Dallas City Council Amends Anti-Discrimination Ordinance To Strengthen Transgender Protections.

On Tuesday, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved a rewording of the city's anti-discrimination ordinance in order to better protect transgender residents from being denied employment, housing or access to public places based on gender identity and expression.

The vote in favor of equality is less about adding new protection for transgender folks than it is a clarification to reaffirm existing protections.

Not to get too bogged down in the specifics here, but gender identity was inaccurately included under the definition of sexual orientation previously. In the words of Diane Sawyer: “Sexual orientation is who you go to bed with. Gender identity is who you go to bed as.” Under the new wording, “gender identity and expression” is listed separately and is more clearly defined.

“We're a very diverse city and we want to make sure everyone is protected,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings following the meeting at which the vote took place.

It's a huge win not only for the trans community, but for Dallas as a whole, really. We're not always known for being a cutting edge or progressive city, which is partially why the news is so surprising. It's even more amazing given that the City of Houston launched a petition to repeal the ordinance, saying that allowing “men in women's restrooms in restaurants, bars, hotels, and other private businesses” is “bad for Dallas families.”

Oh, come on. Aside from the fact that the idea of trans people assaulting women in bathrooms is a myth, anyone familiar with the #wejustneedtopee movement on social media will be quick to point out that more U.S. Senators have been arrested in bathrooms than trans people.

Huffines' nonsense aside, this vote a good look for Dallas, which now extends civil rights to members of the trans community — something that's not guaranteed under state law. For once, we're doing the right thing here, and before a lot of other places have taken the same steps.

Don't let the remarks of a bigoted politician and some extremist wingnuts deceive you. This is definitely a good thing.

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