Pittsburgh, that far-off forgotten outpost …

MEI_infographicI guess maybe it’s a good thing that City of Pittsburgh employees still can’t read this blog, because we were snubbed recently by Human Rights Campaign.

(Or maybe Pittsburgh was snubbed because employees can’t look at pghlesbian.com? Hmmm. Ve-r-r-r-y interesting.)

I hadn’t heard about this until today, when someone linked to HRC’s first-ever rating system for scoring whether or not municipalities offer LGBTQ protections.

In HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, released in late November, Pennsylvania’s three representative cities are Philadelphia, Harrisburg and … New Hope Borough, Bucks County.

New Hope? Really?

And nothing west of Harrisburg?

No Johnstown, no Erie, no State College, no Pittsburgh?

Well, I mean, everyone knows Pennsylvania is just Philadelphia and its suburbs anyway, right? Much like Niagara Falls is just a short subway ride from the Bronx. (I think you take the 5 train and in Eastchester, ask for a transfer.)

C’mon, HRC, you can do better than this!

Why New Hope (population 2,528)? Well, Wikipedia helpfully tells me New Hope “grew to become a popular gay resort in the 1950s and today New Hope still has an active and large gay community.”

OK, fine, I can dig it. But you know where else has an active and large gay community? Pittsburgh. In fact, if 3 to 5 percent of Pittsburgh’s population is gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer or otherwise non-conforming, guess what? We have more LGBTQ people here than everyone in New Hope Borough combined.

No offense to New Hope. But c’mon, 10 times as many people live just in Squirrel Hill as in New Hope! Feh! Double feh! Triple feh!

HRC says its criteria included all 50 state capitals (which accounts for Harrisburg), America’s 50 largest cities (which includes Philadelphia … Pittsburgh sans Allegheny County only ranks No. 61) and places with large percentages of same-sex couples (New Hope). But those are hardly three representative cities for all of Pennsylvania.

Hey, HRC, next time, how widening your criteria and looking beyond Philadelphia and its suburbs? I know other cities in Pennsylvania have protections for LGBTQ residents. Why, from your own website, I see Allentown, Bethlehem, Doylestown, Easton, Pittsburgh (ta-da!) and Scranton all have non-discrimination ordinances. Erie County also makes your list.

Allegheny County also has a non-discrimination ordinance, but it’s not on your list … oh, wait, there it is! You have Allegheny County under … under … “California”?!

Calif- …?! What … ?! What exactly is your problem with Western Pennsylvania, HRC? Were you frightened by Mister Rogers?

May Andy Warhol’s wig clog up your bathtub drain!


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