This is priceless.
I wrote a blog post reviewing a local fish fry at Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic parish in Troy Hill.
Apparently, the fact that I set foot in a Catholic church offended someone (technically, I was just in the social hall but whatevs.)
Mr. Philip Abromats was until March last year a Deputy Secretary with the Corbett Administration – Department of Public Welfare. He became famous for harassing and threatening a woman who parked in his parking spot (she had to use the restroom because of a medical condition) a scenario that cost him his parking spot and his state vehicle. He’s now a lawyer in Greybull, Wyoming after being demoted/transferred then fired in March 2013.
But it gets better … Mr. Abromats didn’t find it demeaning enough to compare my breaking bread with my Catholic neighbors to an act of desecration. He went on to post this on his LinkedIn profile.
My going to a fish fry is the same thing as an anti-Semite attending a seder. And this man was in a leadership role in the Department of Public Welfare.
Now, he put this on LinkedIn for a reason – he knows that being anti-LGBTQ in a professional setting will win him clients. That’s the real concern. There are people who think bashing lesbians is an acceptable thing to do in a professional setting. They will hire him because he’s a warrior for Jesus or some such thing.
This is exasperating, but the reason I posted is because he was in charge of a portion of the Department of Public Welfare. Research from The Williams Institute shows that in 2013, nearly 30% of LGBTQ people were food insecure – ie, hungry for at least one day during that year. A 2013 study from that same organization found this:
14.1% of lesbian couples and 7.7% of gay male couples receive food stamps, compared to 6.5% of different-sex married couples. Also, 2.2% of women in same-sex couples receive government cash assistance, compared to .8% of women in different sex couples; 1.2% of men in same-sex couples, compared to .6% of men in different-sex couples, receive cash assistance.
Despite the myth of gay affluence, the DATA shows that people in our community need access to supports and services from the Department of Public Welfare (and more.) Our entire community has a dog in this race to create a public safety net system that is respectful of all residents.
Mr. Abromats was in a position of power and authority over those very programs. That is truly frightening. The irony that he thinks my presence at a meal is an affront to decency contrasted with people seeking SNAP (food stamps) is not lost on this social worker.
He can rest easy – I’ve never been to a seder. But what would he think of OUTrageous Bingo at Rodef Shalom Congregation? Oh my ….
For your information, if you are an LGBTQ person in need of supports or services, Allegheny County has gone an entirely different direction that Governor Corbett. Not only do they have an LGBTQIA liaison (their preferred acronym) but that person is at the GLCC every Tuesday afternoon to engage you. For more information, call 412-422-0114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Rest assured that County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald wants you to have access to the services to which you are entitled and is working to reduce barriers. I wonder if he’ll invite me to his home parish fish fry?
Those are more my values.