Piittsburgh: There is no “LGBTor Q” in Diversity!


(b)   It shall be the public policy of the City to prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, age, nonjob related handicap, or disability in employment; and

(n)     SEXUAL ORIENTATION.    Male or female homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality or perceived homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality. 

Give credit where credit is due.  Luke Ravenstahl hired Tamiko Stanley as the City's Equal Employment Opportunities manager and she's tackling the job full-throttle when it comes to gender and race, according to Friday's Post-Gazette. This includes everything from upper-body strength standards in firefighter hiring to forging partnerships with community-based groups such the Kingsley Association to recruit more African-American applicants for City jobs.

Rich Lord mentions that Stanley came to the City after several years with the Pirates without noting her actual accomplishments in diversity recruitment.  I'm assuming we are all in agreement that the City has enough overpaid fat-cats who accomplish nothing to rival anything the Pirates lineup for the past umpteen years.  Hopefully, that wasn't Stanley's forte. 

Stanley has her work cut out for her with the Racial Equity Review Team, labor unions and lotsa lawyers breathing down her neck.  One of those neck-breathers is long-time activist Celeste Taylor who is the only person in the article to mention sexual orientation in the same breathe as diversity.  Not a single column inch mentions Stanley's plans to diversify the City workforce along the sexual orientation continuum.  No mention of incorporating LGBTQ issues in the new City University diversity curriculum.  I'm torn between thinking Rich Lord didn't ask the question, but it is probably more accurate to acknowle that sexual minorities are not on the radar for Stanley. 

This is the Democratic Administration helmed by a Mayor who publicly stated his opposition to gay marriage and gay civil unions.  If he fails that litmus test, is it realistic to think he's going to promote “take a queer to work day” for City employees?  Yes, I realize Luke had the big gay meeting with local LGBTQ leaders (including the Stonewall Democrats) the afternoon before the election, but not a single person in attendance has uttered a public word about the outcome. Thus, Luke is still officially opposed to gay unions.

I guess this latest diversity accolade puts to rest the rumor that Luke thought he was opposing homosexual labor unions.  I've contacted the homosexual labor unions, but they, like the Steel-City Stonewall Democrats, have yet to reply to my email inquiries on this issue.

Some highlights: 

FOP Prez Jimmy Malloy thinks the $38,000+ low a starting salary for police officers with two-year degrees is the diversity issue.  Yeah, that's probably it. Or maybe it is the nasty little requirement forcing the police officers to live far away from the lily white mecca of Cranberry Township that drives the minority applicants away!

Ms. Taylor wants to apply the NFL's “Rooney Rule” to City openings, requiring that at least one minority applicant be interviewed.  Do you think the NFL applies that principle to homosexuals or they just let the beat down/pray for your soul football culture weed out the queers?

Mr. Malloy is quoted as believing police recruits “are already indoctrinated to the principle of treating people with respect.”  

Well, we know Luke respects folks in our community willing to ante up for some back rubbing.  There's no Pittsburgh LGTB Chamber of Commerce and our professional networking group (Thursday Night Live) is on life support, so who is going to advocate for a more-queer friendly City workforce?  Or pay for it?

Did Rich Lord ask any gay questions?  Did he?



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  • Hey–I was wondering how an organization would go about recruiting/ensuring that they have LGBT diversity. I mean (and this may be a stupid question), most (straight) people assume that I am straight (i.e. don't think I look gay). And, I don't think it's legal to ask about sexual orientation in an interview. So, how do they do this? For example, my current employer is potentially glad that I help comprise their diversity, but how do they know that I'm “diverse”, unless I tell them?

  • It is a good question. I think it comes down to creating a work environment that supports gay employees and the gay community in general, thus reducing the issue of people being closeted in the workplace. Creating that cultural shift would include everything from LGBTQ workgroups to gay inclusive diversity training and, specifically, to recruiting directly in the LGBTQ community. Provide domestic partner benefits. Post job openings at Persad, PATF, the GLCC. Advertise openings in Out. Set up a booth at PrideFest. Send a message that you welcome gay people to work at your company. The applicants may or may not be gay, but the message is the same. If the invitation is genuine, people will respond.
    My organization is LGBTQ friendly, but we hit roadblocks. We have DP bennies, but just connected with AFLAC which is prohibited from offering “family benefit plans” to unmarried couples, gay or straight, by PA insurance laws. That sucks and I would hope the agency would one day recognize that all families deserve these things, gay or straight. Not just married straight families. We'll see what happens. Do they recognizet hat as an important goal? We'll see.

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