Letter to the Editor: Massachusetts + Marriage Equality

Joseph Kowalksi of North Huntington has had a letter to the editor about LGBT equality published each year at this time.  Today's letter reminds Post-Gazette readers that marriage equality in Massachusetts has wrought no harm.  In fact, as we've pointed out before, it has generated a heck of a lot of revenue for the state … around $100 million according to the Williams Institute of UCLA.  No reports of heterosexual marriages going “poof”  (ha ha ha) when same sex couples signed on the dotted line. 

UCLA's Williams Institute released a study that shows Massachusetts has gained clear economic advantages from the educated professionals drawn to the state by marriage equality and from the influx of money spent on same-sex marriages.

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania could do the same thing if we stop listening to the fear-mongering of some Republican politicians and the right-wing religious groups that support them.

Joseph understands that there are plenty of folks in Post-Gazette land who support Pennsylvania's resurrected attempts to amend discrimination into our state Constitution.  Those people will be galvanized into fear based action by Diane Gramley of the AFA of PA and her hate-mongering whipping boys.  They will find some sort of comfort from the distraction of this battle when Darryl Metcalfe (R-Cranberry Township) wants them to pay a little less attention to the economy, health care, job losses, education funding cuts, lack of summer activities for their kids, potholes, and oh, corruption! 

Speaking of Diane, she's fired off another press release urging Pennsylvania's to defend marriage and giving a little shout out to Allegheny County's looming self-destruction.  She hits her usual despicable low notes of Boy Scouts being refused use of a park (please!) and sexually deviant child predators stalking public pools in opposite gender clothing. 

Additionally for Allegheny County residents, the AFA of PA has up on our website a petition opposing Ordinance 4201-08.  Remember this ordinance is like H.B. 300, the statewide effort to get ‘sexual orientation and gender identity or expression’ added to the PA Human Relations Act.  Ordinance 4201-08 will add that terminology to a county wide ordinance which would affect all businesses with four or more employees and could prohibit the Boy Scouts from using government parks and facilities.  It also would permit men who think they are women to use restrooms or showers of their choice in a workplace situation or in any ‘public accommodation’ like city/county pools.   The ordinance would also create a county wide Human Relations Commission.

This is untrue. Lots of groups that self-select are permitted to use public parks.  No one tells the Clark Family Reunion they have to let certain groups attend their event to use a pavillion. Philadelphia told the Boy Scouts that the taxpayers aren't picking up their rent anymore because they don't comply with non-discrimination ordinance.  I'm not aware of too many sweet deals where the municipality pay to house the Boy Scouts (or the Girl Scouts) anyway.  We grew up attending Scouting meetings at the Presbyterian Church. Stupid fear mongering rhetoric. Period. 

But it is the rhetoric that fuels intolerance and turns people out around the issue of marriage equality.  It would be nice if Diane could just state the truth:  the law means that if you dislike gay people, you can't let that interfere with your public responsibilities.  You can hold the hate close to your heart, but you don't get to benefit from it.  Instead, she's going to convince a few folks that LGBTQ people are the predators circling their family stability. 

Once again, Diane does ask for money but does not ask people to pray.  I still don't get how that is “In His Service.”