Bay Area Fair Trade Coalitoin
UPDATE: The Berkeley City Council has postponed a vote on a staff proposal to appropriate $20,000 a year to pay for sex-change operations for city employees.
City Manager Phil Kamlarz took the item off the agenda of the council's meeting Tuesday night because some questions had arisen about the proposed policy and he wanted more time to provide answers, according to city spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross.
The City Council is now scheduled to vote on the matter at its Feb. 15 meeting, she said.
The Berkeley City Council will vote tonight on whether or not the city will pay for sex-change operations for its employees.
Because the city's current two health care providers, Kaiser and Health Net will not pay for sex reassignment surgery, the city is offering to appropriate $20,000 a year for the procedure.
The city said its policy is to be "fair and equitable to all of its relations with its employees and applicants and any form of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, political belief and other categories."
City Manager Phil Kamlarz said the money would be on a first-come, first-served basis and would roll over to the next year if not used in the current year.
Kamlarz said the employees must meet several requirements to be eligible. Candidates must be a permanent employee who has worked for the city for at least a year, be an active participant in a recognized gender identity treatment program, live a year as the desired gender role, and received at least a year of continuous hormonal sex reassignment surgery.