Friday, November 20, 2009

Tampa Gives Green Light to Men in Ladies' Room

Following the nationwide trend, the Tampa, Florida city council passed a "gender identity" anti-discrimination ordinance allowing any man to stand in the women's restroom and claim he "feels like a woman today," and forbidding Christian schools from firing a male teacher who might show up one day in women's clothing.

-- From "Tampa Council approves transgender protections" by Christian M. Wade, Tampa Tribune 11/20/09

Following two hours of testimony from grandmothers, ministers, transgendered people and representatives of Fortune 500 companies, the city council voted 5 to 1 on Thursday to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public facilities based on "gender identity and expression."

More than 60 people on either side of the issue filled council chambers to voice their support or opposition to the changes.

Members of several Christian evangelical groups and other opponents called the move an assault on their religious values they fear will sanction sexually deviant behavior.

Terry Kemple, president of the Community Issues Council, said he thought the protections would allow "sexual predators" to go into restrooms for the opposite sex, and force business owners and landlords, regardless of their religious beliefs, to accept cross-dressers.

David Caton, executive director of the Florida Family Association, told council members the city hadn't proved that transgender individuals were being discriminated against.

Philip Dinkins, chairman of the Human Rights Board, said the board has received at least 13 complaints of transgender discrimination in recent years.

Rocco Vallerand, who also goes by the name Raquel, said transgender individuals are not sexual deviants and are merely looking to have the same protections as others.

At least 13 states across the country and 16 municipalities in Florida, as well as some Fortune 500 companies, have extended such protections to transsexuals, transvestites and others with a gender identity that differs from their sex at birth.

President Barack Obama's administration is drafting proposed federal guidelines that would prohibit workplace discrimination against transgender federal employees.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "City vote opens women's restroom doors to men" by Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily 11/17/09

A statement from the American Family Association explained, "Tampa Police arrested Robert Johnson in February 2008 for hanging out in the locker room–restroom area at Lifestyle Fitness and watching women in an undressed state. The City of Tampa's 'gender identity' ordinance could provide a legal defense to future cases like this if the accused claims that his gender is female."

. . . the section that makes it illegal to "segregate any person at a place of public accommodation, or to segregate any person in regards to … facilities" leads some to worry about the consequences of forbidding discrimination "regardless of the individual's sex at birth."

"This ordinance will give lawful protection to cross-dressing males to patronize women's restrooms," the Florida Family Association said in a statement. "And men dressed as women or women who perceive themselves as men can also use men's restrooms."

City Attorney Chip Fletcher told The Tampa Tribune the changes are not meant to protect the occasional cross-dresser, but individuals who are undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.

The gender identity ordinance makes exception for religious organizations, nonprofits and parochial schools, but does not exempt private businesses, public restrooms, public schools or nonreligious day-care centers.

Therefore, the AFA pointed out, the issue moves beyond just public restrooms.

"The gender identity ordinance also provides legal protection for transgenders to teach schoolchildren one day as a man and another day as a woman," AFA President Tim Wildmon wrote in an e-mail. "Unfortunately, the ordinance does not attempt to qualify who really is a transgender and who is not. That is left up to the individual to determine what his 'gender identity' is that day."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.