PG Letters to the Editor on County Anti-Discrimination Bill

Ray McGogney of Shaler sees right through the culture wars.  His letter to the editor in the Post-Gazette shatters the right-wing argument that the County Anti-Discrimination legislation is going to limit the religious freedom of anyone. 

The anti-discrimination bill before County Council (“Discrimination Bill Draws Large Crowd,” Jan. 16) has nothing to do with personal beliefs on homosexuality, gay marriage, morality or religion. Unfortunately, many people opposed to the bill have made these the issues.

The man who claimed that homosexuality is a “lifestyle that is condemned by God” can still cling to his belief with the passage of the bill. The bill is about discrimination and will not force any church or person to change views.

You may disagree with the beliefs or lifestyles of atheists, blacks, Muslims or many other minorities, but they should not be denied jobs or housing. The same applies to gays. Pittsburgh currently extends these protections to gender orientations and expressions. The county bill would do the same. It is time to stop using discrimination as a club to beat down minorities with whom we disagree.

This bill is about regulating (and preventing) discrimination, not personal beliefs.  Amen, Ray.  Thank you for writing.

Meanwhile, Paula Martinac of Park Place (near Regent Square) takes issue with the Post-Gazette coverage of the hearing for this ordinance. 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or Fox News? Hard to tell in your “news story” of the proposed Allegheny County anti-discrimination bill

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As a journalist, I am sick of seeing articles like this touted as “balanced” reporting, when in fact they are deeply biased. I'm surprised the Post-Gazette didn't open its coverage of Barack Obama's historic inauguration with the opinion of the grand wizard of the KKK.

Harsh words, but the PG really did drop the ball on this article.  There was no balance, although Paula is mistaken in that Reverend Janet Edwards does count as a LGBTQ activist; she identifies as an openly bisexual woman which is pretty awesome considering the entrenched biphobia in our community.  No one could reasonably challenge Janet's lesbian street cred even though she is married to a man.  What a great role model she is for all of us. 

I was glad to see someone commenting on the ordiance and someone else picking up on the media coverage.  Media coverage feeds public perception.  It is one thing for the editor's to support the legislation, but when their reporter leaves the impression that most people attending the meeting (or the one's who “sacrificed” to be there) oppose the ordinance, they misrepresent public opinion.  That's unacceptable.  Kudos to Paula for picking up on that nuance.

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