This week's City Paper has some good stuff …
First up, the cover story on a gender discrimination suit that could have a tremendous impact on women in the workplace. Was Brian Prowel the victim of sexism or homophobia? We've covered this before. Now we wait for the court decision.
Marty Levine talks with activists about the importance of including “gender identity” in all LGBT advocacy efforts in 2009. In PA, two bills are planned – the extension of non-discrimination protections and a hate crimes legislation bill. This is particularly poignant as today is the National Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Among the 30 states lacking statewide protections for LGBT people, Pennsylvania has the greatest number of individual municipalities with anti-discrimination laws: 14, up from six in 2002. Trans protections in Pittsburgh were added in 1996 to a law that already protected gay people. In Philadelphia, protections for transgender residents were added in 2000. Other local governments are weighing similar measures. In Allegheny County, 11 out of 15 county councilors support anti-discrimination legislation that protects both gender identity and sexual orientation. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 25.
For the two state anti-discrimination bills to be proposed next year, Democratic state Rep. Dan Frankel of Squirrel Hill urged those attending the meeting to seek personal contact with their legislators. Even if a legislator would actively support such changes, Frankel says, voters can try to convince them to let the bills come up for a vote.
“Everyone in this room has a personal story that is powerful and meaningful and represents something that could be a teachable moment for a legislator,” added the HRC's Glassman. “They need to see human beings who are transgender.”