Anti-Discrimination in PA

Hatboro, PA, passed an anti-discrimination ordinance which included sexual orientation and gender identity.

Then the Mayor vetoed it. 

Hatboro Mayor Norm Hawkes vetoed a measure Monday night that would have established a borough commission to review prejudice claims – a step advocates argued was necessary to extend protection to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people not currently shielded under state law.

Lower Merion commissioners are expected to approve a similar measure at a special meeting Wednesday night.

“I don't feel anyone should be discriminated against anyplace or anywhere,” Hawkes said Tuesday. “But I think this is much better handled on a state vs. local level.”

Across Pennsylvania, 17 municipalities – including Philadelphia, West Chester, State College, and Doylestown – have enacted ordinances prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. At least 11 more, such as Radnor and Haverford, have measures pending before their governing bodies.

While the proposals protect all minority groups, pressure to pass them has come largely from the LGBT community, which says its members are left unprotected by state and federal statutes.

The Mayor of Hatboro thinks it is best left to the state rather than local volunteers (??).  Hatboro Council is mustering forces to overturn the veto.  To lend your supportive voice, contact them.Share your story.

But look at those numbers (and this is mainstream media).  17 municipalities + 11 more.  That's a lot of Pennsylvania and, clearly, a lot of activism on the part of gays on the ground. 

My sources tell me that national organizations have been on the ground in Eastern PA working on these initiatives.  I'm not sure if the same is true in Western PA.  I'm not saying it isn't, but we don't have the sort of news outlets necessary to get this information.  Note that my original story comes from the mainstream Philly Inquirer.  Yet here in Pittsburgh, we struggle to access mainstream resources because the Post-Gazette cannot get its technology sorted out.

It is amazing to see what gays are accomplishing and even better that mainstream media in Eastern Pennsylvania are producing informed, thoughtful pieces on these accompishments.  They don't even need the rabble rousing bloggers 🙂

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