Denver Post OP-ED: Transgender Case

A Denver Post column is on record referring to the outcome of a transgender workplace discrimination case as “government-backed blackmail” and “extra-constitutional protection.”

The article, written by Post staff columnist David Harsanyi, appeared yesterday in the newspaper. It was in response to a legal case involving Danielle Cornwell, who alleged that her employer fired her for deciding to change sexes. Cornwell later won the case when the Colorado Civil Rights Division found merit in her claims.Some choice paragraphs:

Some in Colorado, however, believe that Danielle deserves extra-constitutional protection, a guarantee of employment and unconditional “understanding” of her neighbors and co-workers.

Sorry, progress isn’t achieved through government-backed blackmail. Some people will never understand transgender people, and they have no responsibility to do so.

In fact, employers hire staff using a whole host of unfair parameters – skill, experience, looks, their whims. For the transgendered, acceptance will not come by holding employers hostage. And it will undoubtedly be counterproductive.

A couple of years ago, a study by the Journal of Applied Psychology claimed, “Tall People Earn Average of $789 Per Inch More Than Shorter People.”

I suspect shorter people were outraged. At God. Or perhaps evolution.

Why weren’t they outraged at government for failing to legislate special protections for short people?

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at

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