LGBT-rights group denounce vote, say it violates Largo’s own policies
A move by city commissioners in Largo, Fla., this week to fire long-time City Manager Steve Stanton because he announced that he is transgender and will soon begin the process of transitioning from male to female has drawn widespread criticism from LGBT rights organizations.
The commissioners voted 5-to-2 on Tuesday night, Feb. 27, to fire Stanton, with the mayor and one other commissioner voting in dissent.
The Human Rights Campaign, one of several organizations to condemn the vote, issued a statement on Wednesday calling the move a “direct violation of the city government’s own internal non-discrimination policy.”
A city policy adopted in 2003 “explicitly prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of gender identity and expression,” HRC’s statement said.
HRC President Joe Solmonese called the vote to oust Stanton “a shameful display of ignorance and bias.”
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality said Stanton’s situation is “a crystal clear example of the type of employment discrimination that transgender people experience every day around the U.S. He is being fired for one reason: He made the brave decision to live openly as his true self. Sadly, the firing of Steve Stanton is another in a long, shameful line of examples of why Congress must introduceand passthe Employment Non-Discrimination Act.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 2, 2007