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Tuesday Watercooler


Tonight’s video is Old Salt Union performing “Where I Stand.” If you happen to be in Austin, Texas, you can see Old Salt Union for free tonight at Stubb’s BBQ See comments for updated info on how to see OSU. Thanks to James Roberts for this suggestion.

Blue & Red Shirts in San Antonio City Council Chambers

Red-shirted supporters of San Antonio’s nondiscrimination ordinance flooded City Council last September. Now the law sees its first test.

Last year, I reported on San Antonio’s passage of a LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance. The first legal challenge under the ordinance been filed, reports QSanAntonio:

A transgender man who was fired from AT&T in San Antonio is using guidelines from the recently enacted nondiscrimination ordinance to file a complaint with the city attorney’s office claiming the company dismissed him because of his gender identity. The complaint was delivered on January 7 by the office of attorney Justin P. Nichols to deputy city attorney Veronica M. Zertuche, on behalf of the complainant, Matthew Hileman.

The complaint is the first filed under the nondiscrimination ordinance, which was passed by the City Council on September 5 of last year. The new law requires any company that does business with the city to include LGBT protections in their nondiscrimination policies. AT&T has active and ongoing contracts with the city. …

[Hileman] was hired as a man and until the time of the complaint, he never told anyone at AT&T that he was transgender. On September 4, Hileman says he heard two fellow employees, Ropel Anderson and Gerry Bush, discussing the then-proposed nondiscrimination ordinance. The complaint states, ‘Anderson and Bush were specifically and personally overheard by Hileman stating their desire and willingness to commit acts of violence against transgendered persons, particularly if such a person was discovered in a restroom.’

Harassment increased after Hileman filed a complaint with HR, including employees leaving a ‘NO FAG’ sign on his chair. He left the company with promises to be transferred to a different division, but was never rehired by AT&T.

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Photo by Kit O’Connell, all rights reserved.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and