Tippecanoe County Commissioners add gender identity to ordinance

Tippecanoe County Courthouse (WLFI File Photo)
Tippecanoe County Courthouse (WLFI File Photo)

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) — Tippecanoe County is joining Lafayette and West Lafayette in the decision to add gender identity to its human rights ordinance. The decision was unanimous among Tippecanoe County Commissioners, but now what’s next?

Commissioners approved the gender ID amendment as well as the definition for veteran status on its second reading Tuesday morning. While the decision is final, the discussion continues.

Transgender issues are not going any where soon but some are reaching out to listen. Sometimes it’s best to make the time to discuss with the other side.

At Monday’s meeting, both sides of the argument stated their case about adding gender identity to the county’s human rights ordinance.

“The ordinance was about employment, public accommodation and housing, and it kept being brought back to a bathroom bill,” said Mary Finnegan, Tippecanoe County Citizens for Civil Rights board member.

However, that wasn’t what resident Susan Blake brought to the podium.

“Decisions like this one set cultural norms,” said Blake, who’s opposed to the amendment.

Blake said she doesn’t believe science backs the decision.

“We are assuming the transgender persons are undeniably wired that way, and that there is biological evidence to support that,” Blake said. “And this is not the case at all.”

Human Relations Commission chair Mike Piggott said people need to focus on what the ordinance is really about.

“It’s all about this being a welcoming community, and our good to great plan that we’re using in this town to try to enhance the quality of life,” he said.

Commissioners believe the amendment further defines the county’s open door policy.

We’re hoping to meet up with a member of the Transgender community to talk more about their concerns in Greater Lafayette as well. You can expect a story soon where we open eyes to their daily struggles and how the ordinance may or may not make a difference.

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