Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DART Board Votes Down Trans Protections

You may recall me posting in March about a situation in which a transwoman employed as a DART bus driver for 20 years had not only been discriminated against, but for some reason DART attorneys contested her name change order and reversed it.

The hits just keep on coming from DART.

Thanks to the Instant Tea blog of the Dallas Voice, was made aware of the DART Board of Directors meeting that took place last night.

The board voted 6-5 against adding trans protections to the agency’s nondiscrimination policy, according to Rafael McDonnell, a spokesman for Resource Center Dallas who attended the meeting.

McDonnell reported that the DART board, acting as the committee of the whole, initially voted 6-5 to approve the proposal to add gender identity to DART’s nondiscrimination policy.

But then one board member, Pamela Dunlop Gates of Dallas, switched her vote and asked DART attorneys to clarify definitions for “gender identity” and “genetic information,” another proposed addition to the policy.

McDonnell said Tuesday’s vote means the proposal must come back to the committee of the whole in June, after the attorneys come up with definitions.

If approved by the committee of the whole, the proposal would then go to the regular DART board at a later date. McDonnell said a DART staff member characterized Tuesday’s negative vote to him as a “speed bump” or “a hiccup.”

“It doesn’t mean that it’s dead,” McDonnell said. “I wouldn’t even say that it means it’s on life support. It means it’s taking a little longer to go through the process process. I’m disappointed in that. I got up and told the board members, ‘I respect the fact that you have questions, here’s my phone number.’”

McDonnell also encouraged people in the LGBT community to get involved.

“We anticipated there would be some no votes,” he said. “I think if you live in the DART service area, you need to be contacting your representative on the DART board and urge them to vote for it.”

Alright TBLG peeps in Dallas and the DART service area, Rafael McDonnell is on the money here. Time for you to get busy being the agents of your own liberation.

Here's the phone number for the DART administrative office. 214-749-3278.

Here's the list of the DART board members and the cities they represent

And when you call, don't be nekulturny like the teabaggers and the Religious Reich, be respectful.

Yes, even to Pamela Dunlop Gates.

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