Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Are Virgina's Transpeople About To Be Thrown Under The Civil Rights Bus?

While I'm happy that the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia will be a Democrat, what I'm not happy about is that Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe is possibly about to throw the Virginia transpeople who helped get him elected under the human rights bus.

McAuliffe announced that one of his first acts as governor once he is inaugurated in January would be banning  discrimination in state workplaces based on sexual orientation.  

It's the same executive order that former Virginia governor Tim Kaine signed in 2006 that was rescinded four lears later when Republican Bob McDonnell succeeded him.

That's a problem because sexual orientation language alone will not cover trans people.  Gender identity or expression language needs to be added to that executive order to cover the trans community  

And for those of you in GL World who will throw the 'you transpeople are covered under Title VII and we're not' point to justify this, bigots aren't paying attention to Title VII, Glenn v Brumby or the EEOC Macy v Holder case until after they discriminate against trans people and get whacked by it.

What they do pay attention to is laws and the media telling them laws have been passed that make it illegal to discriminate against protected classes of people.

Bottom line is that favorable court and EEOC rulings and precedents aren't enough .  We need anti-trans discrimination laws on the books in our cities, counties, states and our nation that explicitly state anti-trans discrimination is unacceptable.  

If you GL people in Virginia and elsewhere don't think that it's important to have those laws on the books or transpeople pointing out the missing gender identity and expression language is 'attacking your allies', then let's see how secure you would feel your human rights are if all the anti-discrimination laws in this country that have sexual orientation only language in them to prohibit discrimination against you were suddenly no longer available and you had to depend on the court system or EEOC administrative rulings to enforce them. 

Bet you'd see it differently wouldn't you? 

So to ensure the executive order covers all LGBT Virginians in state employment, gender identity and expression language needs to be expeditiously added to that executive order. 

We'll see if it happens. 

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