In Miami-Dade, transgender residents today have zero legal protection against being fired or discriminated against by their county government. That incredible fact remains true in 2014 largely because of one county commissioner and one conservative group hell-bent on keeping that basic human protection off the books.
Well, with that right-wing commissioner -- Lynda Bell -- now on the way out of County Hall after an electoral defeat last month, the County Commission will try again today to get the ball rolling on a transgender protection clause.
Update: The commission passed the transgendered protection this afternoon. It will now head to committee for a second vote.
The same protection passed the commission 11-1 last year, but then Bell singlehandedly held up the bill by stalling a follow-up vote in the Health and Human Services committee.
It was no great mystery why she fought so hard against the transgender ordinance; among her most strident backers was the Christian Family Council, a deeply conservative group that vigorously fights any gains for LGBT rights in South Florida.
The issue came front in center in last month's election, with challenger Daniella Levine Cava mobilizing fervent support from gay rights groups like SAVE Dade and pledging to ensure the transgender protection passed in Miami-Dade.
Levine Cava probably won't have to wait long to make that promise come true. Though she doesn't take office until November 18, the bill will most likely pass the county commission today just as it did last year when Bell was the only dissenting vote.
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By the time it reaches committee, Bell will be sitting on her hands back in Homestead and Levine Cava will be able to shepherd it through to a final approval.
Update: The bill, as expected, passed its first round of voting in the commission:
— SAVE (@SAVELGBT) September 16, 2014