Waymon Hudson

Florida’s Broward County Passes Trans Protections

Filed By Waymon Hudson | February 13, 2008 12:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Broward County, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, transgender

Transgender and gender-non-conforming residents of Broward County, Florida, are now protected from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public venues, such as restaurants and hospitals.

Broward, home of Fort Lauderdale, becomes the largest Florida community to outlaw transgender discrimination and one of the largest in the nation.

County Commissioners unanimously approved the amendment, with no speakers coming forward to speak against it. The addition defines gender identity as the appearance, expression or behavior of a person regardless of the individual's sex at birth.

The overall ordinance bars discrimination in housing, employment, real estate transactions and public accommodations. The new language would include discrimination against those individuals who do not conform to societal gender norms. Sexual orientation protections generally do not extend to discrimination or harassment because someone does not act “man or women” enough.

PhotobucketOne of the most moving speakers in favor of the addition was a young mother of a transgender child. She recounted the story of how her then son, from the time he could first talk, always referred to himself as a “good girl” and was more comfortable with “all things girly.” After doing research on the subject of trans children, the parents decided to make sure their child did not become one of the high number of suicide attempts in trans youth. They embraced their child’s gender identity. Their daughter, now 7 years old, is thriving and happy.

This was an amazing day in South Florida. Seeing the entire LGBT community rally around these protections was truly one of the proudest moments I have had since moving down here.

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Way to go, Fort Lauderdale!

But don't tell Rep. Barney Frank who threw the transgendered community under the ENDA bus.

It's heartening to know there are still decent people out there!

Way to go, Fort Lauderdale!

But don't tell Rep. Barney Frank who threw the transgendered community under the ENDA bus.

It's heartening to know there are still decent people out there!

It's a great move. Now the over 1.8 million people in Broward County have stronger protections and rights.

But it almost didn't happen. A few months ago elements of Fort Lauderdale's GLB community were loudly advocating doing a 'Barney Frank'.

See. Barney and HRC. Laws DO pass with 'gender identity',and more and more it's happening UNANIMOUSLY!

That's true, Monica. What's good, though, is the leader of that faction ended up coming around (after a lot of work and education from the rest of the community) and even spoke at the commission meeting in favor of the amendment.

Now if we could just get HRC and Barney to open their minds...

Yes, I was in Ft. Lauderdale in December and January, when the headline was that some gay leaders proposed killing this bill because they felt the law didn't provide enough protection for gay people, and they wanted to go back and strengthen the whole ordinance before giving the protection to transgender people. I thought it was quite ironic that these gay leaders were upset at what they saw as merely incremental progress. Meanwhile, transgender people around the nation were being told that they were insufferably immature crybabies for denouncing incrementalism that left them out entirely. I am glad to see that the county went ahead anyway, as my partner and I are thinking about buying property there, and this makes it all the more plausible to do so.

vikas singhania | June 18, 2009 1:49 PM

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