LGBT Group Pushes for Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

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(Memphis) Finding a job can be hard enough.

But how about if you are transgendered? It can be almost impossible. 

That’s why a group of activists gathered Friday to push the Memphis City Council to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance that would include “gender identity.”

Those in support of this ordinance say it’s not about endorsing homosexuality, but about treating everybody equally.

“I am a transgendered woman,” said Ellyahnna at a press conference on Beale Street.

Ellyahnna says she knows what it’s like to have trouble finding a job and what it feels like to finally have one, “To not have to worry about food everyday, to not have to worry about drifting from place to place, to be able to afford a place to live.”

As a transgendered woman, she wants to see the city council pass an anti-discrimination ordinance that will include people like her.

It would mean, when hiring, the City could not turn down a qualified person looking for work just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This is a civil rights issue, not a religious issue,” said Minister Davin Clemons.

Last month, the city council decided to delay the vote on the ordinance to see if it has the power to make that vote or if it’s up to you, the voter.

But as the issue comes up again in a couple of weeks, the people gathered Friday say they hope the city council votes for an anti-discrimination ordinance that includes, not just race and creed, but equality for all.

“Equality is never a sin,” said Chad Johnson of AFSCME.  “And it’s really that simple.”

The Memphis City Council plans to take up this issue again October 16 at 3:30 p.m.

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