Miami Beach Passes Ordinance Banning Hair Discrimination

Miami Beach has passed an ordinance that will ban race-based hair discrimination in housing, employment, and access to public services and facilities, per NBC News.

On Wednesday (October 26), officials announced that the Miami Beach City Commission voted unanimously to prohibit discrimination “based on the texture or style of a person’s hair.”

“The new ordinance applies in cases where hair is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin, such as Black communities,” the city said in a press release.

“It’s unacceptable in 2022 that Black Americans and other minorities still face discrimination based on something so trivial as whether or not they have textured or curly hair,” Miami Beach Vice Mayor Alex Fernandez said in a statement. “This serves to protect cultural identity and not have to worry about sacrificing who you are in Miami Beach.”
The city’s human rights ordinance had already banned discrimination based on weight, height, and other characteristics. Hair texture and styles will now be added to the rights protected under the ordinance.

“Race-based hair discrimination stems from a perception that straight hair is clean, neat and professional while the opposite belief applies to textured or curly hair types,” Alan Fishman, who chairs the city’s Human Rights Committee, said in a statement. “In reality, this is just another way to discriminate based on racial stereotypes.”

Miami Beach’s move to prohibit hair discrimination comes as the Crown Act awaits passage in the Senate. The measure, which cites how “people of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities” due to how they wear their hair, was first introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J and passed in the House by a vote of 235-189 along party lines.

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