LGBT champion, State Representative Dan Frankel penned a letter to the Post-Gazette urging Western Pennsylvania to support Onorato because he's the better choice on LGBT issues. The cruz of his arguement is that Corbett thinks existing anti-discrimination protections on the statewide level are fine and has no intention of expanding them. Onorato has stated he will support the expansion to include LGBT folks.
In contrast, at the same debate, Dan Onorato said of H.B. 300, “As governor, I would sign it into law. … No one should lose their apartment or their job or their home because of their sexual identity or their orientation.”
As chief executive of Allegheny County, Mr. Onorato signed a similar nondiscrimination law that protects the county's 1.2 million residents. As governor, Dan Onorato will be committed to fairness for all Pennsylvanians, which is also vital for fighting brain drain and for our economic competitiveness.
So if Corbett (and the tea bagger commenters) think all is well, that's clearly wrong and dangerous. However, as wit most Democrats, I believe Frankel oversells Onorato. It took many, many months for him to make a public announcement supporting the Allegheny County legislation. He has a voting record of opposing these protections when he was a City Councilman. That's not exactly a mindblowing change of position. It is incremental and it took nearly twenty years to happen. (Don't forget he lost his cool at an endorsement meeting b/c a certain lesbian blog published his voting record. Ahem.)
I'm just saying that Onorato's track record AT BEST says he won't stand in the way, but there's no public evidence that he'll work to advance HB 300 or similar legislation. We simply have to take his word for it.
And truth be told, when you think of all the promises President Obama actually made to the gay community and has yet to work on, there's just no evidence that the Governor of Pennsylvania will do any better. Obama had significant majorities and poll data to prove that repealing DADT was fine, yet he's actually got the Department of Justice fighting to defend it. Groan.
My point is that the Governor won't have majorities in both chambers, regardless of who wins. The Senate still wants to defend marriage from gay people. The House just hasn't had the muscle to push HB 300 through.
What we need is to unify as a community and put the pressure on Onorato to make this happen. And I don't think he has the political will or muscle to do it. He needs our votes and fundraisers on Mt. Washington, but he knows we'll be forced to support him.
Frankel's point is short, sweet and to the point. Onorato is the only chance to expand civil protections. I get that, but I'll be a believer when I see some public action. More behind the scenes machinations with the elite white gay men on Pennsylvania won't cut it with the suburban soccer mom lesbians and the many, many unemployer and underemployed LGBT folks who face a stagnant economony and the legal realities of being fired for being gay.
I think Onorato needs our votes b/c Pennsylvania would be better if this legislation passed. But I also believe a full court press for him to ante up on this issue is necessary.
How about that? I think Onorato is like Obama and man that just blows my mind.
Vote. It is all we got, folks.
BTW, I like Nancy Pelosi.
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