Allentown Wants to Give Benefits to Homosexual Couples and Raise Taxes by 40 Percent
(Harrisburg) – Allentown, Pennsylvania’s third largest city, is facing financial woes because of pension fund pay outs. An October 25, 2009 Allentown Morning Call article issued the same warning, “a panel of outside experts sounded the alarm, describing Allentown’s fiscal situation as unsustainable and calling for dramatic action.” This year Mayor Ed Pawlowski has proposed a 40 % earned income tax increase to address the problem. Yet on October 6th an amendment to the Personnel Code was introduced which would extend “health and other employment benefits to employees and retirees with domestic partners as it provides to employees and retirees with spouses.” City Council Vice President Michael Donovan has confirmed no financial impact study has been done.
The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide traditional values group, questions the priorities and economic reason of Allentown’s Mayor and City Council.
“Allentown already faces a budget shortfall, yet they are working to make the shortfall even greater by extending domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples. Taxing the citizens of Allentown to pay for this politically correct move is wrong,” commented Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.
Allentown’s efforts will equate same-sex domestic partnerships with marriage. This is the wrong direction for the city to take. Yet, it is a natural next step after the 2002 passage of the city’s human relations ordinance which included ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ language. This passage occurred after ignoring the unified voices of concerned citizens and then City Council members David Bausch and Louis Hershman. To further hamper their efforts a majority of the 2002 City Council ‘changed the rules’ during the citizens’ efforts to force a referendum on the November 2002 ballot.
“In 2003 Allentown’s homosexual/transgender-friendly ordinance was used by Teamsters Union local 773 based in Allentown to force the Carbon County Prison to reinstate a male guard who suddenly decided he was female. In 2004 the ordinance forced St. Luke’s Hospital-Allentown, to settle with Dr. Gary Greenberg, a podiatrist who also decided he was a female and had informed the hospital he would start coming to work dressed the role. Now in 2010 the ordinance will be used to force the citizens of Allentown to pay for domestic partner benefits for homosexuals. This is wrong and will only increase Allentown’s problems not solve any,” Gramley noted.
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