Metro Weekly

Graham Joins Trans Activists

Councilmember takes up the cause for Transgender rights

In an e-mail message dated Monday, Aug. 4, to local transgender activist Jeri Hughes, Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), expressed his support for the DC Trans Coalition and other activists’ efforts against the D.C. Commission on Human Rights’ proposals to amend the District’s Human Rights Act. The DC Trans Coalition took issue with several proposals that they say would limit protections for the transgender community, including a proposal that would protect the Department of Corrections (DOC) from complaints regarding protocols for gender-variant inmates in D.C. jails.

In his message to Hughes, Graham, who is gay, writes, ”I join Councilmember Carol Schwartz (R-At large) in my opposition to the proposed changes to the District’s protections regarding gender identity and expression….

”Exempting individuals within the District’s custody from the requirements of the Human Rights Act runs against the very intent of our Human Rights Act. Those individuals are often in most need of these protections. Unless the [D.C. Office of Human Rights] retracts these proposed changes, I am prepared to join my colleagues in moving emergency legislation to revive these protections.”