Related Story – Update from New Hampshire: State House Dome: Transgender rights in ‘bathroom bill’ (Quick Hit)
Jac Wilder VerSteeg, the Palm Beach Post Deputy Editor of the Editorial Page, draws an interesting point out in the conclusion of his opinion piece entitled No rest for (trans)gender politics. In the piece, he’s discussing the ballot measure to change to Gainsville, Florida’s fully inclusive anti-discrimination laws (emphasis added):
The ballot measure, if passed, would force the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to mirror the state’s civil rights law. Gender identity isn’t in the state’s law. Neither is civil rights protection based on sexual orientation. So that also would be lost. The opponents, Citizens for Good Public Policy, deny that’s their goal. But the group is allied with Florida Family Action, which is fronted by the people who brought us Florida’s constitutional ban on gay marriages.
It’s obvious that Citizens for Good Public Policy has a wider agenda. There’s a fix that would keep bathrooms safe while still preventing housing and employment discrimination against gay and transgender people.
Like Gainesville, Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach have ordinances protecting civil rights based on gender identity. West Palm easily solves the bathroom problem by stipulating that the law doesn’t apply to ”discrimination on the basis of sex in restrooms, shower rooms … or similar facilities, which are by their nature distinctly private.” The county’s ordinance basically does the same.
Citizens for Good Public Policy could have asked voters to amend a similar easy fix into the Gainesville ordinance. Instead, they’re trying to flush all protections for gay and transgender people down the toilet.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people need to be concerned about this ballot measure. This could be a blueprint for removing civil rights for the entire LGBT community in many states where localities have provided more civil rights protections than the individual states have.
And, yet another reason why we need a fully inclusive ENDA.