FORT WORTH – The City Manager’s Diversity Task Force, convened this summer in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid to help find ways the city of Fort Worth could improve relations with the LGBT community, this afternoon presented a list of 20 recommendations to the City Council.
Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa, who chaired the task force, presented the list of recommendations during the pre=council meeting this afternoon, noting that 18 of the 20 came with the “unconditional concurrence” of City Manager Dale Fisseler. The remaining two garnered Fisseler’s “conditional concurrence,” pending further study of the financial implications.
Those two recommendations needing further study were offering domestic partner benefits to the city’s LGBT employees and amending the city’s benefits policies to include coverage of all or part of the cost of transitioning for the city’s transgender employees.
The task force and the city manager also recommended that the council amend the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity. Costa said the city manager’s office would ask that consideration of that change be included in the council’s agenda for Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Another recommendation that earned “unconditional concurrence” from Fisseler was that the city implement expanded diversity training for all employees, with specialized training for members of the police and fire department, and encouraging even elected and appointed city officials to participate in the training.
Mayor Mike Moncrief later said that he believes that council members should “set an example” by going through the training, a remark that earned him praise from openly gay City Councilmember Joel Burns and from Jon Nelson, a gay attorney who was on the task force.
After the presentation, Nelson said that “the vast majority” of the recommendations can be implemented through the city manager’s office without requiring action by the council and that implementation on several recommendations had already begun.
For a full report, see the Friday, Nov. 6 issue of Dallas Voice.
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