Sanibel passes ordinance eliminating gender pronoun titles

The City of Sanibel will rewrite a lot of its terminology to eliminate gender pronouns from government titles.

The Sanibel City Council voted on changing terms like “policeman” to “officer” at its Tuesday meeting.

City officials said they are catching up with the times by eliminating gender pronouns for government positions and in documents. They believe they’re being inclusive to everyone.

“We had female commissioners on the planning commission,” Chris Heidrick. “And, listen, they were every bit of effective as anybody else, so let’s acknowledge that.”

Heidrick has lived on Sanibel Island for 12 years and has worked for the city government. He is happy to hear the city council is expected to pass an ordinance that eliminates gender pronouns within the government.

PDF: See the ordinance and full list of pronoun changes

“To make all people comfortable participating in government and in society,” Heidrick said.

This would also change words such as “councilman” to “councilperson” and “craftsmen” to “artisans.”

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, who announced his candidacy for Lee County commissioner, said the update to the local government’s terminologies is overdue.

“It’s really important to recognize where we’ve advanced as a society, where we progress as a group and continue to recognize that all people are part of the solution,” Ruane said. “So we have to actually be respectful and more importantly be more inclusive of them all.”

The ordinance is expected to pass at the council meeting Tuesday.

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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