LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — For a suburban-rural county, a proposed trans/LGBT equality ordinance got surprisingly strong support in a Bay county, Michigan committee and was sent out for a public hearing.
Trans woman Charin Davenport testifying in support of the bill: “Sadly, for too many of us, visibility and invisibility is a choice between life and death. Those of us in the trans community envision a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.”
Opponents of the bill stated they didn’t think it was needed and that ‘if it were to pass, it ought be in of the more sophisticated and larger communities around here.’
Unfortunately, at the public hearing, some of commissioners had second thoughts about their initial support after hearing harsh opposion from constituents. Although trans/LGBT advocates waged a strong social media campaign to voice support for the bill, the vote taken after the hearing ended up in a tie. A new, and apparently final, vote on the bill is scheduled for March. 11th.
Dimming the prospects further is the opposition the bill from a commissioner who was absent at the last vote. Further, another commissioner has talked of backing off from his earlier support for the bill.
Bay county trans and LGBT advocates should be commended for getting this far. Unlike most suburban and rural community and states, they’ve an ordinance that could actually become law after just one more vote — most such bills would never get out of a committee elsewhere. I urge we keep the pressure up and educate — some commissioners just may not want to come down on the wrong side of history and flip again.
For the rest of us, this is a grim reminder that we’ve still a ways to go even through we’ve got a string of major equalities victories.
I’ve listed the Bay county commissioners contact info in the comments section. Feel free to post updates there as well.
“Lexie Cannes” — an award-winning feature film about a transgender woman who is stalked, solves a mystery, saves a lost soul and finds love. Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332
LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/