March 25, 2009

Transgender Advocacy Group Celebrates Outcome of Florida Charter Amendment Vote

Gainesville Voters Reject Attempt to Take Away Basic Civil Rights Protections for Transgender, Lesbian & Gay Residents

NEW YORK - Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) praised the outcome of Gainesville's city election, where voters overwhelmingly rejected Charter Amendment 1, which would have taken away basic civil rights protections for transgender, lesbian, and gay residents.  The proposed amendment would have rescinded parts of Gainesville's anti-discrimination ordinance to make it the same as the Florida Civil Rights Act, which does not include gender identity and expression or sexual orientation as protected categories.

"We are thrilled that Gainesville voters did the right thing and sent a message that everyone deserves equal rights and equal protection," said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman.  "Transgender people experience tremendous discrimination in employment, housing, and throughout their daily lives and they need the protections offered by Gainesville's anti-discrimination ordinance."

As a result of the election, transgender, lesbian and gay Gainesville residents will continue to be protected from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.  "Gainesville voters have embraced their city's diversity and proclaimed that all residents should be protected by Gainesville's civil rights laws, and for that they deserve congratulations," Silverman added.