For a few moments Tuesday, it appeared a Miami-Dade County commissioner might try to get the board to reconsider its tentative approval of legislation that would extend civil-rights protections to transgender people.
Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo looked ready to try to change his vote to “No” on the proposed amendment to the county's human-rights ordinance, which would ban discrimination based on "gender identity" and "gender expression." Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa even took the unusual step of asking her colleagues at the regular commission meeting if they had any such requests.
But Bovo, who represents portions of Hialeah, Miami Lakes and Palm Springs North, said nothing. Minutes earlier, opponents of the law from the conservative Christian Family Coalition had left the commission chambers. They had spent part of the morning in talks with one of Bovo's aides, apparently trying to ascertain if there would be enough dais support for a new vote.
Last month, commissioners gave unanimous, preliminary approval to the legislation with Bovo's “Yes” vote. It's scheduled for a public hearing next month before a four-member committee that includes Bovo, though he is expected to be the only one against the proposal.
Taking up the legislation again Tuesday would have delayed that November public hearing, under county rules.