In a surprise move the amendment that was approved last night by the Memphis city council only protects against sexual orientation omitting gender expression and identity.
According to Jonathan Cole, Vice President of the Tennessee Equality Project it was understood the proposed amendment would include transgender protections but last night when “it came downstairs” it was stripped of trans protections.
Cole in a telephone interview said he was surprised as everyone else at the omission but that the “Tennessee Equality Project would fight for trans protections” to be added during the 30 days allotted for the council to discover if the amendment is contrary to the discrimination ordinance already in place.
Memphis has the distinct reputation as one of the transgender murder capitols of the world.
The proposed amendment face severe opposition from the religious right spearheaded by Bellevue Baptist Church Pastor Steve Gaines who according to the The Commercial Appeal said
“sexual orientation should not be considered a civil rights issue.”
“Civil rights status should be reserved for areas that have already
been mentioned, such as race and gender,” Gaines said. “No one can
choose their gender. No one can choose the color of their skin. The
fact is everybody has a choice with sexual activity. This is about the
furtherance of an aggressive political agenda.”
We have just 30 days in which to get transgender protections reinserted.
Please sign the petition Memphis Protect Trans people
Least we forget the catalyst to this…..
Two weeks before a lawsuit was to be filed Duanna was murdered with a shot to her face at close range.