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Could Trans Protections In Miami-Dade County Be A Death Knell For The Right-Wing Bathroom Myth?

Mailer

Sixteen years — almost to the day — after the Miami-Dade County Commission banned anti-gay discrimination, its members voted Tuesday to extend those protections to transgender people. 

After several hours of testimony from speakers on both sides, the commission voted 8-3 to add gender identity to county laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. More than 170 people signed up to speak, many of them mobilized by the fear-mongering mailer above, according to WPLG-TV

Bryant.AnitaThe addition of sexual orientation to the laws in 1998 reversed the outcome of an infamous 1977 ballot measure championed by beauty queen Anita Bryant (right) — which overturned the commission's initial decision to ban anti-gay discrimination.  

From The Miami Herald

During Tuesday’s debate, there were repeated echoes of Dec. 1, 1998, when commissioners — by a single vote — banned discrimination against gay men and lesbians. ... The man who was the swing vote back then, Commissioner Dennis Moss, was absent this time around, though he co-sponsored the legislation.

“It’s interesting to note that in the 16 years that have transpired since we passed the ordinance, while much catastrophe was predicted by the opposition, the world has not come to an end,” said Katy Sorenson, the former commissioner who sponsored the 1998 legislation.
Not unlike the battle over gay rights in Miami-Dade, the battle over transgender protections there could ultimately take on broader significance. It's been nasty at times — one Cuban-American commissioner who backed the amendment was accused of being a Communist — and supporters expect a ballot measure aimed at overturning it. 
 
Miami-Dade joins 27 other Florida cities and counties with similar laws, and BuzzFeed reports that Tuesday's vote could be a tipping point for statewide LGBT protections. Meanwhile, other major cities across the US, from Cleveland to Houston, are grappling with similar laws. 
 
In those cities, like in Miami-Dade, opponents have relied heavily on the baseless right-wing myth that sexual predators will use the laws to sneak into women's restrooms. From Buzzfeed

“There are cases of the deviants who will take advantage of this,” said Commissioner Esteban Bovo, who represents suburban Miami. He would only support the ordinance if it carved out an exception so it did not apply to transgender people using public bathrooms. “We have to be mindful of a segment of the population, who is probably a majority, who is very concerned with this issue,” he said. “It is a concern for the safety of their family.”

But in the end, a majority of the commission rejected a bathroom amendment and sided with supporters of the ordinance, who characterized the measure as a basic civil right.

“It’s a scare tactic when we come down to the bathrooms and locker rooms,” said Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, one of the ordinance’s primary co-sponsors. “These are scare tactics.” ... 

Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez plans to sign the measure. 

Watch the report from WPLG-TV, as well as clips of testimony from supporters of transgender protections, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Could Trans Protections In Miami-Dade County Be A Death Knell For The Right-Wing Bathroom Myth?" »


FBI Questions Vine Prankster for Filming in Speedo on Airplane: VIDEO

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French Vine star Jerome Jarre was taken in for questioning by the FBI, after he pulled a prank where he wore a speedo and inflatable pool toy on his American Airlines international flight from Mexico City to Miami.

An alarmed flight attendent called the police after seeing Jarre. Boston.com has a round-up of the prankster's tweets to his fans for help/outcry while he was being questioned by the FBI. In the end, Jarre says the agent questioning him said this was the silliest case he'd ever had to deal with, and Jarre faced no charges or punishment.

You may know Jarre from his celebrity pranks and especially the time John Stamos saw his cheek kiss and raised him a smooch on the mouth.

Below is the video of the would-be prank, and the abrupt shutdown by the flight attendant. I can think of at least two people who might not have been so bothered by the antics.

Video is AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "FBI Questions Vine Prankster for Filming in Speedo on Airplane: VIDEO" »


Miami-Dade Moves Towards Adding Trans Protections To Non Discrimination Ordinance

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The Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously voted yesterday to further consider expanding discrimination protections to include transgender-identified people. The Commission’s preliminary amendment to Dade’s anti-discrimination ordinance adds “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its list of prohibited forms of discrimination. The expansion will provide transgender individuals equal access to governmental services as well as housing and employment opportunities.

