|To the Editor: BG council urged to ban discrimination|
|Written by Marcy St. John|
|Wednesday, 22 July 2009 08:49|
Scenario #1: You and a high school pal have come to BGSU from a small Ohio town. You rent an apartment in the city. In November, right before finals, your landlord breaks your lease and you have no fall-back options. Reason: Your landlord rents only to gay couples and has learned that you and your roommate are just buddies, not partners. You have no recourse and no place to live.
Scenario #2: You get a job in a graphic arts company in Bowling Green. You're doing good work, and your supervisor is pleased. One day you get called into the owner's office and you are fired. Your boss prefers to hire only gays and lesbians, since he himself is gay, but you are heterosexual. You have no recourse and no job.
Scenario #3: You're at a restaurant celebrating your birthday with a group of friends and one of the guys gives his girlfriend a big hug and a smooch. The maître d' comes over and asks them to leave, because the restaurant does not tolerate public displays of affection by opposite sex couples. You now have no recourse and no party.
Now, reverse the designated sexual orientations in the above scenarios: a gay couple is denied housing, a homosexual employee is fired, and a same-sex couple is kicked out. All of these revised situations are entirely legal in Bowling Green. They are also entirely antithetical to our values of equality and fairness.
These are not necessarily situations involving morality; many faith and spiritual traditions do not find homosexuality to be in opposition to religious beliefs. These situations do, however, deny dignity and equality to a designated group of persons who pose no threat to the common good.
My Christian belief in the rule of love of neighbor and my belief in the American tradition of the rule of law tell me that now is the time for change.
Now is the time for Bowling Green City Council to pass ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment, public education, and public accommodation for all our citizens.
This city already extends such protection to its own employees, as does BGSU. Failure to expand this protection to all citizens is unconscionable. I respectfully urge the council to pass the pending ordinances on these protections.
Marcy St. John
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