A gay rights law was passed by a vote of 7 to 6 Tuesday in Florida’s Miami-Dade County. The law bans discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing and the workplace.
As more than 300 opposing and supporting demonstrators stood outside, county commissioners debated the issue for close to 20 minutes before deciding to approve the measure.
Demonstrators included members of the Christian Coalition who were on their knees, praying for the ordinance not to pass.
Previous to the passage of the new ordinance, the county prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, and familial status. The words sexual orientation will now be added.
“I’m gay and I do not deserve special rights, but I do deserve equal rights,” said Richard Sherman, a member of the lesbian and gay rights group SAVE Dade. “Today, I’m protected.”