The Commission attempted to pass a similar amendment last year, but found itself unable to find the necessary number of committee-level approval votes that would have brought the law to the floor for review. Proponents of the revision expressed their need to further educate the public of the law’s necessity before redoubling their efforts.

“It’s fairly apparent the education failed and the politics failed,” said Mara Kiesling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “They now know who they need to educate and who they need to advocate with.”

After being shut out of a vote last year, supporters of the expansion came to the Miami-Dade County Hall prepared to defend themselves against a vocal opposition. Instead, as SAVE field organizer Charo Valero discovered, most of the people in the County Hall were preoccupied with film industry tax rebates. SAVE, a Miami-based LGBT organization, has been pushing for broader protections for Miami's trans communities.

“This update that we’re working on would ensure very basic protections for a very vulnerable part of our community that many take for granted," Valero explained to the Miami Herald.

Watch an interview with SAVE field organizer Charo Valero, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Documentary On ‘Club King’ Mario Diaz To Premiere At Miami Gay And Lesbian Film Fest: VIDEO

Clubking

A documentary on gay nightlife impresario Mario Diaz, who you may recognize from his appearance in ‘Rambo, But Gay’ or from the neon nightlife he has become such a staple of, will debut at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on May 8, according to OUT Magazine. ‘Club King’ focuses on Diaz’s life as a club promoter extraordinaire, permanently surrounded by glitz and go-go-boys. Reflecting on how he came to his line of work, Diaz says,

“When I was in high school and I was young and I knew I was going to end up in New York City one day, I remember thinking, ‘Wow!’ That’s what it’s like to really be gay and be in the gay city. And you know these underground clubs and this freedom of sexuality—it just seemed so exciting and cool and I wanted to be part of it.” 

The film also features Mario (perhaps inadvertently) imparting tips and life lessons to the audience—i.e. “Remember, the slower you dance the hotter it is.”

Check out a (beefcake-laden) trailer, AFTER THE JUMP…

For more information on the film, you can visit the doc’s Facebook page HERE.

(Image via Facebook)

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Get Ready For The Longest, Wettest Gay Kiss Of Your Life: VIDEO

Kiss

The kissing in this ad for the Florida/France Festival — "a community-wide fête of concerts, films and pop-up Culture Clicks throughout Miami" — goes on for so long that it's both hot and ridiculously impractical.

Get wet AFTER THE JUMP...

(via boy culture)

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Miami Man Attempts to Murder Gay Couple and Their 8 Children in Arson Attack: VIDEO

Dansey

A 73-year-old registered sex offender faces charges of second-degree murder, arson, and a hate crime after attempting to burn down the home of a lesbian couple and their eight children while the family was inside of it, CBS Miami reports:

ValenzuelavillanuevaMiami-Dade Police said Braulio Valenzuela-Villanueva, 73, entered the lot next door to his on NW 27th Avenue and allegedly set fire to a mattress that was leaning against the wall of the trailer occupied by the women and children.

Police said as the fire began to get worse, “the defendant hurried back to his residence.” The fire began to burn the trailer, but there were no smoke detectors inside, police said. A neighbor from across the street saw the fire and began to alert people of the impending danger.

The women and children inside the burning trailer escaped after being awakened by the neighbor from across the street. Police said Valenzuela-Villanueva came out of his home and “casually began observing the fire. In fact one of his neighbors had to compel him to assist bringing a garden hose” to fight the fire.

The fire department came and put the fire out. A surveillance video shows Valenzuela-Villanueva setting fire to the mattress.

Valenzuela-Villanueva told police he tried to burn the house down because they were gay:

"He stated that he despised the two adult victims for the simple fact that they were lesbians," the report said. "According to the defendant, every time he saw them kissing he felt a deep repugnance, and in his opinion they did not deserve to have children."

He is in custody.

Watch NBC Miami's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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