San Jose Adds Gender Identity to Anti-discrimination Policy
[SAN JOSE, CA] - Prompted by the recent murder of a transgender teen in Newark, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously today to add transgenders to the list of groups protected under the city's anti-discrimination policy.
Councilman Ken Yeager proposed changing San Jose's harassment policy after learning about the beating death of Eddie "Gwen" Araujo last month. Araujo was killed after his dual identity was discovered at a party.
Members of the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, a gay and lesbian political advocacy group that Yeager co-founded in 1984, approached him and Mayor Ron Gonzales about changing San Jose's anti-discrimination policy. The amendment will add protections for gender identity in addition to current protections for race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, and religion.
According to Yeager, cities including San Francisco, New York City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Seattle have adopted similar policies. Yeager said he knows of only one transgender city employee in San Jose, but companies that receive city contracts also would have to comply, he said.