Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Transgender Rights Updates

The struggle continues in terms of us gaining and keeping our civil rights. 13 states and 90 municipalities cover us and more want to be added to that list.

We lost one in Moscow, ID when the City Council voted 5-1 NOT to include gender identity or expression in their city policy despite several emotional pleas from Moscow residents, including the mother of a transgendered child.

Councilman Tom Lamar was the only council member who supported the change. Please let Councilman Tom Lamar know how much we appreciate his efforts for trying to put Moscow, ID on the correct side of the moral arc of the universe.

In Maryland a state senate panel begins hearing testimony today concerning Senate Bill 566, a measure sponsored by Montgomery County Senator Richard Madaleno Jr. that would protect transgender residents from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. Hope they called Isis back home for this one since home girl IS originally from Maryland.

Our brothers and sisters rights in Gainesville, FL (home of the University of Florida) are under assault by the Reichers. They are using the predators in showers lie in a referendum to roll back the civil rights protections we won there.

And this time, the Reichers are not only going after the passed ordinance, they want to PERMANENTLY bar the city from having the power to write civil rights protection for its citizens.

The referendum is taking place March 24 and our peeps there could use some help, cash, your time, whatever to defeat Charter Amendment 1. If you live in the area get your vote on and take some friends to the polls with you. The more the merrier.

If you are in any of these areas please take the time to thank people for their hard work and support, even for the ones we lost.

And as for our legislative crown jewels of ENDA and hate crimes, the work continues. As soon as they post the bill numbers in Thomas I'll post it here, then it's on and poppin' until we see a Rose Garden signing ceremony in which the prez puts his signature on a fully inclusive bill. In the interim, we must be prepared to fight any attempt to cut us out of it because we may not get another opportunity like this again.


Emilie said...

It may sound strange, but the Moscow City Council vote to not include "gender identity/expression" protections in their employment non-discrimination policies is not actually a defeat. Let me explain. On January 20, 2009 the Moscow Human Rights Commission voted unanimously to endorse the inclusion of "gender identity/expression", and on February 23 the City Council's Administrative Committee moved to take the amendment to the full Council. The City Attorney and the Human Resource Manager advised the City Council that after their review of the City's existing non-discrimination policies, they believed that "gender identity/expression" was already covered. Of course we all know that if the words aren't specifically written, it ain't so. The victory, albeit small, comes from the fact that each Council member that voted "No" was polled and their responses are now a matter of record, which states that gender identity/expression anti-discrimination protection is already included in the City's employment policy. At a future date when the makeup of the Moscow City Council is more progressive or when a all-inclusive federal ENDA is passed, this matter will once again be revisited. In addition to Councilman Tom Lamar, special thanks need to be extended to Mayor Nancy Chaney and Moscow Human Rights Commissioner Tim Gresback. We should not lose sight of the fact that this is the same Council that recently extended medical insurance benefits to the domestic partners of its employees. Currently the only city in Idaho to provide this benefit.

Emilie Jackson-Edney
Idaho Equalitysursedu

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks for the update Emile.