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Miami-Dade County, in the exercise of its police power for the public safety, health and general welfare, to eliminate and prevent discrimination in employment, family leave, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, and housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation. It is further hereby declared to be the policy of Miami-Dade County to eliminate and prevent discrimination in housing based on source of income.
* * *

Sec. 11A-2. Definitions.

The definitions set out herein shall apply to articles II, III, IV and V:

* * *

(8) Discrimination shall mean any difference, distinction or preference in treatment, access or impact because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, >>gender identity, gender expression,<< sexual orientation, or source of income.

* * *

>>(12) Gender identity shall mean 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 (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate).

(13) Gender expression shall mean 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. Social or cultural norms can vary widely and some characteristics that may be accepted as masculine, feminine or neutral in one culture may not be assessed similarly in another.<<

[[(12)]]>>(14)<
[[(13)]]>>(15)<
[[(14)]]>>(16)<[[(15)]]>>(17)<
* * *

[[(16)]]>>(18)<[[(17)]]>>(19)<[[(18)]]>>(20)<[[(19)]]>>(21)<[[(20)]]>>(22)<[[(21)]]>>(23)<


Section 2. Sections 11A-12 and 11A-13 of Article II of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, are hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE II. HOUSING

Sec. 11A-12. Unlawful housing practices.

(1) Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices. It shall be unlawful for any person, owner, financial institution, real estate broker, real estate agent or any representative of the above to engage in any of the following acts because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status, familial status, >>gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation of a prospective buyer, renter, lessee or any person associated with a prospective buyer, renter or lessee:

* * *

Sec. 11A-13. Exceptions to unlawful housing practices.

* * *

[[(2)]]>>(3)<< Religious organization. Nothing in this article shall prohibit a religious organization, association, society or any non-profit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such person, unless that religious organization, association or society restricts membership based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability. Furthermore, nothing in this article relating to unlawful housing practices based on >>gender identity, gender expression or<< sexual orientation shall pertain to any religious organization, association, society or any non-profit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

[[(3)]]>>(4)<< Private club. Nothing in this article shall prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes, provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

[[(4)]]>>(5)<< Maximum occupancy laws. Nothing in this article limits the applicability of any reasonable state law, County ordinance or municipal ordinance or restriction regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling.

[[(5)]]>>(6)<< Housing for older persons. Nothing in this article regarding familial status shall apply to housing for older persons. As used in this article, "housing for older persons" means housing:

* * *

[[(6)]]>>(7)<< Furnishing appraisals. Nothing in this article prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property from taking into consideration factors other than race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, marital status, national origin >>gender identity, gender expression<< or sexual orientation.

[[(7)]]>>(8)<< Conviction for illegal manufacture or distribution of controlled substance. Nothing in this chapter prohibits conduct against any person because such person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in Section 893.03, Florida Statutes, as amended, or its successor statute.

Section 3. Sections 11A-19 and 11A-22 of Article III of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, are hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE III. PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS

Sec. 11A-19. Unlawful public accommodations practices.
It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to engage in any of the following acts because of the race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation of any individual or of any person associated with that individual:
* * *

Sec. 11A-22. Exceptions to unlawful public accommodations practices.

* * *
(5) Nothing in this article shall apply with respect to a religious organization, association, society or any non-profit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with any such group, from limiting its goods, facilities, services, privileges or advantages to persons of the same religion or from giving preference to any such person, however, that religious organization, association or society shall not restrict membership based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, familial status or disability. Furthermore, nothing in this article relating to unlawful public accommodation practices based on >>gender identity, gender expression or<< sexual orientation shall pertain to any religious organization, association, society or any non-profit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

* * *

Section 4. Section 11A-26 of Article IV of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE IV. EMPLOYMENT

Sec. 11A-26. Unlawful employment practices.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any employer to engage in any practices described below on account of the race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation of any individual or any person associated with such individual:

* * *

(2) It shall be unlawful for any employment agency or company providing employees to engage in any of the practices described below on account of any individual's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation:

* * *

(3) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization to engage in any of the practices described below on account of any individual's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation:

* * *

(5) Exemptions to unlawful employment practices.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article it shall not be an unlawful employment practice:

* * *

(iii) For any employer to apply different standards of compensation, or different terms, conditions, benefits, privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide, written seniority or merit system or piece-work system or a system which measures earnings by quantity provided that such difference does not discriminate because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation.

(iv) For an employer or employment agency or representative of either to give or to act upon the results of any professionally validated ability test provided that such test, its administration or action upon the result is not designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation.

* * *

(c) Nothing contained in this article shall be interpreted to require any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee subject to this chapter to grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group because of the race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation of such individual or group on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation in any community, section or other area of the county or in the available work force in any community, section or other area of the county.

Section 5. Sections 11A-34 and 11A-35 of Article VI of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, are hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE VI. OFFICE OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

Sec. 11A-34. Declaration of policy.

(1) It has been and is the policy of Miami-Dade County to provide equal employment opportunity for all without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, >>gender identity, gender expression,<< sexual orientation or veteran's status and to prohibit unlawful discrimination on such basis.

* * *

Sec. 11A-35. Definitions.
When used herein:
(a) Affirmative action shall mean a program to ensure equal employment opportunity and treatment for all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, pregnancy, veteran's status >>, gender identity, gender expression,<< or sexual orientation, and to every extent possible, eliminate areas of underutilization in employment of minorities, women and persons with disabilities. However, nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require the County to grant preferential treatment to any individual because of >>gender identity, gender expression or<< sexual orientation.

* * *

Section 6. The substantive rights that have been created and have accrued in whole or in part under Chapter 11A shall not be extinguished or in any way affected by the repeal and reenactment of Chapter 11A or by the renumbering of Chapter 11A.
Section 7. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.


Section 8. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.



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