Until Nov. 4 of last year, The Dallas Morning News, the local GOP and certain employee unions were all over lesbian Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. Among other things, they accused her of promoting a gay agenda because the sheriff’s department was conducting diversity training on sexual orientation, and they tried to make an issue out of campaign contributions she received from out-of-state LGBT donors. But now that Valdez has been re-elected, there’s pretty much been dead silence on the gay issue, even though she recently added sexual orientation and gender identity to nondiscrimination policies for her department.
In response to my story last week about the nondiscrimination policies, The Morning News posted this small item on its Crime Blog the other day. The item awkwardly notes that the changes cover employees with “gender identity issues,” and it links to a medical article explaining the phenomenon. Trust me, if this were September, there would have been an article on the front page of The DMN, and the newspaper likely would have foregone the pretense of educating its readers about transgenderism. (I’m envisioning something along the lines of a headline saying, “Sheriff adds employment protections for FREAKS!”)
On top of that, I finally heard back today from someone who represents one of the large employee unions within the sheriff’s department. These unions all backed Valdez’s Republican opponent in the election, and they were tapped to carry out some of the anti-gay political attacks. But here’s what Christopher Dyer, chairman of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association, said in an e-mail responding to my inquiry about the new nondiscrimination policies:
“To be honest, we haven’t reviewed the new general orders. It is a huge document without the changes being indicated. Therefore, you literally have to compare page by page against the previous general orders to find any changes or additions.
“But in answer to your question, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association is always interested in the protection of ALL employees rights and benefits. If this policy fulfills that mission, then I don’t see why we would have any concerns about it.”