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Today is Thursday, June 26, 2008


Mayor's New Policy Values All City Employees



CONTACT: Leigh Anne Richards, INTRAA President
PHONE: 888.657.1854
WEB: http://intraa.tgcrossroads.org/connections/story/?iid=43&aid=1061

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Demonstrating his commitment to removing unnecessary
barriers that stand in the way of hiring and retaining the best and brightest
employees, Democratic Mayor Bart Peterson today announced the addition of
gender identity to the city's non-discrimination policy.

The policy, which covers city employees, is now consistent with a policy
issued earlier this year by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels that covers
state government workers. Both city and state governments have now committed
to equal employment opportunity without discrimination based on race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status,
sexual orientation, or gender identity.

"INTRAA would like to thank Mayor Peterson for taking this important step
towards making Indianapolis a truly progressive, world-class city," said Leigh
Anne Richards, President of the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance
(INTRAA). "Changes such as this have been needed for a very long time and will
make a real difference in the lives of so many people who are simply trying to
make a living, support their families, and contribute to the community."

As awareness of the need for such policies has increased, other governmental
bodies have responded. The Bloomington Human Rights Commission has recommended
that the Bloomington City Council add gender identity to the city's
human-rights ordinance, which already includes sexual orientation. The
recommendation has not yet come up for a vote.

The Indianapolis City-County Council is currently considering an amendment to
its Human Rights Ordinance that would protect all Indianapolis citizens and
workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in
the areas of employment, education, public accommodations, and housing.
Nationwide, 28% of Americans already live in jurisdictions that include gender
identity protections. Should this amendment pass, Indianapolis would join the
6 states, 10 counties, and 64 cities that have already recognized the value in
having gender identity included in their human rights laws.

INTRAA has been working in conjunction with Indiana Equality, a statewide
coalition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied organizations, to
educate the Council on this issue and to urge passage of the amendment.

"Mayor Peterson is confirming that Indianapolis values the contributions of
all its employees," said Richards. "We hope that the Indianapolis City-County
Councilors will recognize the direction in which our Mayor is leading the city."


INTRAA is a statewide advocacy organization working through education and
legislative efforts to create a society that values and protects freedom of
gender expression and the right to gender self-determination for all.

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