Friday, April 4, 2008

This is Easy!

Dear Barney and Ted

The title of this entry is the words of Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser prior to the Kansas City City Council voting on an ordinance amendment to include Gender Identity and Expression into the city's anti-discrimination laws. "This is Easy!". Oh my goodness, for it sure hasn't seemed that way in other places of this country and certainly not in Congress where transgenders were tossed out of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last fall by Rep. Barney Frank. Sen. Ted Kennedy has already pledged to push a No-T ENDA in the Senate.

And the vote on the local ordinance was Unanimous!!!

I will publicly offer my sincere thanks and enduring support to City Councilor Beth Gottstein, who in her first term in public office, spearheaded this effort with her colleagues. What was amazing is that she did so in such matter of fact manner that when it was formally put on the city's agenda, it came as a complete surprise to the transgender community, it became known just last Friday. I was honored to provide testimony before the committee that considered the measure on Wednesday. On Thursday...the very next day...the full council passed the resolution. To say this has been an incredibly emotional week is an understatement. I am still dizzy and giddy with what occurred here.

I was born and raised an Oregonian. I have always been proud to be an Oregonian. Today I am most proud to be a Kansas Citian.

So, Dear Barney and Ted....why is this such a challenging issue for you and Congress? Here we are in the Bible Belt and a caring individual at the very beginning of what I hope is a long career in public service has been able to stand up for the transgender community with such courage and incredible ease. "This is Easy" said the Mayor.

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