Supporters of non-discrimination ordinance gather with clergy in Lewisburg
LEWISBURG, UNION COUNTY (WOLF-TV) —
At a noon-time gathering in front of the Union County Courthouse Friday, supporters of a non-discrimination ordinance in Lewisburg gathered to spread their message.
As it stands now, state law doesn't protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
So instead, nearly 50 municipalities across Pennsylvania have taken matters into their own hands and passed ordinances similar to the one in Lewisburg.
"It will focus on fair housing, that you can't be thrown out of your house for being queer, that you cannot be thrown out of your work for being queer. Just like everybody else, it will depend on your abilities,” Rev. Ann Keeler Evans, a Unitarian Universalist Minister, said.
"I know of other people who have experienced discrimination and its undeniable that discrimination happens. Just because we don't hear of it, doesn't mean it's not happening. So, it's really important to show our support for individuals who need it,” supporter Jacob Feuerstein said.
Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer came home early from New York City to be at today's event.
"There are a lot of things going on right now that involve a degradation of human life and it's important for us who are here to be together and stand up for that and to make that statement together,” Rabbi Glazer said.
However, not everyone agrees with the ordinance, including PA Family Council, which says freedom here in Lewisburg now lies in the balance.
In a statement to FOX56... the PA Family Institute calls the discussion in Lewisburg "valuable and that every one of its residents should be treated well."
However, it goes on to state that while laws have well-meaning they've "been used elsewhere to punish good people based on what they believe about marriage."
"They have the right to protest this. But there is a cost that is involved with the practice of our faith and that's hard and it's just. That's who we are. If we believe something, then we need to be willing to go to the mats for it,” Rev. Keeler Evans said.
Lewisburg Borough Council could vote on the ordinance as early as August.
If passed, it could go into effect this fall.