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Largo can adapt to official's choice

Letters to the Editor
Published February 27, 2007


Re: Largo official plans sex change, story, Feb. 22.

When I first read City Manager Steve Stanton's decision to change his gender, I was shocked and shook my head.

However, I thought about it. If Largo is truly the City of Progress, i.e. first female mayor, first African-American commissioner, and so on, why can't Largo adjust?

Regardless of personal feelings, Stanton, may he be he or she, has done the same job in the last 14 years, and I think you know what you get with this manager.

If the city makes this a do-or-die situation, let me ask the taxpayers of Largo, who do you think is going to pay for the lawsuits and the media blitz? While there is not a lot of case law to go by, what do you think this will cost to litigate? And ultimately, who pays for this?

And who is next? If you aren't in a certain mold, then are you out? That is discrimination.

This is not the first oddity Largo has faced, and the way things are going, it won't be the last.

Kim Deguise, Tampa


Stanton is selfish, not courageous

Re: Largo official plans sex change, story, Feb. 22.

Many people have called Steve Stanton "courageous" for his recent decision to "go public" regarding his "transgenderation." I strongly disagree.

I believe, as I think most people do, that the description "courageous" or "brave" should be reserved for those people who selflessly place themselves at great risk doing something that benefits others.

Stanton's decision was not a selfless act. On the contrary, it was an incredibly selfish act. He seems to believe that his personal happiness is more important than that of his family, citizens of Largo, and the city employees who serve under him. He seems to have little care regarding the effect or the financial cost his decision has on others.

The cost to others is very high when one considers the emotional turmoil, humiliation, confusion, etc. There will also be very real costs in financial terms. There will be a certain amount of productivity lost while management and supervisory employees inform and counsel their subordinates. More payroll costs will be incurred when the "awareness training" is provided to employees (so that employees can better understand transsexuals). These costs will be significant.

I am not making any moral judgment. Stanton certainly has the right to do with his body as he chooses. Perhaps this is right for him.

However, Stanton has made his decision with little real concern for anyone but himself. Had it been otherwise, Stanton would have elected to live out his life as he is, taking solace in putting the welfare and happiness of others before his own. Or, he could have quietly left his position with the city, left his family and friends, and sought out a life of obscurity before giving in to his personal desires.

To call Steve Stanton "courageous" or "brave" is to dishonor all of those fine heroes from all walks of life who have given selflessly their best to their fellowman. Stanton, at least in my opinion, deserves no accolades.

John Piehl, Largo


City manager has church's support

Re: Largo official plans sex change, story, Feb. 22.

As the spiritual leaders of our respective religious communities, we are writing to express our moral support to Largo City Manager Steve Stanton and his recent disclosure to become a transgender person.

As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in affirming and standing up for the inherent worth, dignity and equality of all people, including those who are transgendered or in the process of gaining that identity. We believe strongly that whatever our individual circumstances and struggles, our basic humanity remains the same.

We are dismayed and disappointed by the public spectacle created by the media of what is obviously a very private and personal journey. We are especially concerned to learn that it was the media that pressured Mr. Stanton to make his decision public before he had a chance to discuss it with his family.

We applaud Mayor Pat Gerard for her unequivocal and public support to Mr. Stanton and her confidence in his professional capabilities. We urge Largo City Commission members to do the ethically right thing and allow Mr. Stanton to continue in his job and not let prejudice, discrimination and media hysteria affect their professional judgment.

Rev. Abhi Janamanchi and Rev. Manish Mishra, Unitarian Universalist Churches of Clearwater and St. Petersburg


'Susan' might be good for women

Re: Largo official plans sex change, story, Feb. 22.

If gender is only a term in grammar, then what difference does it make whether Largo City Manager Steve Stanton continues to do his job as Susan Stanton? We are talking about a sex change, not a lobotomy.

Even though Stanton's revelation is rather shocking, remember that as human beings, we all have our foibles. Of course, some are a little more noticeable than others. Nevertheless, no one is perfect. Stanton is certainly not a criminal. He is just a human being, who is trying to deal with his own personal issues as best as he can.

If Stanton does continue as Largo city manager, I can't help but wonder if his change of sex will reflect upon any future pay raises. Think positive. With Stanton looking at life from both sides now, it could be a genuine boon for women's equality.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater


God's choice was for him to be male

Re: Accept her just as you accepted him, letter, Feb. 26.

Marie Chapman of Palm Harbor ends her letter by saying, "To the Christians, I would say, what would Jesus do?" Responding as a Christian, I would not presume to know what Jesus would do; however, I do know what he did when a woman caught in the act of adultery fell at his feet. He said, "... go and sin no more." (John 8:1-11).

If Steve Stanton had talked it over with Jesus, I am sure Jesus would have told him the same thing!

But you may say that the woman caught in the very act of adultery was a sinner, and that Mr. Stanton is just trying to be who he really is. I would refer you then to Psalms 139:13-16, which says undeniably that God made each of us exactly as he wanted us to be. God did not make a mistake in having Mr. Stanton born as a male.

Revelation 4:11 tells us that God "created all things as it pleased Him." Mr. Stanton was born a male to please God in his life - and perhaps having a son who may someday do something awesome was all part of God's plan for Mr. Stanton's life - something Susan Stanton could never have done!

Christians are praying for the whole Stanton family.

Ken Hall, Largo


Sick man should stay in private

We have enough trouble running the city of Largo. I don't believe we need anyone in office with the problems that Steve Stanton has.

What a stupid thing he did to his family! I feel for them. He is a sick, sick man.

Mr. or Miss Stanton needs a job out of the public eye.

Jim Robinson, Largo


[Last modified February 27, 2007, 07:42:40]

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