Happy Pride Month, Miami! The LGBTQ+ community has a long history in South Florida. The first pride parade in South Florida was held in 1972 on Lincoln Road and was organized as a march in protest of Miami Beach's law banning cross-dressing.
In July of that same year, hundreds of members of the LGBTQ+ community were among the thousands of protesters at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, where advocates demanded the repeal of laws banning gay marriage. In the early 1970s, gay rights advocacy led to a county ordinance banning discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. This, however, was later overturned after a subsequent referendum championed by Anita Bryant, an anti-gay rights activist.
In December of 1998, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners once again adopted an amendment banning discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. The Dade County Christian Coalition then announced it was initiating a referendum drive to repeal the amendment under the name "Take Back Miami-Dade." This attempt failed as they did not garner enough signatures. In 2014, the Human Rights Campaign ranked Miami Beach number 1 in its Municipal Equality Index, which measures the inclusivity of LGBT people in laws, policies, and services!
Today, South Florida showcases its pride throughout different neighborhoods across the county, with Miami Beach Pride continuing it's longstanding tradition, and with the addition of other celebrations, such as Wynwood Pride, Hialeah Pride, and more!
Image: Members of the LGBTQ+ community at an outdoor event. Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami Museum (1978)