It appears the good folks of Gainesville, Fla., will be voting March 24 on a measure to legalize discrimination against gays and lesbians within city limits. Charter Amendment 1 seeks to gut the city's antidiscrimination ordinance. The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office provides the wording of the measure as it will appear on the ballot:
CITY OF GAINESVILLE CHARTER AMENDMENT 1
Amendment to City Charter Prohibiting the City
from Providing Certain Civil Rights.
SHALL THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED TO PROHIBIT THE ADOPTION OR ENFORCEMENT OF ORDINANCES, REGULATIONS, RULES OR POLICIES THAT PROVIDE PROTECTED STATUS, PREFERENCES OR DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS BASED ON CLASSIFICATIONS, CHARACTERISTICS OR ORIENTATIONS NOT RECOGNIZED BY THE FLORIDA CIVIL RIGHTS ACT? THE ACT RECOGNIZES RACE, COLOR, CREED, RELIGION, GENDER, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, HANDICAP, MARITAL AND FAMILIAL STATUS. ADDITIONALLY, THIS AMENDMENT VOIDS EXISTING ORDINANCES CONCERNING SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, AND OTHER ORDINANCES INCONSISTENT WITH THIS AMENDMENT.
In other words, the measure's proponents want to hand over control of local laws to the Florida Legislature since, apparently, the citizens of Gainesville can't be trusted to manage their own affairs.
However, the charter amendment's sponsor presents the matter in a somewhat different light. A group named Citizens for Good Public Policy was responsible for placing the measure on the ballot, and its take is that Gainesville's antidiscrimination ordinance makes public restrooms dangerous for children.
OK, it's like this: Current ordinances contain a provision which allows trangender individuals to make the most logical decision when choosing between the Gentleman's Room and the Ladies' Lounge--that is, if you look and feel like a girl, you can use the sit-down potty.%uFFFD
Now, CGPP argues that it's very difficult to tell the difference between a tranny and a child molester, so the Gender Identity Ordinance makes it legal for any old perv to just hang around randomly in public pissers. Law enforcement agencies are now powerless to do anything about the hordes of scary, middle-aged men lurking in Little Girls' Rooms all over town; so it has become necessary to repeal laws protecting gays and lesbians against job and housing discrimination. (Sorry, gays and lesbians, but think of the children! It's all perfectly logical!)
Here's some of CGPP's instructional material:
Run, little blonde girl, run!!!
Students and faculty at the University of Florida protested the measure yesterday, calling upon UF President Bernie Machen to come out in opposition to the charter amendment. Utes might remember Bernie from his presidential stint at the U of U—ah, good memories—and I'm thinking there's better than a 50-50 chance he'll follow through. He always was a good egg.