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.
One 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.