Largo is struggling to live up to its “City of Progress” moniker after the city commission voted in February to fire City Manager Steve Stanton for planning a sex-change operation. Commissioners said the news caused “stress, turmoil, distraction and work disruption,” and that he’d “lost his standing as a leader.”
Mayor Patricia Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Black dissented, saying Stanton had “done a great job” over his 14 years in the position.
Stanton fought for his job but faced an uphill battle.
Some states have used federal sex-discrimination laws to prohibit gender-identity discrimination, but Florida is not among them.
In fact, the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida, which covers Largo, has expressly ruled that federal laws don’t protect transsexuals.
Steve Stanton, who plans to become Susan, an identity he’s carried with him since childhood, said he will not sue the city. “In so many ways, I am Largo,” he said. “It’s like suing my mother.”