Tampa Extends Protections to Transgender

Tampa x 390 (Photos.com) | Advocate.com

The Tampa city council voted Thursday to extend antidiscrimination protections to transgender individuals over the objections of opponents, many of whom based their criticisms on religion.

The measure, which was proposed by the city’s Human Rights Board and passed the by city council unanimously in a preliminary vote November 5, underwent lengthier debate on Thursday, according to The Tampa Tribune.

“Following two hours of testimony from grandmothers, ministers, transgendered people and representatives of Fortune 500 companies, the city council voted 5 to 1 on Thursday to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public facilities based on ‘gender identity and expression,’” the Tribune reported.

Christian conservatives were especially incensed about the proposal.

“Members of several Christian evangelical groups and other opponents called the move an assault on their religious values they fear will sanction sexually deviant behavior,” reported the Tribune.

Tampa joined 16 other municipalities in Florida that have extended protections to transgender individuals.

By Julie Bolcer

Posted on Advocate.com * November 20, 2009

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