Transgender Education Network of Texas officials released a statement today (Monday, Feb. 9), explaining why they do not support Plano’s endangered Equal Rights Ordinance but at the same time don’t want to see that ordinance repealed. (Read it in its entirety here.)
TENT is also looking for sponsors to support the organization’s TransTexas Caucus/Lobby Day, coming up April 26-27.
TENT’s statement on the Plano ERO reads, in part:
“The Transgender Education Network of Texas does not appreciate the fact that an ordinance was written with the intent of adding gender identity protection without input from the transgender and gender non-conforming community. We find the restroom exclusion confusing and not acceptable. We find the exclusion of non-profits allowing them to deny important and often necessary services to the transgender and gender non-conforming community lacking.
“However, we do recognize the intent of the city to provide protection to the transgender and gender non-conforming community that was previously not provided. We do acknowledge that this new policy was not an amendment to their existing policy, but replaced it and therefore the repeal of the policy would leave Plano with no Equal Rights Policy.
“We also recognize that the vote to repeal this existing policy would, in all probability, make it almost impossible to get a policy even this inclusive passed in the future.
If the ERO withstands the Plano vote and remains the law in Plano, TENT is committed to actively pursuing amendment of the ordinance so that offensive language and discriminatory exclusions are removed.
“Therefore, considering all these facts, the Transgender Education Network of Texas is opposed to the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance, but is against the repeal of the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance.”
The statement in its entirety is available here. It includes a number of “Facts Discovered,” including the fact that no one from either the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas (GALA) or Equality Texas were asked to be involved in the wording of the ordinance, nor were representatives of those organizations able to examine the ordinance before its presentation to and approval by the Plano City Council.
The statement also includes a number of “Reflections,” as well, including noting that TENT officials believe it was “unwise of the city of Plano” not to solicit input from transgender individuals or organizations, and that they believe the city was put in place an ordinance that “protected everyone, including the transgender community, without infringing on the rights of others.”
Still, the statement notes, “TENT does feel that the bathroom exclusion is problematic for both the transgender community and the private business owners.”
TransTexas Caucus/Lobby Day
TENT is also seeking sponsors to help support TransTexas Caucus/Lobby Day, a two-day event set in Austin for April 26-27.
TENT is pairing with Equality Texas for the second year in a row to host the transgender specific lobby day, where the trans community and its allies can come together to discuss what legislative changes are needed “to prevent transgender Texans from falling through society’s gaps,” and then to lobby lawmakers to make those changes.
Sponsors are needed to help fund the logistical costs of the event, including refreshments, printing of booklets, bringing in speakers, audio/visual set-up, venue fees, a special fund to help attendees who need assistance in defraying some travel costs.
Go here to explore sponsorship opportunities.