February 14, 2013

Two commissions in the city of Phoenix unanimously voted to expand more protection to people with disability and members of the LGBT community on Tuesday. At an open meeting to the public, members of Mayor Greg Stanton's Commission on Disability Issues and the Phoenix Human Relations Commission heard members of the public express their opinions on the new protections provided by the proposals. "During the time that I've worked with transgender issues we have seen tremendous advancements in the social equality of transgender people, but in large part that is because we've had such an incredible distance to go," Erica Kepplar said, who is a seven year co-chair of the Arizona Transgender Alliance and herself a transgender woman. "We still have an incredible distance to go." The new proposals affect a section of the Phoenix city code that covers discrimination policy in the workplace and in housing. "The single greatest challenge facing transgender people is employment," Kepplar said. "It is important for governmental agencies to set a policy, and a standard, and project the message that discrimination will not be tolerated."