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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Monday, May 22, 2006

News: Carlisle, PA considering anti-bias law

Carlisle Mayor Kirk Wilson said Friday he wants the Borough Council to pass a resolution in June or July that, eventually, could lead to an ordinance banning discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

This article is particularly interesting because of the community process being followed in this case. Wilson said the council's likely first move would be to join the National League of Cities' Partnership for Working Toward Inclusive Communities. Then, in the fall, he and council members would meet with education, business, religious and community groups to create a public forum to discuss inclusion. Such a ban would come only after community meetings and review by the borough's legal staff, Wilson said. "The resolution would be first," Wilson said. "That's what this whole process is about, to determine what the community feels it needs."

In addition, the reasons cited in the article for the proposed law demonstrate the reasoning behind its adoption by many communities: economic development.

"Cities must be attractive to creative, innovative people, not only gays and lesbians, said Gary J. Gates, senior research fellow at the Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law. Community leaders everywhere want economic development, said James Hunt, president of National League of Cities, which formed the Partnership for Working Toward Inclusive Communities. Hunt said more than 30 communities have joined the partnership, and he expects 70 more to join by the end of the summer. "Without looking at a community as an inclusive community, economic development is very difficult," he said. "Sometimes, we get too comfortable in our existing demographics and don't realize the future is going to be a lot more diverse, and we'll be challenged in different ways."

This is similar to my findings in my dissertation at page 104:

"Public employers adopting transgender HR policies show similar patterns. Non-discrimination policies are viewed as a means of attracting a highly educated labor force, a larger business tax base and a more affluent population. This is referred to as the 3T's formula, which stands for Technology, Talent and Tolerance (Florida 2003). The gay population has been used, in this connection, as a measure of the creative class within geographic areas and as part of an index to determine their attractiveness to high-tech businesses. The creator of this index, Dr. Richard Florida of Carnegie Mellon University, is a sought-after lecturer and consultant for cities seeking to revitalize, and his theory is named as number 2 on Harvard Business Review's list of breakthrough ideas for 2004. (Richard Florida Creativity Group 2004)"

For those who are interested, I also set forth there salient portions of interviews with town officials regarding their adoption process for anti-discrimination laws protecting "gender identity."

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