AP piece on Pennsylvania LGBT ordinances/legislation

Hmm … I missed this yesterday in the Post-Gazette.

HARRISBURG — Although his years-long crusade to enact a statewide ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity again died at the end of the most recent legislative session, state Rep. Dan Frankel sees reason for optimism.

Frankel's optimism stems from the long-term view (useful in politics, eh) that our cultural view toward LGBTQ people, families and issues has shifted.  Not IS. Not WILL.  It has shifted and the polling data shows that.  See my little riend's pronouncement that Ledcat and I cannot marry “stupid”   She'll be voting in four Presidential cycles.  That my friends is the long-term view.

The piece goes on to explore how state level inaction has generated much hubbub at the local level.  18 locals.  It has also fed into the hatefest such as in Lancaster which disbanded the Human Relations Commission to save money.  Really?  I'm sure the African-American residents feel real good that their experiences with housing discrimination got axed to save money.  Nice.

I can't resist posting this quote.

“It creates a policy, a public policy, and it puts those who disagree with that policy in the same footing as those who are, say, racial bigots,” said Randall Wenger, lawyer for the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Family Institute, which lobbied against Mr. Frankel's bill.

“We call certain choices discrimination because we, collectively, as a people, determine that certain choices are downright bad, they're downright evil,” Mr. Wenger said. “I think recently, with the additional of sexual orientation and gender identity, they are choices people make precisely because they are the moral choices they want to make.”

Umm. I think there was a time when “certain choices” like owning people was Biblically sanctioned, not evil.  What would Mr. Wenger have argued if that point were brought up?  Is it the “calling” of choices discrimination that make them evil because that sounds a lot like moral relativism, not so much grounded in moral certainties.  He uses the term CHOICE four times in this quote which must simply be to downplay that people don't HATE gays, they just choose not to hire them.  It is a lifestyle choice not to associate with gay people, but it is just a matter of housing patterns that mean no black people live in your cul-de-sac.  Hmmm.

It hasn't taken long for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to galvanize advocates and increase pressure (probably on both ends to be fair)

Stephen A. Glassman, chairman of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, said cost concerns can be overblown and have to be balanced against the cost of not actively dealing with discrimination complaints.

“If you can repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' at the federal level, you ought to at least be able to protect people's jobs and housing in the state of Pennsylvania,” Mr. Glassman said.

I wonder if Tom Corbett will keep Stephen Glassman as chair?  That will be telling. 

I'm glad the discussion isn't around marriage.  We have to use building blocks.  We need to look inward at Western PA and focus on elections as well as hold our current electeds to some standard of doing something.  It is not 2009. We need to move on and see something happening. 

I'm going to go watch some lady slather honey on a ham. 


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