Monday, October 08, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST October 7, 2007

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Wilton Manors to discuss ban on transgender discrimination
By Elizabeth Baier
October 7, 2007

Wilton Manors

The city soon may follow in the footsteps of its neighbor to the north byadding gender expression and gender identity to its anti-discriminationpolicy.

Commissioners will discuss adding the two categories at Tuesday's meeting.The policy already protects municipal employees based on race, color,religion, sex, national origin, age, marital or veteran status, sexualorientation or medical condition.

Commissioner Joe Angelo proposed the changes to protect current and futuremunicipal employees, following Oakland Park's decision to do the same lastmonth. Commissioners in that city unanimously voted on Sept. 19 to includetransgender protection in their city's anti-discrimination policy.

"This is just another way to demonstrate that Wilton Manors is committed todiversity and welcomes everyone to our city," Angelo said.

With an estimated 35 to 40 percent of the city's nearly 13,000 residentsbeing gay or lesbian, Wilton Manors already is considered to be among themost diverse municipalities in Broward County, Angelo said.

There are no openly transgender employees in Wilton Manors, according toLeigh Ann Henderson, assistant to the city manager.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation defines transgender peopleas those who feel an innate sense of gender other than their birth sex. Thisincludes transsexuals, cross-dressers and people who simply feel theirbiological sex fails to reflect their true gender.

If approved, Wilton Manors would join Oakland Park as the only two cities inBroward that offer protection to transgender municipal employees.

Wilton Manors' decision to vote on protecting the rights of transgenderemployees comes as gay rights advocates petition Congress to approve afederal ban on job discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgenderemployees. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal foremployers to make decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or paying anemployee based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Elizabeth Baier can be reached at or 954-356-4637.


Property tax solutions explored;
Gov. Crist backs portability option

By Linda Kleindienst
Tallahassee Bureau Chief
October 7, 2007


Carolyn Gray has been trapped for two years in her home because she can'tsell it.

"I'm not complaining about my taxes. But no one can buy," said Gray, 51, whohas lived in her Jupiter home since 1996. "I'm furious."

To bring relief to Gray and countless other Floridians and hopefully revivethe state's dead-in-the-water real estate market, Florida's legislators areconsidering a smorgasbord of possibilities. Call the process "Property TaxReform: The Sequel," after lawmakers saw a major component of the firstsolution they had devised get tossed out by a state judge.

"We're essentially starting with a clean blackboard on which to writewhatever we're going to write," said Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, theHouse's chief negotiator on the issue

Now, near the top of the menu of options, and a favorite of South Floridalawmakers from both parties, is "portability" - granting Floridahomesteaders the right to transfer the important tax protections of the SaveOur Homes clause of Florida's constitution from one home to another.

more . . . . .


October 6, 2007

Congressman Barney Frank to Meet with Members of Transgender Equality Rights Initiative (TERI)

This evening in Tampa, Florida, Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives (TERI) coalition members Tobias Packer of Equality Florida and Karen Doering of National Center for Lesbian Rights are scheduled to meet privately with Congressman Barney Frank. The purpose of this meeting will be to address recent national outrage with the protential removal of potections for the transgender community as part of proposed ENDA legislation.

We are grateful to TERI member Mark LaFontaine, candidate for Florida State House, for ascertaining this opportunity. Because of Mark's leadership and commitment to equality representatives of South Florida's Transgender community will have their voice heard.

We will keep you informed of the outcomes/developments.

For addition information, please contact:
Michael Emanuel Rajner, Co-Administrator
Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives (TERI)
Cell: 954 288-1999


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