Friday, July 25, 2008

Gainseville Gender Debacle

Anti-gay organizers in Gainsville, Florida, say they will have gathered enough signatures by the July 29 deadline to place a repeal of Gainesville’s Anti-Discrimination–Gender Identity Ordinance on the next ballot.

Right wingers are attacking the ordinance which makes it illegal to discriminate against people on grounds of their gender, defined as "an inner sense of being a specific gender or a vocalizing of gender identity through verbal statements, appearance or mannerisms", and which allows people to claim a specific gender even if their birth certificate says otherwise.

One dilemma is that the ordinance is tied to other ordinances protecting sexual orientation, putting them at risk. Many voters are not aware of this, because as usual media and pundits are playing the typical fear card about trans people using the "wrong" bathroom, as the law "allows people to use the restroom or shower facility consistent with their gender identity."

The controversy has sparked conflict within the local LGBT community reminiscent of the strife ENDA created when HRC and others like Barney Frank were willing to excise trans people from the bill, and others were outraged at the idea.

We'll be talking about it on the show in hour two. What are your thoughts? As it is, it's a very progressive measure but easily open to attacks. Should the whole ordinance be thrown out? Is this a sign that the ENDA controversy will now be played out all over the country? Let us know what you think.