Transgender News Roundup

Oxford City Council President Steven Waits

Oxford City Council President Steven Waits

Alabama City May Repeal Harsh Anti-Trans Ordinance.

The Oxford, Ala., City Council is considering repealing a controversial ordinance it approved last week, imposing fines and jail terms on transgender people for using public restrooms that match their gender identity.

The council will hold a special meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday “to discuss potentially recalling” the ordinance, reports, a website for several Alabama newspapers. […] The American Civil Liberties Union’s Alabama affiliate is considering a legal challenge to the Oxford ordinance, and a rally to protest the law is scheduled for Saturday, reports.

Full Story Here.

Texas City Council Wholly Rejects Mayor’s ‘Bathroom Bill’

Mayor Jim Pruitt

Mayor Jim Pruitt

Supporters and opponents showed up to watch the Texas city council deliberate on an ordinance proposed by Mayor Jim Pruitt, one that would force trans people to use the bathroom that matches with the sex they were assigned at birth, not their gender identity. “I just think that it’s insanity not to have those protections in place,” Pruitt told Dallas TV station WFAA last week.

Unfortunately for the mayor, he couldn’t find anyone on the town’s city council who agreed with him. The ordinance died in debate, after not a single one of the five council members stood up to support it. […]

But Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Lewis argued that if Pruitt doesn’t agree with the company’s statement, the solution is simple: Don’t go there. Others have the exact same option, he said. “If Target wants to have this policy, I have the choice of not shopping at Target,” Lewis told the Morning News.

The bill was vocally opposed by the local Hilton Hotel, which warned that passing an ordinance targeting trans bathroom use would be bad for the town’s local economy. Rockwall — with a population of just over 37,000 — is located outside of Dallas. “Our business will suffer,” Hilton general manager James Montgomery told KHOU. “This will negatively affect travel and tourism to our area.”


Montgomery warned that if Rockwall were to pass its own anti-trans legislation, Hilton might be forced to follow suit and leave the town. As KHOU reported, “the hotel employs 175 workers and pays $750,000 in property taxes.”

Full Story Here.

Boston Raises Transgender Pride Flag.

Boston's mayor raised the flag in a show of support for the trans community in Massachusetts.

Boston’s mayor raised the flag in a show of support for the trans community in Massachusetts.

Boston Monday became the first city in Massachusetts to fly the transgender pride flag.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh raised the flag along with activists and other elected officials. Lawmakers are currently “pushing a bill aimed at creating anti-discrimination protections for transgender people, allowing them to enter a bathroom based on their gender identity,”in the state, reports MassLive, a website for several Massachusetts newspapers.

“We’ve proven there’s nothing to fear from being inclusive,” Walsh told MassLive. “Quite the opposite. We are safer, we are stronger when everyone enjoys the same protections.”

Both the House and Senate versions of the measure — House Bill 1577 and Senate Bill 735 — have been advanced by the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee. The Senate version of the bill is up for debate May 12, reports MassLive. Massachusetts currently has antidiscrimination protections for trans people in employment, housing, and other areas, but not in public accomodations. Boston has had a trans-inclusive public accommodations law since 2002.

Full Story Here.

The Supreme Court Decided Against N.C.’s Law 20 Years Ago.

John Miller

John Miller

A federal lawsuit aimed at dismantling North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law is just getting under way, but the nation’s high court already struck down an eerily similar law. That ruling celebrates two decades of precedent this month.

Imagine, for a moment, that a proactive city council votes to extend nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. The ordinance guarantees equal access to public accommodations and freedom from discrimination in housing, employment, and health and welfare services. You know, the basics.

Then, a fervent backlash arises — led by religious and political conservatives — and all LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state are struck down in the heat of partisan overreaction. Further, local and state governments are prohibited from enacting these particular protections in any capacity. The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal file a federal lawsuit to stop the anti-LGBT law from taking effect.

This sounds a lot like North Carolina, where the state’s Republican leaders are intensely defendingHouse Bill 2, the draconian anti-LGBT law passed in a single day-long special session March 23.

But in reality, it’s the background of a landmark case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court 20 years ago.

Full Story Here.


  1. johnson catman says

    The article regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on Colorado’s bill from 20 years ago and the similarity to North Carolina’s HB2 is encouraging. I hope that the lawsuits against HB2 translate into the protections and rights of transgender people being upheld.

    It is a shame that the legislators in NC aren’t more like the ones in Massachusetts. I like living in NC, and there is a lot to love about the state, especially in urban areas like Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (the Triangle), Charlotte (the Queen City), and Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point (the Triad). There is also great diversity in the landscape with the mountains to the west (Asheville, Blue Ridge Parkway) and the coast to the east (Outer Banks, etc.). There are a lot of progressive people in the state, but unfortunately, there are also a lot of regressive religious bigots who only kick and scream while they are being dragged into the 21st century. Over time, I believe the progressives will win, but it is a constant battle.

  2. says

    Yes, I’ve heard a lot of great things about NC, and the people I know from there are all terrific people. And I know a good portion of the state is fighting like crazy against the bigotry. It might take some time, but that legislation will be kicked to the curb.

  3. Onamission5 says

    NC right now reminds me of OR in the 80’s and 90’s. Same urban-rural divide, same wingnuts (think Anita Bryant and Lon Mabon if you want to get shudderingly nostalgic), but a lot more public support here in NC right now. Back in the 90’s Oregon had it’s Amendment 9 to NC’s more recent Amendment 1-- OR’s bill lost, but not by much. Seeing those parallels gives me some hope. Some.

    From the Advocate article, Justice Kennedy’s words re: overturning Colorado’s Amendment 2 a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest should be sent in bold type memo form to every GOP member of government we have at present.

  4. johnson catman says

    There is hope:

    U.S. Justice Department officials rebuked North Carolina’s House Bill 2 on Wednesday, telling Gov. Pat McCrory that the law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX – a finding that could jeopardize billions in federal education funding.

    The department gave state officials until Monday to address the situation “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.

    Read more here:

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