Friday
March 31, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 13
 
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Saturday, Jul 20, 2019

 

 



 
Letters
TRANSGENDER PROTECTIONS PASSED, SGN THANKED

Dear SGN,

I am pleased to announce that on March 27, 2006 the Metropolitan King County Council took historic action to further civil rights in King County.

It was an honor to co-sponsor and vote in favor of legislation outlawing discrimination against transgendered individuals in employment, public accommodations, housing and contracting in unincorporated King County. Council action amends the county's civil rights laws to be consistent with state protections of gender expression, and ensures that regardless of what happens to laws governing statewide protections, citizens in King County will be protected.

Civil rights protections have special resonance for King County residents. Former State Representative Cal Anderson and State Representative Ed Murray have fought for decades for equal protection under the law regardless of sexual orientation. Our County's namesake is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Nobel Peace Prize winner who fought for the democratic ideals of freedom, equality, peace, and opportunity. By outlawing discrimination of transsexual and transgendered people in King County, we are living up to the principles voiced by our proud namesake.

Your tireless advocacy on behalf of this issue helped make this legislation a reality. Congratulations and thank you for your work.

Sincerely,

Larry Phillips, Chair

Metropolitan King County Council

ERW SHOULD MOVE QUICKLY TO REPLACE DUNAWAY

Dear SGN,

What's really going on at Equal Rights Washington? Tim Eyeman is rapidly collecting signatures for his referendums to undo the GLBT protections recently put in place by the Washington State Legislature. Yet we have heard very little about any counter organizing. (Except a brief court skirmish that didn't amount to much.) Now the executive director is resigning. Mundane reasons were given, but the timing couldn't have been worse.

March is typically the beginning of the political season.

ERW, with Fran Dunaway at the helm, has positioned themselves as 'the' leaders in the struggle for equal rights of Washington LGBT people. Now, instead of focusing on this battle with Eyeman, ERW's energies are being diverted into replacing the executive director.

Since organizations of this type rarely move quickly, the following future timeline is a distinct possibility. Let's say ERW finds a new director in three weeks, that's the middle of April. Add two weeks for that person to leave their old job and get installed at ERW. That puts us into the first week of May. If the person chosen is local it will take about a month and a half or two months to become proficient at the job. No matter how smart or quick learning the new director is. If the person is from out-of-state, add another month.

So that puts us, the Washington state GTBL community, into the first part of July. The deadline for signature gathering for referendums is just a couple weeks after that. If the person chosen as director is from out-of-state that deadline will have come and gone. 'Decline to Sign' campaigns have been effective at stopping bigotry in Washington State in the past and it can work in this case. With proper education the voters of Washington will not sign the petitions. If we can stop these initiatives from ever being on the ballot our work will be greatly diminished. Not to mention that our rights will be maintained.

These are important times for our community and we need to be fighting as hard as we can - now - to battle Eyeman and these referendums. Equal Rights Washington, do what you need to do as quickly as possible, please.

Mike McNamara

Seattle, WA

SCCFT PRESIDENT SUPPORTS TRANSGENDER PROTECTIONS

Dear SGN,

Like so many people, I am very proud to live in a county named after Martin Luther King Jr.

I am also proud to be represented by a county council, especially my council member Larry Gossett, who has such a stellar record on leadership on civil rights and nondiscrimination issues.

Next week the council will vote on whether or not to extend nondiscrimination protections to one of the least popular and most misunderstood sector of our diverse humanity - transgender people.

As a longtime teacher at Seattle Central Community College, and president of the Seattle Community Colleges Federation of Teachers, I have had the great fortune to work with many transgender people, including faculty who have proudly served on the Executive Board of the SCCFT for many years.

All of us can be inspired by the courageous and difficult journey that so many transgender people make. The least that the rest of us can do is to work for political protections when they encounter unfair discrimination.

I know I can count on the Honorable Mr. Gossett to lead on this issue.

As a proud Democrat, I hope that I can count on every Democratic policymaker to step forward in voting "yes."

Sincerely,

Lynne Dodson, PhD

President Local 1789

American Federation of Teachers

Seattle, WA

BEING GAY, NOT A CHOICE

Dear SGN,

I just read Brook Stanford's excellent open letter to Rev. Ken Hutcherson in the March 10 SGN.

I would like to add, (and would hope that anyone else who has a conversation with Rev. Hutcherson or any other fundamentalist on this topic) that whenever someone says being gay is a choice, it is only appropriate to ask that person "When did you decide to be straight?"

It only stands to reason that if someone 'chooses' to be gay, many other people chose to be straight. Of course, this implies that at some point in every person's life, he or she was attracted to his/her own sex as well as the opposite sex. What causes one to choose to be heterosexual, then? And if God only presents this choice to certain people, why are they so chosen?

I am sure this question will cause significant consternation, and some highly amusing rationalizations, based essentially on belief in God's word. I am highly suspicious of people who claim to have a direct line of communication to God, but that's another matter entirely.

Very truly yours,

Robert Nielsen

Seattle, WA
   

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