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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kalamazoo, Michigan personnel policy includes gender identity

The County Commission in Kalamazoo voted to change is personnel policy to include gender identity and sexual orientation by a margin of 9 to 8.

In matters involving employment, promotion, wages and discipline, the Kalamazoo County Personnel policy will now include language prohibiting discrimination against anyone because of that person's political affiliation, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Opponents of the policy change argued that the language supports a lifestyle that is morally wrong and would make the County vulnerable to uphold larger issues such as paying for sex change operations for employees and allowing trans-gender individuals the option to use restrooms of the opposite biological sex.

"We're going to have to deal with men dressed in women's clothing going in women's bathrooms watching us and our young girls," said opponent Barbra Anderson.

Supporters of the language change said the old policy as written prevented the County from receiving much needed funds from organizations with non-discrimination policy standards and was flat out discriminatory against members of the gay and lesbian community.

Interestingly, HRC's database indicates that Kalamazo has had a written non-discrimination policy covering gender identity and/or expression in its employee handbook or manual since 2001. Other Michigan cities with policies including gender identity include Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Huntington Woods, and Ypsilanti.

The following major employers based in Michigan include protection of gender identity in their policies: Volkwagen of America, Borders Group Inc, Traverse City, Inc., Valassis Communications, Inc. Dow Chemical Co, Visteon Corp., General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler Corp., and Ford Motor Co.

1 comment:

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss said...

There are 34 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Michigan: General Motors, Ford Motor, Dow Chemical, Delphi, Lear, Visteon, Pulte Homes, Whirlpool, Masco, TRW Automotive Holdings, United Auto Group, Kellogg, ArvinMeritor, DTE Energy, CMS Energy, Federal-Mogul, Kelly Services, Auto-Owners Insurance, Stryker, BorgWarner, Borders Group, Comerica, Tower Automotive, Novi, American Axle & Mfg., Universal Forest Prods., Steelcase, Hayes Lemmerz, Dura Automotive Systems, Metaldyne, La-Z-Boy, Spartan Stores, Tecumseh Products, Herman Miller, Domino's Pizza