MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Reaffirming the city’s policies of nondiscrimination and inclusion, Miami Beach is aiming to protect members of the community at most risk of being targeted by hate crimes.
The city is launching a “Safe Space” program for businesses and organizations to demonstrate their commitment to the safety and equal treatment of its LGBTQ residents and visitors.
According to FBI data, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are the most likely targets of hate crimes in America.
Businesses can register with the Miami Beach Police Dept. to designate itself as a Safe Space, which includes a decal to post outside the establishment as a symbol of safety.
“We hope this program provides members of the LGBTQ community with safe places throughout Miami Beach that they can turn to if they are the victims of harassment or crime,” said Commissioner Michael Grieco. “Any individual who seeks solace in a Safe Space location can be assured that if they are the victim of a crime, police will promptly be called.”
Victims of harassment or crimes will be assured safety in these establishments, which agree to assist those in need and call police.
“While Miami Beach is certainly one of the most progressive cities in the United States, the potential for crime and discrimination against LGBTQ residents and visitors still exists,” added Tony Lima, executive director of SAVE, recognized as South Florida’s leading organization dedicated to protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender against discrimination. “We applaud the city’s efforts in promoting, protecting and defending equality for all.”