Donna Pandori

Human Rights Ordinance - South Bend and Goshen

Filed By Donna Pandori | June 03, 2009 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
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Just received this in my inbox from Indiana Equality:

Efforts are currently underway to seek an amendment to local Human Rights Ordinances in Goshen and South Bend to include LGBT civil rights so that they are protected in employment and housing. Indiana Equality is working with local individuals and organizations in these communities to gain support for the amendment.

There will be a community meeting in Goshen on Monday, June 8th at 7pm at Kelly Jae's Café, located downtown at 133 S. Main Street. If you are interested in learning more or would like to get involved, please RSVP to Dino Sierp at dino@indianaequality.org or Michelle Marquis at michelle@artistryofpresence.com.

If you would like to get involved in South Bend's HRO amendment, South Bend Equality holds their meetings the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:30PM. Meetings take place at the First Unitarian Church at the corner of Michigan Street and North Shore Drive. For further information, please contact Catherine Pittman at cpittman@saintmarys.edu.

This will be South Bend's second attempt at adding LGBT civil rights to their Human Rights Ordinance. In 2006, the council held several public hearings on the proposed amendment over a two-month period. The amendment was defeated in a 5-4 vote. Very close.

It will be interesting to see how long it's going to take for the fundies to kick in their efforts to try and stop these amendments. If they come armed with the same rhetoric and lies they used the last time they may be unpleasantly surprised.

Rhonda Redman had a really good post up over at South Bend Equality recently, Wonder Why? It was in response to an article, College students fight for gay and lesbian rights in South Bend, posted on the WNDU website. Here's an exceprt:

If you have any question as to why South Bend needs to add protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to its Human Rights Ordinance, read the following comments from the wndu website and consider that the people leaving these comments are possibly our neighbors, employers, teachers, etc. They clearly demonstrate why protection is needed on this basis. . .

What followed were highlights of some pretty scary comments left in response to WNDU's article, heres' just a sample:

They should be out assisting the needy instead of promoting their sick values.

Just a remminder to the city council, you are in a conservative midwestern state that has strong beliefs. We elected you, we can fire you.

They can do as they wish with their meetings, but it seems to me that there are more important issues than whining about the fact that most of us straight people view their acts as sick and disgusting!

Michael Jackson likes young kids. Should the city council enshrine his right to be with young kids?

SICK SICK SICK. Totally unatural..and wrong. Quit wasting the councils time. Seek attention elsewhere

These groups are fighting for basic human rights that are being denied to the LGBT community. Any support you can lend II'm sure will be greatly appreciated.


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I was working for IE's lobbyist during the last HRO battle in South Bend and I was there when the final vote was passed and the ordinance failed. I drove a Republican and Democrat Indy City-County Councilor up to South Bend to speak to their councilors as well. However, other than the roadtrip(s), there wasn't really much "help" offered by IE. I'd be interested in knowing if you've seen them doing anything other than sending out e-mail blasts and a "planning meeting." (We also held one before the SB vote last time, but very few people showed up and the lobbyists made fun of those who did on the ride back to Indy.)

Donna Pandori Donna Pandori | June 3, 2009 11:16 AM

I'm not aware of anything strategic IE has been doing. This is a good queston that I will follow up on. I do know that South Bend Equality has been doing A LOT of strategic footwork this time. They are more focused and organized in their efforts. We'll see what the opposition brings to the table. Quite frankly I'm surprised they've been silent thus far. This is never good. They are well funded and can quickly mobilize. You know the routine.

Donna Pandori Donna Pandori | June 3, 2009 1:27 PM

I forgot to mention that I believe Robin Black (rdblack2@umail.iu.edu) represents the South Bend region for IE.