D.C. Gov't To Launch Anti-Transgender Discrimination Ad Campaign

Patrick Burke | August 10, 2012 | 4:21pm EDT
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(Photo courtesy of D.C. Office of Human rights.)

(CNSNews.com) -- The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights announced on Aug. 7  plans to launch a government-sponsored ad campaign to combat transgender discrimination in Washington, D.C.

According to a report from the LGBT-focused Washington Blade, the ads will feature four transgender individuals and one ‘genderqueer’ individual, all of whom are from the D.C. area. (LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.)

The ads are intended to encourage transgender individuals to report cases of discrimination based on “gender identity and expression” to the D.C. Office of Human Rights.

According to the D.C. Office of Human Rights, how the advertisements will appear in the District is “still being finalized,” and budget numbers for the project are not yet available.

Currently, there is no official date as to when the ads will be unveiled in the District, but the Office of Human Rights hopes to have them completed by “early fall.”

The Office of Human Rights told CNSNews.com that the ads are funded entirely by the D.C. government, and will not be funded with federal tax monies or any other outside entities.

“Federal revenue received by our Office is designated for very specific purposes, and our Office cannot spend outside of the stipulations of the federal contract. Federal funds received by our Office are strictly separated from local funds in our budget, and the campaign was funded using entirely local funds,” the Office of Human Rights told CNSNews.com.

Gustavo Velasquez, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights, touted the ad campaign as a way to alleviate discrimination against transgender persons.

“The District of Columbia is fortunate to have a human rights law that aims to eradicate discrimination, so residents have a more equal opportunity to access our housing, employment, public accommodations and educational institutions. Yet transgender residents in the District continue to face levels of discrimination beyond what most experience,” Velasquez said in an official statement to CNSNews.com.

(AP Photo)

“This campaign aims to lessen those incidents of discrimination by encouraging understanding and reminding people that we are One City that thrives on mutual respect, regardless of an individual’s religion, family responsibilities or gender identity,” the statement read.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said these types of ads promote “gender confusion” to the general public, and often go beyond their original purpose of combating discrimination.

“A lot of times these ad campaigns go well beyond discouraging abuse to promoting abhorrent behaviors,” LaBarbera told CNSNews.com.

“Basically, this is a market campaign for gender confusion in the name of human rights, and made all the worse by the fact that it’s taxpayer funded,” he said.

LaBarbera added that government agencies often become vehicles for the “radical left agenda,” in this case “sexual and gender experimentation.”

“What’s happened is that this whole agenda is an agenda of the left,” he said.  “Something that sounds so innocuous -- ‘The Office of Human Rights,’ how could you be against that? -- is used to promote a radical left agenda, and sexual and gender experimentation.”

“They [the left] create these agencies with noble sounding names that really do nothing but have a leftist social vision, in this case promoting incredible abhorrent gender confusion and putting a smiley face on it and using taxpayer dollars to promote the radical transgender agenda now to the public. And I think that’s wrong,” he said.

In April, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hi.), and Susan Collins (R-Me.) introduced legislation that would give the D.C. government control over local funds without explicit congressional approval at the start of each fiscal year.

“As chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the District of Columbia, I strongly support D.C. local budget autonomy,” said Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hi.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management.

“The District’s taxpayers deserve a locally-elected government that is accountable for deciding how and when their local tax dollars are spent, free of congressional interference,” he said.

The Gender Equity Resource Center at University of California-Berkeley defines “transgender” in part as, “Transgender (sometimes shortened to trans or TG) people are those whose psychological self (‘gender identity’) differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with. For example, a female with a masculine gender identity or who identifies as a man.”

A genderqueer person is someone who, “redefines or plays with gender, or who refuses gender altogether.”

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