Metro Weekly

Dallas bans trans discrimination

Dallas City Council has unanimously voted to protect its transgender residents

Dallas, Texas, Credit: Raging Wire / Flickr

Dallas, Texas, Credit: Raging Wire / Flickr

One week after Houston voters removed protections for LGBT people, Dallas City Council has unanimously voted to protect its transgender residents.

In an amendment to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, language was clarified to extend protections to cover gender identity, banning discrimination against transgender people. The law was updated in 2002 to cover sexual orientation.

“We’re a very diverse city and we want to make sure everyone is protected,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings stated after the ordinance was passed.

The amendment is the result of over a year of work by Dallas’ LGBT Task Force, according to Fox 4 News. They worked on the revised wording to ensure that transgender women could use female restrooms and vice versa for transgender males. The law applies in all businesses and in private schools. The Dallas Independent School District adopted a similar measure in 2011 to cover public schools.

“In the entire United States, no one has been arrested for being transgender in a bathroom because somebody was threatened by a transgender person,” Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s Patti Fink told Fox 4. “It’s never happened.”

The vote comes one week after Houston voters removed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) after a campaign by those opposed to the LGBT anti-discrimination legislation specifically targeted transgender people.

“In the wake of a vicious campaign in Houston that attacked transgender people and led to the repeal of common sense protections,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement, “Dallas today sent a vital message that they will fight to protect and advance the rights of transgender people.”

Watch the Fox 4 report below:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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