Thursday, April 10, 2008

A little something good from our City Council

There is so much crappy news coming from the mayor's office in Detroit lately that our City Council is actually starting to look effective. And you KNOW things are grim when that's the case. I'm only half kidding.

In fairness, the foibles of the goings on in the Council Chamber are so often the subject of press coverage and the successes are so often ignored. So I want to congratulate the City Council on a great move they made today - 8 to 1 they voted to pass an ordinance that protects workers, residents and visitors from discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

For the layperson, that means transgendered people are now protected against discrimination in the city of Detroit.

I just want to take a moment and say THANK YOU to the City Council for a moment that not only shocked me in a good way, but makes me feel like I live someplace that is still remotely progressive. In case you didn't know, Detroit was one of the first major cities to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation (back in the 70's if I recall correctly - I'm too tired to google). At least in some instances, it's nice to see we're keeping up.

Well, except for Kwame Kenyatta. But you've seen his hats: it's clear he is completely invested in a different cultural imperative.

You can never have enough hats, gloves and shoes.


Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with your headline, "A little something good from our City Council." This action on their part certainly did not shock (nor even surprise) me. As you pointed out, Detroit has a long, proud tradition of supporting gay rights - at least on a theoretical, legal level. (On street and pulpit level, maybe not so much.)

Several months ago, Jeff Montgomery appeared before the Council. Maybe it was to ask them for their support for the upcoming ordinance vote, or say "good-bye," or introduce his successor. Each Council person who spoke, and IIRC most did, said nicer things about him than the one before. Not a harsh word was spoken.

Yesterday's vote points up to me a difficulty that I have had with our city government. Three of the Council members are officials I truly respect; with several others my opinion goes back and forth; I find 2 of them to be an embarrassment because of their seeming inability to consistently speak in Standard English; and one just turns my stomach. Yet one of the major, really the very major, voting issues of concern to me is the broad area of gay rights. On that, our City Council is right on target all the time, almost to a person. And for that reason, I'm glad that they are there. I just wish that they'd do better with the other ±99% of the City's business.

Back to yesterday's vote. Kwame Kenyatta voted "no with a statement." Council members often do this when they feel a need to explain their vote, or hedge their lack of support for an issue. I called his office this afternoon and asked a very pleasant staff person if I could get a copy of his statement. I'd like to read it before completely disparaging him, his mother, and his hats. I was told someone would call me back. So far (6pm), no one has gotten back to me. When, if, I find out more, I'll let you know.

Finally, SG, if you ever see me on the street or in the park wearing one of those stupid looking hats, please feel free to send out one of your minions to snatch it off my head and stomp it (NOT me) into the dirt.

Anonymous said...

With the right accessories and a hot glue gun, those hats would rock!!!!

Woodward's Friend said...

Hey that's great that Barbara-Rose Collins will vote for an anti-gay discrimination ordinance. Unfortunately she has a track of not following employment non-discrimination regulations. It's really kind of embarrassing that Triangle endorses Collins after she was busted for firing a gay Congressional staffer because she was afraid of catching AIDS. His partner was dying of the disease at the time. Forget embarrassing, it is an obscenity that Detroit's gay political class will snuggle up to this half-witted bigot.

Oh sure she prances around in a tiara as though she was Detroit's own private gay icon, our Judy Garland if you will. However her behavior demonstrates a world view more consistent with Anita Bryant.

SupergayDetroit said...

My experiences with the Triangle Foundation have led me to view them as very pragmatic. It doesn't really seem their style to completely write someone off for stupid behavior a dozen or so years ago.

And she did, in fact, vote in favor of this. (Which isn't about gay discrimination by the way, it's about transgender discrimination.)

I love an angry gay activist, but the approach that HRC and groups like Triangle take is a little more reasonable for long-term success.

I have no argument, however, with your comment that BRC is a half-wit. But please note that Judy Garland did not wear a tiara.

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