"All people are not heterosexual. Heterosexuality is not superior and is not the norm by which all other sexual orientation and gender identities are measured." --Burnaby, B.C. Schools Draft Policy #5.45

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dallas County, Texas

There is good news today from Dallas County, Texas.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas County, the Texas county that encompasses the city of Dallas, has voted in favor of including transgender people in its nondiscrimination policy for hiring county employees.

The current hiring policy includes "sexual orientation".  There was confusion about whether that covered transgender people or not.  (The composer of the Maine bathroom bill also confused sexual orientation and gender identity.  See Maine bathroom bill post.)

One commissioner who voted in favor of the new policy said that he had previously believed that "sexual orientation" included transgender people.  Another commissioner said she voted against the new policy because of her continuing belief that transgender people were in fact covered under the "sexual orientation" language.

Here's the policy before being amended:

"Dallas County values the diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and
skills of all individuals, including applicants and employees.  Treating individuals with
dignity and respect is one of our core values.  Our goal is to create and foster a work
environment that offers equal employment  opportunities and fair treatment to all
applicants and employees without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex
(including pregnancy), age, disability, sexual orientation or political affiliation.  This policy
includes, but is not limited to, all decisions relating to the employment process (recruiting
and hiring), employment actions, compensation, benefits, disciplinary actions,
application of policies and procedures and any other terms or conditions of employment."

The article from the Dallas Morning News about this vote is here.

Dallas Voice has a video of the commissioners discussing what their votes will be and the vote itself. It's not apparent from the video that the commissioner mentioned above, who voted no, thinks transgender people are covered under the "sexual orientation" language of the policy, as reported in the Dallas Morning News.  You can only hear her say she thinks the "sexual orientation" provision is "enough".

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