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 AL.com, 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, AL.com reports.
Texas City Council Wholly Rejects Mayor’s ‘Bathroom Bill’
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.”
Boston Raises Transgender Pride Flag.
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.
The Supreme Court Decided Against N.C.’s Law 20 Years Ago.
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.