Activists: Fired city manager could be transsexual champion – By Phil Davis – Associated Press Writer

Largo, Fla. – Steve Stanton loved this city he ran for 14 years. This week, he asked the city to love him back – to accept his plans to pursue sex-change operation and let him keep his $140,000 job as city manager.

Almost 500 people packed into City Hall Tuesday night for a special meeting to decide if they would accept Susan instead of Steve as their top official.

And while many spoke eloquently in his defense, more called for his ouster.

“If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he’d want him terminated,” said Pastor Ron Saunders of Largo’s Lighthouse Baptist Church. “Make no mistake about it.”

At the end of the 3 1/2 hour meeting, the City Commission voted 5-2 to begin the legal process of firing Stanton, only a week after he was forced to reveal his secret by a local newspaper. He is on paid leave while the city begins the legal process to end his contract. He can appeal and the commission must vote again to formally fire him.