Miami Beach bans hair discrimination

The Miami Beach City Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to ban discriminatory practices “based on the texture or style of a person’s hair,” according to a news release.

The new ordinance prohibits discrimination based on a person’s hair when seeking housing, employment, public services, financing, or use of facilities citywide, according to the news release from Miami Beach city officials.

“The city’s human rights ordinance already prohibited discrimination based on various characteristics, including weight and height,” the press release says. Wednesday’s unanimous vote “expanded those protections to now include hair texture associated with race, such as braids, locks, afros, curls and twists,” city officials said.

“Race-based hair discrimination stems from the perception that straight hair is clean, neat and professional, while the opposite belief applies to textured or curly hair types,” according to Alan Fishman, who chairs the city’s Human Rights Committee.

The new ordinance stems from a motion introduced by the committee during an April 2021 meeting, according to a city agenda. In a May 2021 letter to the mayor and commission, the city manager informed officials of the motion, saying, “A growing number of state and local legislatures are enacting laws that prohibit discrimination based on style and character. natural hair texture.

In December 2020, Broward County, Florida commissioners voted to include braids, braids, braids, Bantu knots, and head wraps in the county’s protective classifications, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of hair.

“Hair discrimination affects Blacks and other minorities with natural, textured hair that has not been straightened or chemically changed,” the Miami Beach City Manager letter said.