Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Ron Gibson Opposes HRO On Moral Grounds
Ron Gibson is serving his second term as an at-large member of the Indianapolis City-County Council. An African-American who was raised by a single parent mother who died when he was only 16, he went on to graduate high school, serve in the U.S. Navy and graduate from college. He is employed by the Charter School Association of Indiana. According to his biographical statement on the IndyGov.org website, which he wrote, he "believes strongly that his calling in life is to serve people who have little to no say at all. He is an honorable, honest, compassionate, personable man of high spiritual values." He states, "It's not about our position in life, but the role we take with our fellow man. With God and a unified force, we can start to rebuild families and communities."
Ron Gibson was also one of five Democratic councilors who voted against Proposal 68, which would have barred discrimination in housing and employment based on a person's sexual orientation or identity. With the HRO four votes short of the magical fifteen number required for passage, its supporters are engaged in an intense effort to find the four votes needed for passage. Many supporters have placed a lot of hope on winning over Gibson's vote. Advance Indiana's Editor Gary R. Welsh has e-mailed Gibson on several occasions seeking his views on the HRO. Gibson has so far not responded.
Advance Indiana has viewed an e-mail that Gibson sent to Kevin Fyfe shortly after he voted against Proposal 68 in April in which he says he voted as a matter of conscience against the HRO, which he found "morally tough" for him. Gibson said he felt "strongly that every one should be protected", but that "Indianapolis ha[d] not had any complaints filed relating to sexual orientation/gender orientation." He, of course, omits the fact that the City doesn't currently have subject matter jurisdiction to hear such complaints. Why would anyone bother filing a complaint that cannot be heard? Why does he think the HRO is being proposed? The full text of the e-mail Gibson wrote to Kevin Fyfe dated May 3, 2005 is as follows:
Thank you for your e-mail. First, I feel strongly that every one should be protected.
However, Indianapolis has not had any complaints filed relating to sexual orientation/gender identity. In addition, this proposed ordinance was morally tough for me. I voted my convictions. However, I am willing to keep an open mind.
Councilman Ron Gibson
Now to be fair, Gibson is not alone in citing moral or religious reasons for voting against the HRO. Council member Virginia Cain could not have been more clear on that point as Advance Indiana discussed in an earlier story entitled, "Who's Afraid Of Virigina Cain?" And as we have previously discussed, Council member Patrice Abdullah, whose district has the largest population of gays and lesbians, attributed his religious beliefs for his vote against the HRO. Abdullah is a practicing Muslim. So far both Abdullah and Cain have shown a complete close-minded view towards the issue, but we take Gibson at his word that he will "keep an open mind" as he told Kevin Fyfe. After all, he is "an honorable, honest, compassionate, personable man" as he tells us. If you would like to contact Ron Gibson to express your views, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully, you will do better getting a reply than Advance Indiana.