Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Plano, TX Passes Problematic TBLG Inclusive Ordinance

With Houston becoming in May the most recent Texas city to enact  an inclusive non-discrimination law with the passage of HERO, Lone Star TBLG Texans were waiting to see what Texas city would step up to the human rights plate next.

Turns out it was Plano, TX with a population of 274,000 peeps. The Plano City Council on a 5-3 vote Monday night expanded its non-discrimination ordinance that has been in effect since 1989 to include gender identity and sexual orientation in front of a standing room only City Council chamber.

Note to all you folks considering the same thing for your cities and towns.  Draft the strongest ordinance you can and bump the haters because you only get one shot to do it right.  The Plano ordinance problematically excluded bathrooms, and the expanded ordinance is STILL getting hated on.

The Plano Equal Rights Policy that takes effect in January affords equal rights to individuals regardless of “U.S. military/veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation and gender identity.”
It prohibits discrimination in places of “public accommodation, employment practices, housing transactions and city contracting practices.”
City contractors must agree to comply with the equal employment opportunity clause but may apply for a waiver “based on a conflict with federal or state law.”
Exemptions are provided for religious organizations; political organizations; nonprofit organizations, except those receiving city grant money; educational institutions; private clubs; and state and federal agencies.
Plano's Mayoral Leadership and City Council
The Plano ordinance does not require employers to provide benefits to an employee’s domestic partner

Plano is not only the sixth Texas city to do so, it is the first suburban Texas one to take that human rights step. “Providing equal rights for everyone is the right thing to do,” Mayor Harry Rosiliere said during the contentious meeting as the haters once again tried to deploy their patented  fear and smear tactics and failed.

The expanded policy has the support of large Plano employers such as Frito-Lay, Toyota and PepisCo, and the North Texas Gay and Lesbian Alliance.    Jeanne Rubin, vice president of the North Texas Gay and Lesbian Alliance said after the affirmative council vote was tallied .“I’m glad the Plano City Council did the right thing,”

But there are people gearing up to do the right wing hate thing.  There was opposition from Texas Values, Collin County GOP (surprise, surprise) state legislators like Jodie Laubenberg, Pat Fallon, Jeff Leach, Rep-elect Matt Shaheen and (indicted) Attorney General elect Ken Paxton.   The Plano based ''christian" advocacy group the Liberty Institute is threatening to file a lawsuit.

There were also threats by the sore bigot losers of recalls against the five councilmembers who voted for it and the mayor.

In big cities like Houston that have sizable progressive populations, we laugh that off, but in GOP leaning 'Collin County, it's stay tuned time to see if they make that threat happen.

Hearing that trans folks in North Texas hate the cave on the bathroom.   I'm going to be interested to hear from Nell Gaither and other peeps in the Dallas metro area to find out if they were even consulted in terms of crafting the language on this.

But congrats to Plano for trying doing the right thing.. 

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