FORT WORTH, Texas — City Council will vote Tuesday on several measures designed to give gays and lesbians more equal treatment.
The potential reforms come about five months after police raided a local gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge. During the raid, one man was seriously injured. Patrons accused police of using excessive force. The raid occurred June 28, the same day as the Stonewall Riots, when gay men and lesbians retaliated against police for unjustly arresting gay men.
Among the recommendations are:
- Extending the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include gender expression.
- Training for all city employees and elected officials on dealing with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Police, fire and front-line customer service representatives will be trained within two years.
- Extending domestic partner benefits, shared pensions and family leave for gay and lesbian city employees.
- Including a company’s record on domestic partner benefits when considering city tax breaks.
- Including sex-change surgery in city health insurance coverage.
- Posting non-discrimination language on job notices, including a letter to police recruits.
- Establishing support groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
- Holding educational fairs and using public events and media to increase awareness of the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
- Pushing for state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
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– Simon Husted