News Release
For Immediate Release:  October 11, 2011
Contact:  Diane Gramley  1.814.271-9078 or 1.814.437.5355

Will Newtown Borough Answer Our Questions or Ignore the Concerns?

(Philadelphia) — Today the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide traditional values group, contacted each member of the Newtown Borough Council asking them several pointed questions prior to the vote on the so-called anti-discrimination ordinance tonight .  Thus far there has been no response from council members nor a reaction to the examples sent last month of negative impact in other places where  similar ordinances passed.

“It is quite apparent that the Newtown Borough Council is trying to steam roll this ordinance through without regard to the citizens or business owners in the borough.  They have ignored concerns that have been registered against the ordinance,” commented Diane Gramley, President of the AFA of PA.

In addition to resending the Council members the examples of businesses being fined, facing eviction and paying thousands in legal fees to prevent a male employee from using the women’s restroom, the AFA of PA also included more questions for the council to ponder.   Those questions included:

1.)  How can you tell if someone is homosexual or bisexual?

2.)  Where are the real stories of discrimination against homosexuals, bisexuals or transgenders? (Not stories from ten years ago or that someone heard a comment in a restaurant or on the street)

3.)  If there have been no complaints, why is this ordinance necessary?

4.)  What does the real battle for civil rights look like?  African Americans were fighting for the right to vote, to sit anywhere on the bus they wanted, eat at any restaurant or drink from any water fountain they wanted.  Homosexuals, bisexuals have not experienced such discrimination.

Today’s communication with the Newtown Borough Council members included information that was ignored during their August meeting.  During that meeting Council President Wolford read an email from a New Hope Borough Council member who encouraged them to pass a so-called anti-discrimination ordinance.  It insinuated that the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs was encouraging boroughs to pass ordinances with sexual orientation and gender identity.   A little investigation discovered this is what it actually says:

Resolution 2011-02

BE IT RESOLVED, that PSAB support the passage of legislation which amends (Act 222 of 1955 Pa Human Relations Act) dealing with practices of discrimination because of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age or national origin by employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, etc., as defined and seek to include “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression” in the protections encompassed by the Act.

“The email from New Hope was very misleading because it makes it appear the PSAB is behind this push and they are not.   It is simply another resolution urging the legislators in Harrisburg to pass a state wide law amending the PA Human Relations Act to include “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression,” Gramley noted.

“During a recent council meeting, Councilman Mike Sellers said the town was created by William Penn, who he said was one of the more tolerant of our ancestors .   He went further and said this very much is in “keeping with the spirit” of the town’s past.  This statement is an insult to William Penn’s legacy!  In William Penn’s Pennsylvania and until the mid 1990s sodomy was illegal,”  Gramley added.

If they cannot answer the questions posed by the AFA of PA or consider that the negative examples may happen in Newtown Borough, then apparently they are more interested in simply passing an ordinance just to be passing it and don’t care about the real world consequences.

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