Wednesday, October 06, 2010

West Lafayette, IN Adds Gender Identity To Nondiscrimination Protections

West Lafayette, IN is where Purdue University is located.  When I lived in Louisville, whenever AC, Dawn and I made the drive up I-65 to Chicago it was our planned gas and food stop since it was roughly halfway between Indianapolis and Chicago.  

Monday night the West Lafayette City Council passed on a 5-2 vote an ordinance and resolution that expands non discrimination coverage and protections on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and veterans’ status according to a report in the Purdue Exponent..

The two NO votes came from guess who, Republican Council members Vicki Burch, R-District 4, and Gerry Keen, R-District 5.  In fairness to the Republicans, the ordinance and resolution were jointly sponsored by the Republican mayor of West Lafayette and the Democratic City Council president.

The West Lafayette Human Relations Commission drafted the new legislation, which ensures equal opportunities in employment, housing and other areas to those under the expanded list of personal classifications.

There was a large crowd on hand of citizens and Purdue students to testify for and against the proposed bill.   One of those was Purdue graduate student and transman Teht Ashmani.

Asgmani put a human face on the discrimination and transphobia he and other people have faced for the council and the assembled people in the council chambers.  "I’m very aware of those not here today,” he said while adding that he knows some who did not come to the council meeting in fear of losing their jobs.

Ashmani also gave examples of less than sterling customer service in various businesses and said, “This is a regular experience of discrimination.”

Thank you West Lafayette for recognizing that all of your citizens matter.   As Episcopal minister and City  Councilmember Peter Bunder, D-District 2, stated,“The arc of the moral universe is long and it bends a little more toward justice today.”

 At least in West Lafayette, IN it does.

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