The Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority is one step closer to a trans inclusive non discrimination policy after voting 11-2 to advance it to the full DART board on June 22.
It's past time that happened, since the city of Dallas has had trans protections ensconced in its nondiscrimination ordinance since 2002.
The lack of a DART trans inclusive non discrimination policy led to the mistreatment of a 20 year employee known as Ms. T-DART to keep her identity secret.
Her DART supervisors had been exploiting that hole in the policy to treat Ms. T-DART in a discriminatory manner.
She was told by DART supervisors she couldn't have long hair, wear skirts at work, or use the women's restroom. Ms. T-DART was forced to show up for work in her uniform and use public restrooms on her bus route.
They even went as far as having DART lawyers contest her court ordered gender marker change and reverse it.
According to John Wright of the Dallas Voice's Instant Tea blog, the vote followed a 30 minute executive session to discuss the proposed policy behind closed doors.
There were concerns voiced amongst local activists about the wording of the amendment. Rather than simply adding “gender identity” to its existing nondiscrimination policy, DART attorneys have also inserted several clauses indicating that the policy applies only “to the extent [it is] consistent with state and federal law.”
Because neither sexual orientation nor gender identity is included in state or federal employment protections, the fear is that these clauses could be interpreted to mean the policy is moot.
And as we all know from past civil rights history, if you give conservafools an inch and don't write these policies so there is no wiggle room for opponents to ignore it, they will take the nullification mile.
Voting for the proposal were members John Danish (made motion), Loretta Ellerbe (seconded motion), Jerry Christian, Pamela Dunlop Gates, Raymond Noah, Robert Strauss, William Tsao, Tracey Whitaker, Faye Moses Wilkins, Claude Williams and William Velasco.
Voting against the proposal were members Scott Carlson who represent Dallas on the DART board, and Mark Enoch who represents Farmers Branch, Garland and Rowlett.
So circle June 22 on your calendars, Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and keep those calls and e-mails coming.
And I can't stress this enough, be respectful while doing so.