Kicking A Lion

…hear us roar

Advocates urge council to pass anti-discrimination law

Measure would apply to employment, housing

By Connie McKinney

BINGHAMTON — Miller Hoffman knows what it’s like to be hassled for being a transgender person.

“Discrimination against transgender people is part of our daily lives,” she told Binghamton city council on Monday night.

The Binghamton resident was one of 11 people who spoke in favor of a local law that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender individuals. The proposed law would also protect against discrimination because of height and/or weight as well as age, race, religion, national origin and sexual orientation.

The proposed law would apply to employment, housing and public accommodations. Council members may vote on the proposal on Dec. 15.

Lin Hill, a transgender person and Binghamton University graduate student, praised the council for considering the law and said it’s needed to protect against discrimination.

A few people spoke in support of overweight people being protected, including Amanda Jones of Endicott. Overweight people are often yelled at on the street, she said.

“What does matter to people of all sizes is that they’re treated with dignity and respect,” she said.

Lawrence Parham asked the council to add formerly incarcerated people to the groups seeking protection against discrimination. He chairs a task force to help former inmates re-enter society.

Edward Crumb, a Binghamton attorney, was the only person who commented against the law. He said he supports the purpose of the law but was concerned about some “legal loopholes.” For example, the law doesn’t include educational institutions that are under the supervision of the state Regents, which would include Binghamton University and may include local schools.

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Written by kickingalion

December 2, 2008 at 5:11 pm

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