Members of a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization announced late Thursday afternoon that Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton has made the decision to add protections for transgender workers to the city’s non-discrimination policy. The new addition, which takes effect immediately, will protect transgender workers and others who face discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. The new city non-discrimination policy reads, “No employee or applicant for employment shall suffer discrimination because of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, political affiliation, or on the basis of actual or perceived gender as expressed through dress, appearance or behavior,” according to a Dec. 13 email from Walton to members of the Charlotte City Council. Discrimination based on gender identity is already illegal, according to a decision made by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year. That decision, says activists, ultimately led to Walton’s policy change today.
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