Bil Browning

Btown: Transfolk 2 - Bigots 0

Filed By Bil Browning | April 13, 2006 11:03 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics

The Bloomington transgender community is one step closer to having full rights and protections under the law. The Bloomington City Council cast an initial vote in favor (subscription required for Btown Herald Times's stupid website) of adding "gender identity" to the city's human rights ordinance last night. This would make Bloomington the second city in the state to include gender identity protections as city law - Indianapolis was the first when it passed it's inclusive HRO in December 2005. Transfolk in Bloomington won an earlier round when they convinced the Bloomington Human Rights Commission to recommend to the council the addition of the words "gender identity" even though the BHRC attorney opposed the addition.

...transgender people and their supporters celebrated Wednesday evening after an amendment to include gender identity as a protected class received initial approval from the Bloomington City Council.

Seven people spoke against the amendment.

William Scott wondered if special privileges would be granted to pedophiles.

"The question I have is what are your limits?" Scott asked the council.

Eight people spoke in favor of the amendment. One supporter, Lisa Williams, apologized for her appearance. Williams came to the meeting in slippers explaining that she was watching from home and felt the need to offer her support. She identified herself as a disabled woman and reminded attendees that people with disabilities have not always been a protected class.

"There needs to be such a thing," she said. "I don't view this as an issue of morality."

David Sabbagh, a [Republican] co-sponsor of the amendment, said the beauty of Bloomington is its diversity and that all people need to be protected from discrimination.

"I'm very happy to support this thing," he said.

The amendment will go before the council for a final vote next Wednesday.

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