BART Board takes stand against discriminatory laws
The BART Board of Directors voted to take a stand against discriminatory laws at its Board meeting on Thursday, September 13, 2018. The Board adopted a policy prohibiting District-funded travel to states with anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Currently nine states are subject to the ban: Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
"BART has been a leader in protecting and expanding the rights of LGBTQ+ BART employees, riders, and businesses that work with BART,” said BART Director Rebecca Saltzman. “By passing this policy, we will be taking a stand in support of LGBTQ+ community members nationwide."
"This policy sends the strongest message that BART will not travel to states that adopt blatantly bigoted laws denying fundamental rights to its LGBTQ+ citizens," said BART Director Bevan Dufty.
The policy is modeled on AB1887, which was signed into law on September 27, 2017. The law specifies the aforementioned states. Additions or deletions to the list of prohibited states may be periodically made to the extent the State of California adds or deletes states from the AB1887.
The policy reads, in part, “The District continues to be a leader in protecting civil rights and preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The District also believes that the exercise of religious freedom is not a blanket justification for discrimination.”
BART has historically and repeatedly taken a stand for Civil Rights. Most recently, the Board voted on August 24, 2017 to change BART’s Small Business Program to welcome LGBTQ+ contractors. And, in 2015, the BART Police Department adopted a recommendation from the Citizen Review Board for police interaction with transgender people.
Equality California recognized BART in May for its inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community by presenting the agency with its Equality Trailblazer award.