Cleveland passes fully inclusive Transgender Law on the eve of the GOP Convention

 GOP Convention

The Cleveland council just amended their non-discrimination ordinance to protect transgender people in public accommodations. This is incredibly timely as the full GOP convention with their anti-transgender platform convenes Monday.

The Council adopted legislation expanding Cleveland’s existing non-discrimination law that covers public accommodations to include transgender people according to Cleveland City

The ordinance removes language currently in the City Code that allows a business owner or employer to determine what restroom or facilities a transgender person may or may not use.
The current code says business owners or employers may deny a patron or employee access to bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, or dressing facilities even though those facilities are consistent with the person’s individual gender identity or expression.

City law had already banned discrimination based on race, religion, gender, handicap, ethnicity and other protected classes.

The amended law adds gender identity or expression and brings the City Code into alignment with nondiscrimination protections of more than 150 cities nationwide.

The ordinance allows a person who has undergone or is undergoing gender transition to use the restroom in a place of public accommodation or their workplace that matches the gender they live every day.

The NY Times reports that the adopted Republican plank has gone even further to the right.

Much of the most combative debate centered on language in the platform that describes gay and transgender people, and efforts to strip those words out and replace them with language proposed by a minority contingent of socially moderate delegates.

An amendment to specifically recognize that gay people are targets of the Islamic State caused a stir among more conservative delegates who said they felt there was no need to single out any one group. As the delegate who offered the amendment, Giovanni Cicione of Rhode Island, argued his case — by saying he believed it was an “innocuous and important” way to tell gay people the Republican Party does not exclude them — another delegate moved to shut off the debate.

Jim Bopp, a delegate from Indiana, said the Republican Party had always rejected “identity politics.” Arguing against the measure, he said, “Obviously, there’s an agenda here.”

The amendment was defeated, as were others in a similar vein.

But nearly every provision that expressed disapproval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender rights passed. The platform calls for overturning the Supreme Court marriage decision with a constitutional amendment and makes references to appointing judges “who respect traditional family values.”

“Has a dead horse been beaten enough yet?” asked Annie Dickerson, a committee member from New York, who chastised her colleagues for writing language offensive to gays into the platform “again and again and again.”

Additional provisions included those that promoted state laws to limit which restrooms transgender people could use, nodded to “conversion therapy” for gays by saying that parents should be free to make medical decisions about their children without interference and stated that “natural marriage” between a man and a woman is most likely to result in offspring who do not become drug-addicted or otherwise damaged.

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Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.

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