This Monday, the Health and Social Services Committee of the Miami-Dade County Commission opted to defer a vote on the proposal to add trans-inclusive language to the countywide Human Rights Ordinance to August. This means that the committee's vote is effectively postponed until its next scheduled meeting, which will be August 26.
The sponsor of the proposal, committee chair Audrey Edmonson, cited misinformation surrounding the use of bathrooms by transgendered people as the reason for the postponement of the vote. "I think that it's a scare tactic that has been put out there," Edmonson was quoted by WPLG Local 10 as claiming, referring to the bathroom red herring being circulated by extremist groups as the reason to oppose the bill.
Over 100 opponents of the bill affiliated with fundamentalist religious groups filled the chamber on Monday, even though Commissioner Edmonson had indicated ahead of time that she would move to postpone the vote. After the deferral, which only the fundamentalist christian Commissioner Lynda Bell opposed, the chamber erupted in hissing and boos. As the religious fundamentalists noisily filed out of the chamber, they were chastised by the committee for interrupting an official meeting and conducting themselves discourteously.
Outside of Government Center in downtown Miami, which houses the Commission chamber, the fundamentalists gathered for a rally. Wearing name tags that said 'Say NO to discrimination,' the fundamentalists listened intently as their leader denounced the proposal as an infringement on haters' rights to discriminate against others.
The meeting was a wake-up call for all of us here at SAVE Dade. The other side is in full outrage mode, and we need all hands on deck to counter their hate and scare tactics. You can do your part by visiting savedade.org/trans_get_involved.