City Council is backing a resolution to urge the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority to cease its gender-marker system, which critics say is discriminatory against transgender and gender nonconforming riders.
Councilwoman-at-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced the measure March 22 and it unanimously passed on its first reading.
The resolution may come up for public debate during the March 29 Council meeting, 10 a.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall.
LGBTs and allies have pushed in recent years for the removal of the stickers to avoid discrimination and public questioning of those who do not conform to gender norms. SEPTA has used gender markers on its transpasses for decades in an attempt to curb sharing of the passes. The transit system has said it is open to removing the stickers when it overhauls its fare system, although a timeline for that is unclear.
Reynolds Brown said her measure is meant to enhance understanding of the need for a gender-neutral fare system and take the city closer to that reality. “At the end of the process and debate, we want Philadelphians of all cultures, walks of life and backgrounds to get through each day without feeling discriminated against — without someone dimming their shine,” Reynolds Brown said. “We hope this resolution will move the needle further toward our goal.”
The councilwoman said she pledged to assist the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club last year in any pro-LGBT endeavors and, when the club requested she work on this resolution, she eagerly complied.
“People listen to what we say, but ultimately, they watch what we do,” she said. “I commend the membership of Liberty City for paying attention and doing the necessary follow-through.”
Supporters of the removal of the markers are encouraged to attend next week’s City Council session.