Monday, March 5, 2007

City of Largo firing transsexual manager?

I first ran across this in my local paper; here's the MSNBC version. In brief, Steven Stanton, Largo's city manager for 14 years, was recently pressed into announcing his intention to undergo a sex change. In the week following that announcement, city hall leapt into action, striking a swift blow for justice and equality by...

...oh, wait, they plan on summarily firing him.

Suddenly hundreds of people emailed, called, and wrote to Largo's City Hall. Around 500 people (in a city of 76,000) attended a meeting and demanded that the city fire Stanton ASAP. According to this story from the St. Petersburg Times, one Baptist Pastor, Ron Sanders said:
"He's not going to be a man, and he's not going to be a female. He's going to be an 'it.' It's going to be the most sorrowful decision he has ever made."
Thank you, sir, but I'd like to ask if this question ever stepped into your mind: is he running the city well? Of this mob, 500-strong, how many of you had ever even heard Stanton's name before? How many of you care that he's dedicated nearly two decades of service to you and your city, 14 of which as its manager? You've trusted him with over 1,000 employees and a million dollars, but the moment he makes a personal decision with no impact on his professional ability, he's to be taken out and fired?

What in the blazing hell does this have to do with Stanton's ability to do his job? Or her job, for that matter?

Thankfully, I managed to find some more rational voices pretty quickly -- Shakespeare's Sister seems to have a pretty good read, from my point of view, even pointing out a survey by the same paper that outed Stantion, where the majority of Largo's citizens believe he's been treated unfairly.

Likewise, this fellow had something to say:
Friends, it really shouldn't matter. The man has been the top administrator for 14 years in the Pinellas County city of 75,000. Noone stays around that long without racking up an excellent record at the job. As long as Stanton continues to do the job he was hired to do, it shouldn't matter if the name if Steven or Susan or if he wears a suit and tie or dresses.
Steven Stanton, soon to be Susan Stanton, is quoted in his interview with MSNBC (linked above) as saying:
The city commissioners [who voted to fire me] said I have no followers. Who the hell has been hugging me all week?
Well, Stanton, count me among your supporters. I think it's appalling and bigoted, that so many people are spitting on your years of service to your community. It's one thing if you're corrupt, it's one thing if you've damaged the city, but I just don't see how this has anything to do with your ability to manage a city well.

No comments: