City Council vote on sex change fund on Feb. 15

Berkeley’s City Council scheduled a vote on a fund for sex reassignment surgery for its meeting on February 15. The proposal, which would provide $20,000 per year, had attracted national attention.

A report from City Manager Phil Kamlarz noted that establishing the fund would be less expensive than paying extra premiums to add the benefit to the city’s health insurance policies.

At the meeting last night, Berkeleyan Kathryn Steuerman urged council members to ignore critics who said filling potholes was more important. “Gird your loins against such false dichotomies,” she said. “Go forward with all possible haste.”

The 21 commenters on Berkeleyside’s story yesterday had a diverse range of views. Potholes did not come up, but many suggested other priorities for the city. Other commenters argued for more perspective and compassion, and several pointed out the intolerance towards transgendered people in some of the comments.