DENTON, Texas — In Denton this weekend, there will be a conversation about the idea of a new city ordinance to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination, and at least one mom says it's overdue.
"It surprises me that Denton is kind of behind the times on this," said Amber Briggle, a mom of a transgender son named Max.
Briggle will appear as part of the conversation, organized by city council member Jesse Davis. The discussion is to include a variety of perspectives, and is open to the public at 3 p.m. Saturday in the City Council Chambers.
"I'm not trying to insert my own views on Saturday, " Davis said. "I get my chance to make my decisions as a councilperson. Saturday's event is more about community engagement. I think there's room in Denton for some kind of ordinance. If the intent of the ordinance or the spirit of it is to create a community where everyone feels safe and welcome, that's important."
This is a very early first step. No official ordinance has been proposed in Denton. Some other cities in North Texas have taken the step to include sexuality and gender identity in non-discrimination ordinances years ago.
Fort Worth, Dallas and Plano all include protections for LGBTQ residents.
Briggle will make her case Saturday why she believes such an ordinance is necessary.
She said right now, LGBTQ people are not protected against discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodations by either federal or state law.
Her son, Max, began his transition while he was in the first grade in Denton. Today, he's preparing to enter sixth grade.
Amber and her husband said they have become outspoken advocates for LGBTQ people because they often think of Max's future as an adult.
"It doesn't matter if you're gay, trans, pansexual," Briggle said. "It doesn't matter. If you can pay your rent on time, if you can do the job, that's really what your merit should be based on and not your sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a human rights issue. This is something we can all agree as Texans on equality."
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