Colorado City Extends Legal Protection to Transsexuals

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

( - The city of Boulder, Colorado, scene of the unsolved JonBenet Ramsey murder, this week voted to include transsexuals in its anti-discrimination ordinance. Effective March 1, it will be against the law in Boulder to discriminate against transsexuals in housing, employment, and public accommodation.

Groups currently protected under the Boulder's Human Rights Ordinance include women, racial minorities, homosexuals, and bisexuals.

The Boulder law defines transsexuals - or "gender-variants" - as people having "a persistent sense that a person's gender identity is incongruent with the person's biological sex."

In an effort to help employers concerned about people cross-dressing at work, the Boulder law requires "reasonably consistent gender presentation of workers." That means an employee cannot "change gender identity in the workplace more than three times in any 18-month period."

As for the tricky issue of who uses which restroom, the Boulder law clarifies that point, too: "Transitioned transsexuals" will be allowed to use "the facilities of their new sex." But for so-called "transitioning transsexuals" - those who haven't made the final (surgical) switch - something called "reasonable accommodation" is required.

Boulder, with an estimated transsexual population of 400, is the seventh city in the nation to extend anti-discrimination laws to transsexuals.

Those opposed said human rights laws should not apply to "lifestyle choices."