Tag Archives: roeland park

We Lose Proposed Equality Protections in Roeland Park

Some of you kind readers have followed or noted that over the past 2 months Fiona and I have been joining many hard-working equality activists trying to push through an anti-discrimination ordinance in the Kansas town of Roeland Park.

While we came to the battle late, and the two of us only spoke to the Council thrice in support of the ordinance, we nonetheless had an emotional investment in the outcome. And like many, we were crushed by the defeat of the ordinance, and stunned at the level of thinly-veiled disgust shown to us by the activists who came from local and far-off churches.

More than 45 people spoke regarding the ordinance, and at times the public comment phase took on a surreal atmosphere. The very first speaker stood up and said she opposed the ordinance because, in her words, “you can’t discriminate against gay and transgender people because they aren’t black.” Unfortunately, this sage of justice didn’t really consider the fact of gays and transgender persons who could be black! I almost hope no one does tell her this fact, because it might collapse the quantum uncertainty within which she exists. It’s worse than a Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment.
Another woman, a reputed physician, made a 100-second tirade against the ordinance by reading out a list of more than 20 diseases carried by gays and transgender people. The terms and the tone she used were the same sort of malediction one might hear from an animal control officer (played by the late, great John Candy) who had just discovered a pile of dead raccoons on the main stage of the Kauffman Center.
Even the lady who has been the Iron Fist of the St. Agnes Fish Fry (because you don’t want any homos or trannies at a charity fish fry, no ma’am) seemed to have completely lost her mind, and for 90 seconds read a Bible passage which had no relevance to the topic at hand. And she wasn’t selling her bizarre message either – I mean, if you’re going to go play in non sequiter land, you at least need a voice talent like Morgan Freeman. I mean, that man could read the phone book and I’d pay to hear it…but I digress.

The giant letdowns of the night were five of the Council members. One who didn’t show up and thus was not on record as to their vote, and the four at the meeting who said “no” with only modest hesitation.

If it appears that I’m finding some grim humor in the situation, then you are correct. First, it was highly ironic that just that very morning, President Obama finally signed into being an Executive Order banning LGBT discrimination in the Federal Government and for all Federal contractors, with no religious exemptions. My irony meter actually melted down, and I’ve requested a return label from Amazon.

As I told a young gentleman with a flower behind his ear who was broken up and shaking outside of the meeting room – those who hate and fear us did not win the war. They won this battle, but they are unarguably losing the war.

The main photo at the top of this post is myself and my brave wife hugging each other after the verdict. There is a great video segment here, which also has about 5 seconds of me speaking at the microphone.

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 is Quoted in the Pitch Roeland Park Story, But Under the Wrong Name

Seriously, it’s a good bit of reporting, barring printing my name wrong. 🙂

The big anti-trans guns are out in force to try to prevent Roeland Park from enacting a broad anti-discrimination ordinance to protect the LGBT community who live, visit, shop, and work in the city. In the last meeting I spoke out at, opponents pulled the “invisible lawyer” defense, claiming a “lawyer” found problems with the ordinance, but refusing to supply their legal opinion nor the name of the attorney.

Next, we have an anonymous flyer, promoting transgender toilet terrorism. KSHB attempted to find the authors of the flyer, who replied with the cryptic message:

We are all Roeland Park residents that were given names at birth. As we said this group was formed for the sole purpose of notifying residents about the ordinance and encouraging them to attend the Council meeting next Monday. That goal was accomplished with the flyer. End of story.

What I found interesting is the “given names at birth” quote, which is an unusual turn of phrase.
It is somewhat shameful that I, a transsexual woman, am brave enough to speak in public and give my name – but the champions of all that is right and holy hide and scurry in the shadows.

The next big day is next Monday, where public comment will be allowed, but apparently no vote will be held. I’ll keep you all informed.

via A Roeland Park equal-rights ordinance takes a hit from a dubious hired gun | The Fast Pitch | The Pitch.

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…