News Release
For Immediate Release:  August 12, 2020
Contact:  Diane Gramley  1.814.271.9078

Do the Residents of Shippensburg Boro Know What the Council Plans?

(Harrisburg) — Shippensburg Boro in Franklin and Cumberland Counties will be voting on a so-called non-discrimination ordinance on September 1st, but how many of the residents of the borough know this?  How many of the residents of the borough know the full ramifications of the proposed ordinance?  During the July 21st meeting the borough voted to advertise the non-discrimination ordinance, but how well is the borough advertising the proposed ordinance?  These questions are being raised by the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) a statewide advocacy group which contacted the borough back in February about concerns over such an ordinance – concerns which have not been addressed.

“The ordinance is not necessary, nor have the residents of Shippensburg been properly advised as to the ramifications of such an ordinance.  The agenda for July 21st did not mention discussion of a non-discrimination ordinance as an agenda item, but simply noted ‘Discussion on Local Relations Commission’ as item # 6.  The weekly newspaper, The Shippensburg News-Chronicle, had a July 30th  article about the vote to advertise the ordinance and the upcoming final vote on September 1st.  But how can residents easily and conveniently read the entire ordinance.  There are major concerns not only over the ordinance itself, but the apparent lack of transparency on the part of council,” noted Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.

The ordinance would create a Human Relations Commission with a minimum of three members, who do not have to live within the borough – (thus not taxpayers).  Members would be appointed by the Borough Council, but the Commission could, in turn, select up to three non-voting members.  The job of the Commission would be to address complaints filed regarding alleged discrimination.  Therein lies the danger – discrimination goes beyond unchangeable characteristics such as race and ethnicity to include changeable characteristics of ‘sexual orientation” and ‘gender identity.’  Thus the ordinance, in part, extends special protections to some simply based on who they identify as.

It is reported the Council has received one complaint from a Shippensburg University student who identifies as homosexual and who was not able to get the apartment he had hoped to get.   He and a lesbian professor at Shippensburg University testified in favor of the ordinance at the July 21st meeting.  The professor says she does not live in the borough, but is a patron at local restaurants, bars and local businesses, but made no mention of ever being discriminated against.  

These are concerns sent to the Borough Council on February 9th – none of which have been addressed:

  • Employers, even daycares, would be forced to hire homosexuals and transgenders.  How confusing for the children if a male who identifies as a female came to work at the daycare wearing a dress!
  • Employers will be forced to allow men who identify as women to use the women’s bathroom and to use their “preferred pronoun.”  Currently, a Dunkin’ Donuts in Bethlehem (which passed the type ordinance you are considering) is being sued by a former male employee who identifies as a woman because his fellow employees would not call him by his preferred female name and, after complaints from female customers, management refused to allow him to use the women’s restroom.
  • Do you have a public pool located within the boro?  If this ordinance is passed, management would be forced to allow men who identify as women to use the women’s locker/shower facilities!
  • Christian bakers, florists, photographers, etc. within the boro would be sued if they refuse to use their God-given talents to participate in a same-sex wedding.  We’ve seen this played out around the country where such ordinances have been passed. Even though the owners served homosexual customers on other occasions, they could not in good conscience ignore their convictions and take part in something they knew was wrong. 

Why is Borough Council ignoring these issues?

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