Miami – The Miami Dade County Commission voted 8-3 on an amendment that will add gender identity and expression to the existing human rights ordinance if passed. The 9 a.m. meeting started an hour late and an estimated 3,000 people, according to Equality Florida, attended.

That large number delayed the meeting for hours, and a final vote wasn’t cast until more than eight hours after the agenda item was presented.

The amendment, sponsored by Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Bruno Barreiro, will bar discrimination against transgender people in the areas of employment, public accommodations and housing.

Gina Duncan, transgender inclusion director for Equality Florida, was at the meeting on behalf of Equality Florida and spoke at the meeting.

Members of the Christian Family Coalition were also present at the meeting. The group argues that the inclusion this law creates will allow for persons to inappropriately access public restrooms, thus creating possible public fear, criminal acts and harm to others.

Supporters and opponents of the measure rallied outside the Stephen P. Clark Center all day, waiting for a decision to be made by the County Commission.

“This is a historic day for fairness in Miami-Dade County and for the thousands of transgender persons who call the county their home,” ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon said in a press release. “People should be judged based on their merits and qualifications – period. This basic principle of equality is one that people in this county pride themselves on, and which the Human Rights Ordinance protects.”

From our media partner Watermark