Tag Archives: city council

Transas City Activists Help Speak in Favor of Roeland Park Ordinance

FionaatRoelandParkTransas City Vice Chairwoman Fiona speaks to the Roeland Park City Council

I’ve previously posted about our activities helping the larger LGBT community to push for the passage of an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance in the city of Roeland Park. Last night four members of the Transas City cadre joined many others fighting for civil rights, and spoke to the Roeland Park City Council and Mayor in an open forum.

Myself, Fiona, Madeline, and Debi joined the ever-hardworking Sandra Meade, the State Chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition (and the radio host of Trans Talk on KKFI) and other good people (who I’m not naming simply because I do not know if I have permission) for a long and chilly sit in the Roeland Park Community Center. A total of 27 people spoke, most of them in favor of the ordinance, and to be honest the opposition was looking pretty meager.

The supremely ironic moment of the night was when one of the opposition attempted to castigate those in favor of the ordinance for quoting from the Bible, saying that it had no place being used in politics. One wonders if perhaps the speaker was unaware of the fact that the opposition have been using the Bible in their oppositional effort since the start of this process. The frustration of a couple of Council Members who have been opposing this ordinance from the start was apparent, and one can hardly blame any member of the Council – who have been really working on this – of having “issue fatigue.” Sandra tells me that she still has high hopes that this first landmark ordinance will pass when the vote comes up (tentatively scheduled for July 21.)

Previous update on the Roeland Park anti-discrimination efforts.

Una, Fiona, and a Transmom Speak to the Roeland Park City Council

Roeland Park 2014 06 02

The city of Roeland Park, Kansas, is currently considering an ordinance to protect gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation in terms of business practices, public accommodations, renting housing, etc. Tonight was a discussion of the ordinance and there was a time reserved for public comment. Sandra Meade, the State Chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition (and the radio host of Trans Talk on KKFI) enlisted us and others to speak in favor of the ordinance, and so the two of us and Debi (who posts on this forum) answered the call to speak for the transgender community.

The meeting was lengthy but polite, and the gender equality ordinance discussion was the final item on the agenda. After nearly 3 hours of waiting it was time to speak – one Roeland Park resident spoke in favor of the ordinance, then Fiona was up to bat and gave what I felt was the best speech of the night – powerful, with lots of emotion. Then I spoke, and Debi, and a few other folks in favor of the ordinance. Then opposing persons spoke, and they mainly objected for religious reasons, claiming that because Girl Scouts sold cookies in the vestibule that churches would suddenly fall under the ordinance. It was madness and obfuscation, and the speaker kept claiming an unnamed lawyer told her that it would impact churches – but she refused to name the lawyer, nor present their legal opinion.

After the speeches one of the City Council Members said she had done some research into the expected costs of the ordinance, but didn’t want to present the financial breakdown because she claimed to have received “threatening and nasty e-mails” over the ordinance. When the meeting adjourned I went up and talked to her, and said that it was dishonorable and upsetting that she was receiving harassment, and I apologized for anything mean which had been said to her. She seemed a bit surprised and thanked me, and seemed very conciliatory. I don’t know why I did it other than my own sense of honor just said I had to speak out and say that harassment was wrong, no matter who was doing it.

Overall it was a great experience, and after the meeting adjourned several council members came down and thanked us for speaking and called us brave. Several supporters of the ordinance met with us and expressed thanks, and overall it turned out to be a really positive effort. A reported from the Kansas City Star was there, so we may be featured in the paper tomorrow…

Appleton, WI elects Transgender Man to City Council

Gypsy Vered Meltzer, a transgender man, has been elected to the Appleton, Wisconsin city council. The first openly transgender person to be elected to public office in Wisconsin, Gypsy is making a major contribution to public awareness and acceptance for our people.

Also interesting within the article is a list of many other transgender persons to hold office in the US and other countries.

Appleton, WI elects transgender man to City Council.