News (USA)

Fort Worth city council votes to expand anti-discrimination ordinance

Supporters demonstrate at City Hall TuesdayFORT WORTH — The City Council voted 6-3 late Tuesday to expand its anti-discrimination ordinance to include transgender people, capping a marathon debate over a series of gay-rights proposals that were forwarded after a controversial inspection of a gay bar, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A majority of council members spoke in favor of the proposal when it was introduced last week.

The move comes out of the debate over gay rights initiated after the raid of the Rainbow Lounge in June that left a man injured and sparked protests in the city.

Fort Worth officials appointed a task force to recommend ways to mend fences with the gay community shortly afterward.

The vote dealt only with one facet of the proposals: expanding the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to include transgender people. The ordinance already prevented discrimination based on race, sex, religion or sexual orientation.

A lot of the debate, though, centered on broader proposals, some of which the council has already tacitly approved. City staffers will be trained on dealing with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and the Police Department has appointed a liaison to the community.

Other recommendations will require further study, including offering domestic-partner benefits and expanding the city health insurance plan to cover gender reassignment procedures, including sex changes.

Full story at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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