Largo, Florida Moves To Dismiss Transsexual City Manager

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On Tuesday, the city commissioners in Largo, Florida voted to dismiss City Manager Steve Stanton because he is in the process of changing from a man to a woman. The mayor of Largo and one commissioner voted to retain Stanton, but the other five commissioners voted to fire him. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this move is in direct violation of the city’s own non-discrimination policy, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

Stanton has served as City Manager for fourteen years, and was apparently a respected employee. Pam’s House Blend points out that the leader of the campaign to get Stanton dismissed was Pastor Charlie Martin of the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. First Baptist brags about being racially diverse, but obviously draws the line at other types of diversity. It’s mission statement includes “We are all made in the spiritual image of God,” but maybe that needs to be modified just a tad.

Martin believes that if his congregants have to call Steve “Susan” (were they really calling him “Steve”?), the religious freedoms of Christians will be compromised. Another minister said, “If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he’d want him terminated. Make no mistake about it.” These members of the clergy have company among Largo’s citizens. Or, as one person said, “As a resident of Largo for over 40 years, I’m very disturbed that our city manager is planning a sex change. In my view this would be disruptive to Steve Stanton’s ability to conduct city business.”

You figure it out. He was fine when he was Steve, but as Susan, he will not be competent. Of course, all women are accustomed to hearing they are not as competent as men, but this particular case is as extreme as it can get.

No news yet as to whether Stanton will take action against the Largo city commission.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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