After a marathon session in front of a packed chamber, the Fort Worth City Council voted 6-3 to expand the city's anti-discrimination ordinance to cover transgender people. The ordinance already prevented discrimination based on race, sex, religion or sexual orientation.
Much of the debate centered on the broader proposals of which some of them the Fort Worth City Council has already tacitly approved.
City staffers will be trained to respectfully interface with the TBLG community, and the Fort Worth Police Department has appointed a liaison to the community.
Other recommendations such as offering domestic-partner benefits and expanding the city health insurance plan to cover gender reassignment procedures are being studied.
"We believe, as you do, that we should respect each other," said Jon Nelson of Fairness Fort Worth. "The foundation of these recommendations isn’t preferential treatment, it’s equal treatment."
"Being a transgender person has nothing to do with a person’s ability to do their job," Victoria Van Fleet said.
I was not shocked by the outcome. Dallas has had TBLG protections on the books for several years now. Fort Worth has a sizable TBLG population despite its fundie rep.
Civic leaders were serious about passing this in the wake of the contentious Rainbow Room raid. I've also chronicled one Fort Worth transperson's struggle with discrimination, but her story isn't unique in Cowtown.
It may be a surprise to you readers, but as I told you peeps, my birth state is progressive in the cities, but regressive in the rural areas. East Texas is another matter that will take a post to explain.
Congratulations Fort Worth! This segues nicely into my next thought that is directed to the politicos in my hometown.
Now Houston, if Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin can do this, what's stopping the largest city in the state from stepping up to the plate and protecting all transpeople residing in Houston not employed by the city from discrimination?