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In this March 31,photo, gay-rights supporter Mathew "Skippy" Mauldin holds a flag during a gay rights rally outside the Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. With unique knowledge of the needs of their constituents, city and county executives have the power to enact policies and programs that protect LGBTQ communities, increase community engagement, and open doors of opportunity.
Supreme Court legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. Despite this progress, more than laws deed to allow discrimination toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people were introduced at the federal, state, and local levels in The massacre at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, last June claimed the lives of nearly 50 people, the majority of whom identified as LGBTQ and people of color, and the of transgender people murdered in simply for being themselves, almost all of whom were transgender women of color, was the highest yet recorded.
Violence and discrimination born of intolerance and marginalization continue to take lives and create barriers to equity and opportunity for LGBTQ people and their families, and in the Trump administration has presented new threats to this community. With the federal government taking a reduced or even hostile role in protecting civil rights, further action can and must happen at the local level. The goal of achieving full legal and lived equality for LGBTQ people and their families can only be met with the support of local leaders who are in a position to make decisions that fully include and protect LGBTQ people.
Mayors, county executives, and other leaders who manage local jurisdictions have the power to take action and make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people and families.
Inthe City and County of San Francisco, under the leadership of its mayor, became the first major jurisdiction to remove exclusions that banned employee access to medically necessary transgender-specific care under employee health care plans. Local executives manage governments that implement thousands of federal and state programs, in addition to creating community-based programs that are deed to serve residents at the local level.
The programs administered by local jurisdictions are diverse and encompass health, human services, economic security, education, and criminal justice services. Simply put, local governments affect the daily lives of every American in ways both big and small. Differences in state laws authorizing the establishment of political subdivisions, including cities and counties, have resulted in the creation of numerous governance structures.
Certain localities require multiple elected officials to share and tly exercise executive authority. Like the relationship between the federal government and the states, each state must address similar issues when deciding how—or whether—to share power with their localities. Even with this complicated landscape, mayors, county executives, and other officials have the power to enact policy changes that advance LGBTQ equality. These leaders are often responsible for crafting executive budgets that frame debates around the allocation of resources for services that support the most vulnerable residents.
They can issue executive and administrative orders that establish policies affecting programmatic, human resources, and operational functions. Under mayors and county executives, department or bureau directors—who report to executives—negotiate questions on program de and evaluation and often work with nonprofit and private organizational partners to leverage external resources to better address unmet needs in communities.
In sum, these leaders and local officials have an array of tools at their disposal that Ultimate free lesbian social Columbia Missouri be used to improve the lives of LGBTQ people and their families. This report offers a broad menu of options for nonlegislative actions that can be taken by executives managing local governments in order to better protect, serve, and include LGBTQ residents.
Given the mandate of local officials, along with their expertise born from close contact with constituents, they have the power to make meaningful change across entire counties and cities down to individual communities.
Although it may not be possible to adopt or implement every idea presented in this report in every locality, each can serve as a starting place for deliberating on which actions would be suitable in a particular jurisdiction and spurring new ideas for securing equality and fairness for all. The report is organized into three interrelated sections. The recommended actions included in this section affect public employees, buildings and services, and how governments function. These actions focus on the interface between government and its constituents. Within each section, headers indicate administrative actions for local authorities to consider implementing in their city or county.
The description of each recommended action includes research detailing the scope of the problem the action would address, examples of jurisdictions that have taken the same or similar actions, and—where appropriate—best practices to guide officials toward developing policies appropriate for their locality. Recognizing the wide variation in government structures and codes, these sections do not include specific language for model policies but rather present key principles for executing the ideas and include references to resource documents or experts in the field to help guide officials in developing individual policies.
Text boxes throughout the report highlight examples of executive actions across a range of policy areas and geographic locations. In addition to enacting policies that affect local constituents, city and county officials are themselves employers and service providers overseeing their own workforce and the operation of public services. In that role, mayors, county supervisors, and other municipal officials make determinations that affect the hiring and management of public workers, the benefits afforded to them, and the terms under which contractors and grantees do business within their jurisdictions.
In addition, these officials oversee the management of public property and facilities such as libraries and other places of public accommodation that public employees, residents, and visitors use and rely on daily. This section makes recommendations for actions that local officials can take—from equal employment policies to contracting and licensing to training opportunities—that can advance LGBTQ equality within their own governing structures.
One of the first and most important steps county and city executives can take to support LGBTQ equality is to create an inclusive and diverse workplace. At present, there is still no federal law that explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, although some federal courts have ruled that gender identity- or sexual orientation-related employment discrimination qualifies as sex discrimination under Title VII.
With 43 percent of lesbian, Ultimate free lesbian social Columbia Missouri, and bisexual workers and as many as 90 percent of transgender workers experiencing discrimination or harassment on the job, employment discrimination is a serious issue for LGBTQ communities. LGBTQ discrimination not only harms workers; it is also bad for employers. When companies lose qualified employees, they encounter increased turnover expenses. Thinking about their own workforces, counties and cities can take action to protect their LGBTQ workers from discrimination.
This is particularly important in the states that lack comprehensive nondiscrimination protections. By doing so, counties and cities can send a message to all LGBTQ constituents that their government values them. Below are steps that city and county executives can take to ensure nondiscrimination and inclusion in their own workforces, including implementing an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy, instituting programs to recruit and retain LGBTQ employees, establishing or supporting offices of equity, funding LGBTQ employee resource groups, providing employees and contractors with paid leave, and offering health benefits that cover transition-related care.
