Two weeks ago the Tampa City Council made a preliminary unanimous vote to extend employment and housing protections to transgender residents. The law will be finalized in a vote today, which has brought out the wingnuts with their now familiar and ridiculous claim that cross-dressing sexual predators will freely molest children in the city’s public restrooms.
“This ordinance will give lawful protection to cross dressing males to patronize women’s restrooms,” the Florida Family Association said in a statement. “And men dressed as women or women who perceive themselves as men can also use men’s restrooms.” Terry Kemple, president of the Community Issues Council, blasted the city council’s move in an e-mail to his membership, suggesting the protections would allow “sexual predators” to go into public restrooms designated for the opposite sex and force local business owners and landlords, regardless of their religious beliefs, to accept cross-dressers. City Attorney Chip Fletcher said the changes are not meant to protect the occasional cross-dresser, but individuals who are undergoing sexual reassignment surgery. “This is intended to address people who are dealing with gender identity,” he said. Still, members of both evangelical groups are mobilizing to pack council chambers Thursday and voice their opposition to the proposed changes before a final vote.
Sexual predators always abide by the law and have been waiting for the right to scurry into the nation’s ladies rooms! Wait, what? That’s not what this is really about?
UPDATE: By a vote of 5-1, the Tampa city council has approved transgender protections. Suck it, wingnuts!