Talking Points on Non-Discrimination Ordinances

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The following are important considerations in understanding any proposed Municipal ordinance or resolution regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

1. The ordinances themselves are discriminatory. Most often ordinances that specifically reference sexual orientation or gender identity/expression do not address many of the other documented forms of discrimination based on such things as the stigma of mental illness or a person’s weight, height, hair pattern, etc. This is about a political agenda, not eliminating discrimination in the governmental workplace.

2. Contrary to what the ordinances say, they create new “classes” of specially-protected people based solely upon an unverifiable self-identification and/or self-identified sexual behavior.

3. “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity/Expression” should not be equated with immutable characteristics like race, color, gender or national origin. Homosexuals, bisexuals and “transgender” people have never been counted as 3/5 of a person, forced to drink from separate water fountains, made to ride at the back of the bus, or denied the right to vote as black people once were. Further, many people can and do change their sexual practices.

4. Expansion of civil rights protections based upon “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity/Expression” is unnecessary and will lead to litigation against cities. These laws are a classic example of how “legislation begets litigation.” Injecting “sexuality” and “gender identity or expression” into civil rights law opens a Pandora’s box of ways for a city to be sued. Either a city will end up discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation and “gender identity” to placate religious beliefs in the workplace, or they will discriminate against religious beliefs in order to placate sexual orientation and “gender identity” lifestyles in the workplace. Hostile workplace lawsuits will be inevitable.

5. Expansion of such Ordinances is inevitable and will create hidden costs to taxpayers. In other cities, advocates have sought to extend a city’s policy beyond decision to hire, fire or promote employees. The next step is for employment benefits that will prove costly. For example, under medical benefits, cities have been required to pay for costly sex-reassignment surgical procedures, estimated even by advocates to cost on average between $30,000 and $70,000. For example:

  • Massachusetts – the state health plan was required to pay for transsexual’s breast reconstruction surgery due to defective breast implants.
  • New York – A high school was required to pay for a teacher’s one-year leave in order to have a sex- change operation. Now the teacher is seeking disability benefits.

6. The terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” are overly broad and completely open- ended. Leading academic institutions, pro-GLBT advocacy organizations and GLBT publications have identified more than 50 different terms that are used in both popular culture and contemporary academic settings to describe the virtually unlimited manifestation of “gender identity.”

7. The vast majority of individuals who self-identify by a “gender identity” that differs from their biological sex experience what can be legitimately described as a Sexual or Gender Identity Disorder as classified by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). These include Gender Identity Disorder, gender dysphoria or transvestic paraphilia (cross-dressing fetish). The APA says that “Gender dysphoria denotes strong and persistent feelings of discomfort with one’s assigned sex, the desire to possess the body of the other sex, and the desire to be regarded by others as a member of the other sex.”(Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders – IV – TR, p. 535). The inclusion of “gender identity” in governmental personnel policies is a dangerous step toward giving protected legal status to cross-dressing (transvestic fetish).

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