Bil Browning

Bloomington considers gender identity language

Filed By Bil Browning | March 16, 2006 6:47 PM | comments

Filed in: Living

The Bloomington City Council will hopefully add "gender identity" to the local human rights ordinance. I notice that the main stumbling block seems to be the city's human rights commission director. The director was less than helpful during my sexual orientation discrimination case when I lived in Bloomington, so I'm not surprised to see her hesitant to act... I'm glad Indiana Equality is involved in bringing Bloomington up to speed with Indianapolis. I firmly believe that we won't see a state law protecting against discrimination until a few cities have passed their own protections. Like dominoes, now that Indy has passed protections, the rest of the state will soon follow.

Barbara McKinney, director of Bloomington's human rights commission, agrees that some sort of protection is needed, but she prefers it come under the existing classification of "sex," not the new term, "gender identity."

She said that a human rights ordinance with sex identity, not gender identity, carries more clout and "sends a stronger message that the city takes it seriously."

McKinney said the commission has legal power to investigate sex discrimination because it is recognized by state discrimination law, whereas gender identity and sexual orientation are not.

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Can someone really be this stupid? Gender identity is more inclusive, as much of the housing and employment discrimination is done on a persons appearance, not who they sleep with at night. But I'm preachin to the choir...