Kathie Dunbar: Keepin' it Real with the Human Rights Ordinance

Say hello to Santa Katrina!

Showing she's no lame duck, Lansing Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar has firmly planted herself as a rising star in city politics with her couragous Human Rights Ordinance.

The Lansing, MI ordinance protects residents along 8 new classifications, including sexual orienation, gender identity expression, student status, and political affiliation.

The ordinance has been attacked and beset by Michigan "family" groups -- the AFA of Michigan even links to this little blogger's write-up on Ms. Dunbar via Liberal, Loud, and Proud. Even with their -- and others' -- opposition, the ordinance unanimously passed within the Lansing City Council, and has the full support of Mayor Virg Bernero.

What makes Kathie Dunbar so fabulous isn't just that she pushed this ordinance and got it passed, but that she has been at the forefront of local media on the issue, defending her ideas behind a Human Rights Ordinance, and what it truly means for Lansing, Michigan. I mean, really. Some groups are so zealous that they'll google anything with the word "gay" in it and vehemently oppose it. So Ms. Dunbar gets out in the front and keeps pressing on what the ordinance is and debunking myths that make outlandish claims on what it isn't.

The latest Lansing City Pulse sat down with Kathie Dunbar, and she shared some insights:

Doesn’t this ordinance create special rights for people based on their sexual orientation?

The “special rights” argument always mystifies me. How one can argue that equality grants one person special rights over another? This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Most individuals who argue that we are granting “special rights” to gays also hide behind the cloak of their religion to justify continued discrimination. Lest we forget, it is the religious community who enjoys special rights in our society.

How many other organizations have carte blanche tax exemptions? Who else can claim their convictions as reasons to be exempted from laws applicable to everyone else? Who else can exempt themselves from institutional dress codes by claiming their beliefs require a certain form of clothing, jewelry, headdress or hairstyle? I’m not in any way arguing against allowing such exemptions, but I think it’s important to identify the “pot” from which these “special rights” flow.


This ordinance makes it a crime to refuse to hire men who demand the right to wear a dress to work.

[...] [In regards to the ordinance] It is not, however, permissible to refuse to hire transgender persons solely because they do not conform to gender stereotypes. Transsexuals are not men who occasionally wear dresses or women who go butch on Tuesdays. Transsexuals tend to live their lives as members of the opposite sex from which they were born. They don’t switch from day to day.

And this is why Kathie Dunbar has officially reached Diva status. We love you, Kathie!

Keep it up, and everyone else: check out the full article courtesy of the Lansing City Pulse. It is sure to make you smile. Councilwoman Dunbar truly does us all a service in Lansing!

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