CommunityPam's House Blend

Public hearing on Largo, FL city manager Stanton's fate is tonight

[drjillygirl’s diary says that there is live coverage.]

The Largo City Commission has opened its public hearing on the future of Steve Stanton, with public comments taken around 9PM. Among those testifying will be HRC Workplace Project Director Daryl Herrschaft, along with Maggie Stumpp, who transitioned on the job at Prudential. There is an interesting article about the support for Stanton in the St. Pete Times:

After a lifetime of hiding his secret in a suitcase, suddenly Stanton is surrounded by strangers who want to help.

In one month he has become the face of a movement.

I know they’re not participating in this case because of me, but because of the impact my case could have on thousands of people like me,” he said. “I’m just a small part of this now.”

They’re expected to pack City Hall: all these organizations with acronyms Stanton didn’t understand. Two months ago, he had no idea that LGBT stood for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. He isn’t gay. He couldn’t admit he was part of that community.

…The funniest fallout has been the merchandise, Stanton says. Along with books on being transgender, the Web site sells T-shirts saying : “Largophobe” and “Not So Populargo.” A baby bib says, “Free Largo.” A black thong reads, “Largo.”

Stanton says he didn’t sanction the sales, but the profits are supposed to help pay his legal fees. He said he hasn’t taken money from individuals or groups, but diverts offers of support to subsidize his volunteer lawyer.

And it may be a circus if the fundies show up.

A group called Florida Family Association, “working to improve and protect our moral environment since 1987,” sent an e-mail asking people to lobby against Stanton.

And Charlie Martin, senior pastor of the 6,000 member First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, asked parishioners to pray and come to the meeting if they can. City commissioners “are under attack from Equality Florida, a homosexual activist group that has national ties,” the minister wrote in an e-mail. He alluded to possible legal and ethical violations but wouldn’t elaborate.

Rev. Ron Sanders, pastor of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Largo, who led the charge to oust Stanton, has gone over the edge:

“God’s wrath is on America right now,” Sanders said. He pointed to the 911 terrorist attacks and the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.

Sanders said the gay, lesbian and transgender lifestyle is “an abomination against God.” He said if the city allows Stanton to stay in office, “He will be a hero to all of those weirdos from New Orleans [as a result of Katrina] who are looking for a new home.”

Hat tip, Michael Hussey.

Other Blend posts on this case:
* Largo, FL city manager talks about trans discrimination that resulted in firing 
* Largo, FL officials vote to dismiss trans city manager
* Equality Florida activist in Largo arrested for handing out anti-discrimination flyers
* Fired trans city manager in Largo has support and possible grounds for lawsuit
* Largo, FL city manager Stanton fighting to keep job

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