Tune in and watch Steve LIVE! nve00284.jpg

Following an impressive line-up of experts and the words of NCLR Senior Couynsel Karen Doering, Stanton speaks to the Largo City Commission before public comment and their subsequent vote on March 23, 2007. Click on the picture here We Lost Ourselves in Largo to watch it.

Jim Hunt“I have been following the events in Largo and I fully support the efforts of City Manager Steve Stanton to continue in the profession that he has dedicated much of his life. I have found that by opening a community conversation, we provide the opportunity for growth and building a stronger community. I learn each day how far we are from a truly inclusive country. I am hopeful that this experience is one that we will look back on as a pivotal moment for the transgender community. I personally learn a great deal each day and appreciate the struggles that many in our country face []. I applaud Steve Stanton’s courage.”

As I have continued on the journey to build a more inclusive country, I am amazed at the fear that exists in people. We seem to want to return to an era in America that in many ways never existed. The white picket fences and neat little houses disguised a frightening reality for many. Sadly, many don’t want to sit at the table and discuss these very real issues. While the Steve Stanton case could have been an opportunity for community growth and maturity, it was seized upon by community fear.”

“I have a very real belief that community is the answer and that the Steve Stanton case is a signpost along the road to greater understanding. I trust that this is the beginning of a journey and not the end of a career.”

Please visit SteveStanton.Com for more information about Past President Hunt and Steve Stanton’s Fight For Equality

SHOWDOWN TODAY IN LARGO

March 23, 2007

Today, Friday, March 23, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. in Largo, Florida, City Manager Steve Stanton will appear before the Largo City Commission in an Attempt to Keep His Job. Please renew your contact efforts today and tell the Largo City Commission that you support Steve Stanton and that you believe that gender discrimination is wrong. Visit this link here if you want to know what you can do to help the cause.

Hero Of The Day

March 16, 2007

Julia MillerJulia Miller, former California mayor speaks out in support of Steve Stanton and calls on Largo leaders to reconsider decision. Miller served on the National League of Cities Human Development Steering Committee and was a Lockheed Martin Employee for 34 years.

Hero of the Day

March 14, 2007

KarenDoering

NCLR Senior Attorney Karen Doering Arguing to the Largo Commission

SHOW DOWN: MARCH 23

March 14, 2007

Stanton has 9 days to prepare

But his attorney may not be available March 23.

By LORRI HELFAND
Published March 14, 2007


LARGO – City Manager Steve Stanton will make his case to keep his job on March 23.

City Commissioners on Tuesday night chose that date for the public hearing because that’s when they’ll all be available.

But his attorney said she might not be.

“They chose to go with the only date we’re not all available,” said Karen Doering.

Stanton, who initially requested a hearing in April, said he wished he had more time to prepare his case, but will make the most of the opportunity.

“I’m still excited about the prospect of being reinstated as city manager,” said Stanton, who did not attend the meeting. “I’ll do the best I can with the cards that have been dealt to me.”

On Feb. 27, commissioners voted 5-2 to place Stanton, 48, who makes $140,234 annually, on paid leave and to begin the process to fire him.

The vote came less than a week after Stanton, Largo’s city manager for 14 years, disclosed that he was undergoing hormone therapy in preparation for gender-reassignment surgery.

Commissioners decided against scheduling the hearing for April 9, when Doering said she would be available. They said they were concerned that day is past the 30-day deadline that the city charter sets for holding the hearing.

Advocacy groups for gay and transgender people have said they plan to help Stanton present his case, but Doering said she must attend an out-of-town conference for litigators on that date.

Doering, senior counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a legal advocacy group for gay and transgendered people, blamed her dilemma on Commissioner Mary Gray Black, who brought up the concern about the deadline.

“They chose to follow Ms. Black and her irrational fears only based in hysteria,” Doering said. “It is a bit shocking the lack of professional courtesy in scheduling a date as important as this.”

Stanton had requested three hours to present his case. But Black wanted to limit Stanton’s case to an hour.

Commissioner Rodney Woods and other commissioners balked at that suggestion.

“I would hope that he is given the amount of time he feels is necessary to present his case to us,” Woods said.

Once the public hearing takes place, commissioners can vote at any time to make Stanton’s termination official. At least five votes are required to fire Stanton, officials say.

Lorri Helfand can be reached at 445-4155 or lorri@sptimes.com