OH! MY! GOD!
Members of the LGBT community left a DART committee meeting with their mouths open. Stunned.
Tisha McDaniel said it best.
“Huh?” she said outside the committee room.
First, the good news. On May 11, the DART board will be presented with proposed wording for an update on their employment non-discrimination policy. From comments from committee members, it seems they have no intention of tolerating any form of discrimination and are open to including gender identity as part of their policy. There was even concern that the term “gender identity” would include everyone.
Here’s the BIG BUT:
A question from several board members indicated they had no clue as to why the issue had even come up. One mentioned that community members had been pushing for it. But they seemed to be completely clueless that DART management had intervened in a family court case in which an employee of theirs was changing gender marker.
Have there been any cases where we discriminated, one board member wanted to know. The answer from other board members was a resounding “No.”
The board member who mentioned that the issue had come up seemed to have never heard of the gender marker case.
After the meeting, Dennis Coleman of Lambda Legal suggested emailing previous Dallas Voice articles to every board member to make sure they understood why the issue had come up. Others who attended wondered if it was willful ignorance or if they did not actually know what a transgender person was. They wondered if board members did not understand the concept of changing one’s sex on a birth certificate, how that related to transgender issues. Or if they didn’t understand how interfering in a personal case of one employee while not interfering in non-work related issues of any of their other employees constitutes discrimination.
Here is a clip from the meeting. (The room was dim but the sound’s fine):
Some interesting quotes:
“I guess I don’t understand what the protest was about.”
“Why are these people saying DART’s policy is not addressing their concerns?”
Please give us the names of these board members, the city they represent and the date of their next election.
DART board members are appointed by their member cities, not elected. The transgender community does not want individual members targeted — yet. The person involved is still employed and her job hangs in the balance. However, the public is welcome to come to board meetings and comment. Board meetings are usually held on Tuesday evenings.