Press

Task Force calls Largo City Commission’s push to remove city manager ‘immoral act of discrimination’

Date: 
February 28, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 — The Largo City Commission in Largo, Fla., voted 5 to 2 last night to start a three-step process to remove City Manager Steve Stanton from the job he’s held for 14 years. This decision comes after Stanton announced plans to undergo a gender reassignment process.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“The Largo City Commission’s action is a blatant, immoral act of discrimination. It is shameful that the commissioners care more about pandering to local bigoted sentiment than they do about ensuring that the city continues to benefit from the service of an experienced manager. Their treatment of Steve Stanton was appalling, almost like a modern-day act of setting the lions loose on him in the Coliseum.

“Unfortunately, this is just one more example of the discrimination that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face every day in this country. It is wrong to fire people simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity or expression, and it is long past time for Congress to act to end this type of discrimination.

“The commissioners in Largo still have a chance to right this wrong. Rather than make Largo a global example of intolerance and bigotry, they can prove their city to be fair-minded and respectful of all people, regardless of differences. We urge the commissioners to reconsider their decision at the next vote.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.