Reading City Council passed a new LGBT inclusive non discrimination ordinance by a vote of 6-1 this evening. It protects gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders from bigotry based on gender identity or expression. Voting for the bill were sponsor Maria Baez, Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz, Councilmen Dennis Sterner, Jeff Waltman, Stratton Marmarou and Council President Vaughn Spencer. Only reactionary Republican Councilman Steve Fuhs spoke and voted against the community.
Fuhs always speaks from ignorance on these issues. Tonight he claimed, repeatedly, that sexual orientation is a choice. I’ve never met any LGBT person who chose their orientation. I know I didn’t and I challenge Mr. Fuhs to tell me he consciously chose his to be a heterosexual. Choices are very different, perhaps such as choosing to ignore Pennsylvania campaign finance law or choosing to misquote statistics on universal health care in Canada.
We thank the six Council members and Mayor Tom McMahon for their support of our community on this important issue. Reading becomes the 16th community in Pennsylvania to add non discrimination protection to our community. Now it is up to the state legislature to protect ALL Pennsylvanians from housing, employment and public accommodations discrimination. None of us are free until all of us are free.