Simply put, we cannot support this merger until we have two guarantees.
First, we must have the County pass legislation ensuring our civil rights are preserved. Right now, those of us who live or work in the City are assured protections based on our sexual orientation and gender identity. At the Big Gay Chat last spring, sponsored by the ACDC, County Council President Rich Fitzgerald admitted that passing this type of legislation would be an uphill battle.
Second, we must insist that the County provide domestic partnership benefits for all employees. Onorato hides behind claims that it is a budget issue. That's ridiculous. If all the gay and unmarried heterosexual employees quit tomorrow and they were replaced by happily married heterosexuals, the budget would somehow accommodate their families. WHY IS MY FAMILY DIFFERENT? I can say this based on the fact that Ledcat works for the City so this will directly impact moi!
So, here's where our champions suit up and make sure that Pittsburgh's gay residents are not kicked to the curb. I understand that Luke is having a big gay luncheon at Images in the next few weeks. I'm hopeful Gary and company educate him about the importance of these two issues. It is important that we use whatever access we have to make sure Luke is aware of how this very significant legislation will impact us.
How come I never get invited to important gay luncheons? I eat lunch. I know my silverware.
Let's not forget Dan. Or our County Council reps. Oh, in my case, that's NOT Brenda Frazier so I'm basically screwed (thanks, HosPAC for quashing homo allies, by the way). We'll need that $0.15 discount on those drinks to drown our sorrows when we can't take the damn bus out of the County to find housing or jobs. Awesome.
Anyway, we need to be sure that our County Council and Chief Executive understand that we are law-abiding, tax-paying, bus-riding, drink-buying residents of this County and we deserve equal rights.
So, our champions have their work cut out for them. Bill and Doug, Patrick and Bruce. Rich.
Brenda. Gary and Steel City need to work with Luke to make sure he understands these issues. Someone needs to do something with Dan. Maybe explain budgets.