San Diego City Council Gives Final Approval for Transgender Protection
[San Diego, CA] - Today in a historic vote, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to amend the citys Human Dignity Ordinance (HDO) to protect the civil rights of transgender people.
"We as a community have worked hard to achieve this goal," said Amanda Watson, co-chair of the HDO Amendment Coalition, which formed early this year to press for passage of the measure. "It has been an honor working with such a diverse group. I am proud to be a part of this and to live in a city where I know I have rights too."
The amendment adds "gender identity" to the current language (which protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation). Gender identity is defined as "having or being perceived as having a gender-related identity or expression whether or not stereotypically associated with a person's actual or perceived sex."
San Diego is the first city to use the word "stereotypically" in its language instead of the word "traditionally." San Diego now joins 3 states, 9 counties and 49 other cities in specifically protecting transgender people. San Diegos current HDO, passed in 1990, covers employment, housing, city services, business establishments and educational institutions.
"Many people assume that laws protecting gays and lesbians also protect transgender individuals, but thats not the case," said Jess Durfee, also co-chair of the HDO Amendment Coalition. "There is no direct relationship between ones gender identity or expression and ones sexual orientation. We needed language specifically protecting the civil rights of transgender people."
The HDO Amendment Coalition worked with Lisa Mottet, a legislative lawyer for the Transgender Civil Rights project at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. They asked Mayor Dick Murphy, through the LGBT Advisory Board, to amend the HDO, and Councilmember Toni Atkins submitted the recommendations to the City Attorney.
Members of the HDO Amendment Coalition include: the American Civil Liberties Union, Balboa Park for All, BiForum, BiPol, Bienestar-San Diego, Dawn Media, Imperial Court de San Diego, Inc., LGBT Center of San Diego, LGBT+SQ Communities E-Mail List, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Pride At Work, San Diego Democratic Club, San Diego State University LGBT Student Union, San Diego TransFamily, Inc., The Butterfly Group, Transgender People of San Diego, Inc., and Transpire.