Released: July 11, 2006
(South Bend) - By a vote of 5 to 4, the South Bend Common Council declined to amend the City's Human Rights Ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Council heard public testimony well past midnight as hundreds of concerned residents packed the Chamber.
"While INTRAA is disappointed in this outcome, we are confident that this process has raised the level of debate and laid a solid foundation for future victory," stated Leigh Anne Richards, President of the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA). "We are confident that ultimately the citizens of South Bend and all Hoosiers will be protected. It is not a question of if, but when."
South Bend would have become the third city in Indiana to protect its transgender citizens, joining Indianapolis and Bloomington, who added gender identity to their anti-discrimination ordinances in the past year. Nationwide over 250 jurisdictions include sexual orientation, 90 of which also include gender identity/expression.
"South Bend Equality demonstrated courage and skill in leading the effort to prevent discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in their community," said Vivian Benge, Vice President of INTRAA. "Those who raised their voices for fairness in South Bend deserve our gratitude and support as they continue their efforts for equality."
South Bend Equality was formed to create equal protection under the law for all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information on South Bend Equality, visit the organization's website at http://www.sbequality.org.
The Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA) is a statewide advocacy organization working to ensure equality and fairness for all Hoosiers regardless of Gender Identity and Expression. Since its inception in April 2002, INTRAA has been dedicated to building a strong transgender and allied community to act as a force for positive change in Indiana. For more information about INTRAA visit our website at http://www.intraa.org.
This story can be found at http://www.intraa.org/alert/south_bend_hro_fails