The Oakland, California City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to repeal a 130-year-old ban on dressing “in the attire of a person of the opposite sex.” So that means midnight performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show can resume immediately, right? Whoa, not so fast there, Dr. Frankenfurter…
To finally repeal the cross-dressing ban from the city’s municipal code, the council will need to vote a second time on May 18th. So hold on to your stockings and garters until then.
City officials claim the little-known law was never enforced, but Rebecca Kaplan the council’s only openly-lesbian member and the person behind the repeal says, “In this particular case… the immoral dress code, historically, was pretty much used exclusively for the purpose of harassing LGBT people.”
It should be noted that Kaplan has already explored an Oakland mayoral bid. The LGBT population density in the East Bay rivals that of San Francisco and she’s positioning herself as an outspoken champion for that community by spearheading an LGBT community center, holding a weekly roundtable with Oakland’s LGBT leaders, and supporting plans for a September 5th Pride celebration.
Unless Tuesday’s vote somehow backfires, doing away with the archaic law could help Kaplan gain LGBT support while promoting public tolerance and her campaign at large. Win-win, depending on if you’re voting for her.