Ed Team

Mayor's New Policy Values All City Employees

Filed By Ed Team | November 07, 2005 4:13 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Demonstrating his commitment to removing unnecessary barriers that stand in the way of hiring and retaining the best and brightest employees, Democratic Mayor Bart Peterson today announced the addition of gender identity to the city's non-discrimination policy.

The policy, which covers city employees, is now consistent with a policy issued earlier this year by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels that covers state government workers. Both city and state governments have now committed to equal employment opportunity without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

"INTRAA would like to thank Mayor Peterson for taking this important step towards making Indianapolis a truly progressive, world-class city," said Leigh Anne Richards, President of the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA). "Changes such as this have been needed for a very long time and will make a real difference in the lives of so many people who are simply trying to make a living, support their families, and contribute to the community."

As awareness of the need for such policies has increased, other governmental bodies have responded. The Bloomington Human Rights Commission has recommended that the Bloomington City Council add gender identity to the city's human-rights ordinance, which already includes sexual orientation. The recommendation has not yet come up for a vote. (For more info, see this recent article in Bloomington Alternative).

The Indianapolis City-County Council is currently considering an amendment to its Human Rights Ordinance that would protect all Indianapolis citizens and workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of employment, education, public accommodations, and housing. Nationwide, 28% of Americans already live in jurisdictions that include gender identity protections. Should this amendment pass, Indianapolis would join the six states, ten counties, and sixty-four cities that have already recognized the value in having gender identity included in their human rights laws.

INTRAA has been working in conjunction with Indiana Equality, a statewide coalition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied organizations, to educate the Council on this issue and to urge passage of the amendment.

"Mayor Peterson is confirming that Indianapolis values the contributions of all its employees," said Richards. "We hope that the Indianapolis City-County Councilors will recognize the direction in which our Mayor is leading the city."

INTRAA is a statewide advocacy organization working through education and legislative efforts to create a society that values and protects freedom of gender expression and the right to gender self-determination for all.

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