My Girl and I stayed up last night and watched the Largo City Commission's sham proceedings as they pretended to give Steve Stanton his day in court. Karen Doering of the NCLR made her case and made it well; Steve himself reiterated his devotion to his job and his city. Dozens upon dozens of citizens from Largo and around the state stood before the commission and spoke -- heavily in favor of retaining Stanton. I didn't do an actual count, but it struck me that the odds were something like 6 or 7 for to every 1 against.
A blow-by-blow can be found on TampaBay.com's website, here.
After six hours of speakers, commissioners take less than five minutes to reaffirm a decision to fire Steve Stanton. Voting to dismiss Stanton were Mary Gray Black, Andy Guyette, Gigi Arntzen, Harriet K. Crozier and Gay Gentry. Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Woods dissented.
Fortunately, Steve will get a sizable severance package. Still, he is now in a very difficult situation. The article in the St. Pete Times suggests that he and his wife, Donna, are planning a divorce. My experience with divorce in Florida (under similar circumstances -- long-term marriage, teenage children, divorcing because of transitioning, my holding a high paying, high profile job and my (ex) wife not having worked for many years) tells me that he's in for a rough time ahead. And, on top of that, he's going to have to find another job.
Steve (Susan), I wish you the very best. You have lots of friends in the trans community and a good lawyer in Karen Doering. I hope you sue, although I understand your desire not to sue the city you've served with love and distinction for so many years.