We just received the final, final version of DART’s proposed new nondiscrimination policy, and it looks like the Board of Directors added one word last night: “except.”
I’ve bolded and capitalized the word in the below paragraph, which is taken directly from the final version of the policy.
DART is committed to hiring, promoting and retaining the best qualified persons in all positions and, EXCEPT to the extent permitted by federal and/or Texas law, DART will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by law.
Now I’m no attorney, but here’s my question: Am I crazy or is this basically saying that DART won’t discriminate UNLESS said discrimination is permitted by federal and/or state law? Because the fact of the matter is, discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity is currently permitted by both federal and state law.
In response to questions about this, DART spokesman Morgan Lyons swears up and down that the intent of the new policy is for the agency to become more inclusive and add gender identity. And I believe him, but that still doesn’t explain this wording. Furthermore, Lyons says I can’t talk to one of the agency’s attorneys about it, because they would just refer me back to him.
I’ve left a message with Ken Upton, a local LGBT civil rights attorney, to get his take, so I’ll be updating with that in a bit hopefully. I’ve posted the final version of the policy that was sent over by Lyons this afternoon after the jump. Note that he has highlighted the word “except” to indicate that it was added last night.