Thursday, March 01, 2007

Largo, Florida: a city of bigots

The city council of Largo, Florida, voted recently to fire their city manager, a man who for fourteen years had worked hard for the city and earned the public's respect. Why this abrupt firing? Was it because he'd been caught embezzling? No. Had he dowloaded child porn on his computer? Absolutely not. Had he used his position to gain grants or loans for a personal business or charity? No. Was he getting kickbacks from politicians or developers? Definitely not.

Nope, this man was fired because he'd decided that he wasn't really a man, he was a woman in a man's body, and he needed to get a sex change operation. He'd decided this after having gotten married, having a son (13 years old), trying counseling, etc. In other words, this was not a decision made lightly. The news of this was leaked to the public, before he could tell his son about it. He decided to confront the issue head-on rather than let rumors fly, and made an official announcement. An uproar ensued, and the city council voted 5 to 2 to throw him out. To their credit, the mayor, Pat Gerard, and Commissioner Rodney Woods looked at the quality of his work, and voted to keep him on.

Commissioner Mary Gray Black was apparently the driving force behind the ouster:
[The] meeting was called by Commissioner Mary Gray Black and could echo a bitter 2003 debate over an ordinance that would have protected gay and transgender residents and city employees.

Black was recruited to run for the commission by a leading opponent of the antidiscrimination ordinance. On Monday, she proposed placing Stanton on paid leave while the city prepares to fire him.
Black has a history of bigotry, evidently, and won her seat on a very slim margin.

This is why we need civil rights protections for transgendered, gay, lesbian, and intersex people.

2 comments:

Dave said...

Mary Gray Black is a stone cold bitch. I guess ruining other peoples lives because you think they're icky is cool in her book.

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss said...

Check out the law - Stanton may have a pretty good lawsuit - http://jweissdiary.blogspot.com