InAllan Kauffman, mayor of Goshen, Indiana, ed an executive order expanding the discrimination and harassment policy for city government employees and applicants. With this executive order in place, all residents in Goshen could file complaints of discrimination on the basis gender identity, along with sexual orientation and other protected classes. County and city executives can take a big step toward equality in the workplace by prohibiting anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment and incorporating that prohibition into personnel policies.
While many local governments have policies that protect against discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion, not all governments explicitly protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. County and city leaders should issue executive orders or mayoral directives that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, Ultimate free lesbian social Columbia Missouri gender expression in government employment. Such a directive should explicitly direct human resources departments or other agency officials to update existing personnel policy to outline nondiscrimination guidelines and practices for the workplace.
At the federal level, Executive Orderissued by President Richard Nixon, prohibited discrimination against federal government workers on the basis of race, religion, or sex, among other characteristics, and was later expanded by President Bill Clinton to include sexual orientation and by President Barack Obama to include gender identity.
On the local level, including such provisions in employee handbooks and other workplace and personnel policies is important, even for localities that have an existing nondiscrimination ordinance inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression throughout the city or county.
Specifically, incorporating LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination provisions integrates the policy into preexisting processes for hiring and other employment decisions, makes individual rights clear to employees, outlines for employers how to implement the policy in the context of each agency or department, and holds the employer able to following the policy. Numerous cities and counties across the country have already issued LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policies for their workforces, such as Goshen, Indiana. In justifying the order, McCoy stated that no employee should be discriminated against because of gender identity and that such discrimination is counterproductive to creating a productive workforce and to attracting and retaining the best talent.
Even earlier, inDwight C. Jones, the mayor of Richmond, Virginia, issued an executive directive prohibiting discrimination against city government employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to issuing explicit protections for LGBTQ government employees, mayors should direct local agencies to interpret discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as discrimination based on sex as prohibited under Title VII.
Inthe mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, issued just such a directive to his agencies. Through executive directives, counties and cities can instruct their human resources departments to engage in outreach efforts to LGBTQ community members, to consider diversity as an important factor in hiring decisions, and to enact policies that help to retain LGBTQ employees.
Equal employment opportunity plans or other affirmative action steps, just like nondiscrimination policies, also should be incorporated into personnel policy. The executive directive should explicitly instruct the human resources department or other agency officials to update existing personnel policy such as employee handbooks to include or add an equal employment opportunity policy or plan.
Local executives also have issued equal employment opportunity policies. InJames Ritsema, the city manager of Kalamazoo, Michigan, issued an equal employment opportunity policy for city employment to increase opportunities based on classifications including race, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Crucially, both Decatur and Millington have made their nondiscrimination statements easily accessible online and both policies clearly indicate how city residents can file a grievance if they have faced discrimination in city services or programs.
LGBTQ people experience routine discrimination when attempting to access municipal services, potentially barring them from a wide range of services, from after-school arts and athletics programs for young people to life-saving housing and food assistance programs. Nondiscrimination statements should make clear that no individual should be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subject to discrimination under any city or county programs, activities, or services on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, in addition to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, and other relevant protected characteristics.
Many cities across the country have already banned discrimination in public services, including cities that have yet to pass an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination law, such as Millington, Tennessee, and Decatur, Georgia. In addition to listing protected characteristics, nondiscrimination statements should clearly articulate specific forms of conduct that constitute prohibited discrimination. For example, municipal employees and programs should be prohibited from the following actions on the basis of protected characteristics:.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people face high rates of discrimination when it comes to restroom access, and policies denying them restroom access cause further harm. In the U. Transgender Survey, the largest survey of transgender people ever conducted, one-quarter of transgender adults reported being denied access to a restroom, having their presence questioned, or being verbally, physically, or sexually assaulted while in a restroom in the past year.
Transgender Survey found that 8 percent of transgender adults reported having a urinary tract infection or kidney-related medical problem in the past year due to avoiding the use of restrooms. This discrimination occurs not only in the public square but also within places of employment.
For example, 70 percent of transgender and gender-nonconforming people surveyed in Washington, D. Protections would also benefit transgender members of the public. When transgender people are denied restroom access, they might avoid public accommodations altogether: more than half of transgender and gender-nonconforming respondents in the District of Columbia reported avoiding going out in public because of safety concerns in public restrooms.
Transgender Survey, the majority of transgender people surveyed reported that in the last year they sometimes or always avoided using a restroom, including at work, school, or in public, to avoid confrontations or other issues. Through an executive order, county and city executives can create a policy to ensure inclusive restroom Ultimate free lesbian social Columbia Missouri for transgender residents and employees in government buildings and facilities. This policy covered city agency offices as well as public spaces such as Ultimate free lesbian social Columbia Missouri, pools, and playgrounds and mandated training for managers on the policy.
The executive order further called for the restroom policy to be posted in conspicuous locations. Ensuring equal access does not come at the expense of public safety, as opponents of transgender equality argue. No evidence suggests that allowing transgender people access to restrooms that align with their gender identity poses a threat.
In fact, Media Matters for America interviewed law enforcement, government employees, and civil and human rights groups in 12 states with nondiscrimination protections for transgender people inclusive of public accommodations, and none of the participants reported that the protections led to incidents of sexual harassment or abuse.
Another way to make restroom policies more transgender-inclusive is to deate single-occupancy restrooms as gender neutral, as several cities and counties have done. InJeff Gogen, the board chairman of Multnomah County, Oregon, ed an executive order requiring all new construction projects in the county to have single-occupancy gender-neutral restrooms.
The county also indicated in its press release and an FAQ that some multi-stall restrooms would become gender neutral. Inthe Washington, D. Local governments can support their employees by requiring that human resources departments remove exclusions from employee health care plans that discriminate against transgender people.Ultimate free lesbian social Columbia Missouri
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