Haverford Township Votes to Table Special Rights Ordinance
(Philadelphia) – The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide traditional values group, praised Monday’s 5-4 vote in Haverford Township to table Ordinance No. P24-2010, the so-called anti-discrimination ordinance which would include ‘sexual orientation and gender identity or expression’ language and affect employment, housing, commercial property and public accommodation. Additionally, it would form a local human relations commission. Earlier on Monday the AFA of PA had once again e-mailed each of the Commissioners outlining reasons why the proposed ordinance was not necessary and giving real world examples of what has happened in other places where such ordinances have passed.
“Many of the Commissioners were asking honest questions about the real purpose of this ordinance and the costs involved in its passage. Back in August Doylestown passed a similar ordinance not fully understanding the costs. Stephen Glassman, chairman of the PA Human Relations Commission had estimated Doylestown costs at between $20,000 and $60,000 per year. That’s quite a bit of difference for any municipality seeking to balance a budget,” noted Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.
Last month Lancaster County voted to disband its Human Relations Commission (HRC) because it was costing the county $470,000 per year. The City of York is also questioning the amount of money spent on its HRC. In 2009 that commission dealt with 22 complaints, yet it cost the city over $200,000 that year. In 2010, which does not have statistics currently available, the budget allocated $260,000 for the York Human Relations Commission which included the salaries for two full time employees. The proposed 2011 city budget cuts the HRC back to $150,000.
“During Monday night’s meeting Commissioner Holmes once again tried to capitalize on the suicides of students who identify as homosexual. As the AFA of PA has pointed out numerous times, most recently in Monday’s e-mail to the Haverford Township Commissioners, it is wrong to use these families’ tragedies to further one’s personal agenda. There are over 33,000 suicides in this country per year and each one tears at a family’s heart, but to highlight a few and drag their loved ones tragic decision into the limelight is wrong,” Gramley said.
In Monday’s e-mail to Commissioners, the AFA of PA also pointed out that according to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission 29 bias related incidents based on gay/lesbian occurred throughout Pennsylvania in 2008-2009. That was out of a total of 374 statewide.
The Haverford Township Commissioners must now allow this misguided ordinance to die. That would be the best decision for the entire township.
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