Saturday, November 24, 2007

South Bend HRO Coming Back

Charlotte Pfeifer is using the remaining days left in her term as a member of the South Bend Common Council to pass a Human Rights Ordianance which will prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. The HRO narrowly lost last year after the religious right mounted a bigoted disinformation campaign to defeat it. One of the HRO's opponents, Juan Manigault, ran against Mayor Stephen Luecke, an HRO backer, and was resoundingly defeated by South Bend voters despite Manigault's strong backing from the religious right.

Pfeiffer tells the South Bend Tribune she wants to pass the HRO to honor the late Roland Kelly, an HRO backer and former member of the common council who died in May. Pfeifer tells the Tribune:

"We came so close to passing it and doing the moral and decent thing," said Pfeifer, whose term expires at year's end. "I thought I'd give the council a chance to right the wrong they did last year."

She noted it was Kelly's "number one regret" when the amendment did not pass. "It profoundly and deeply hurt Roland at the time," recalled Pfeifer, who added the late councilman did not believe in discriminating against anyone.

"If we really want to pay tribute to (Kelly) and respect him the way we say we do, we do not want the city to discriminate against anyone," Pfeifer added.

"It clearly was very important to him," Randy Kelly said of his father. "It was the one thing he mentioned in his retirement interview (with The Tribune) that he wanted to accomplish before the end of his term."

Catherine Pittman of South Bend Equality tells the Tribune supporters will keep bringing the HRO back until it is eventually passed. "There is a group of citizens in the community not protected from discrimination and a lot of individuals are concerned about it," Pittman said. She notes that the "sky is falling" rhetoric espoused by opponents of Indianapolis' HRO never materialized. "In Indianapolis, after two years with the ordinance, Pittman said there have been no lawsuits challenging it and no more than five reports of discrimination per year." "Most were resolved with mediation."

The leader of the opposition, Patrick Mangan, offers up his predictable bigoted rhetoric. "We're still exactly in the same place," he said. "We are lovingly opposing the homosexuals as it is put forward by the ordinance."We believe anyone who really loves homosexuals will oppose their behavior," Mangan added, "and help them come out of homosexuality. The truth is it's a dangerous, addictive, deadly lifestyle." "He maintains most violence against homosexuals is from their partners, not from the general public." "Citing homosexuality as a behavior-based identity, Mangan does not see that in the same light for defining discrimination as a racial identity someone is born with." Thanks for sharing, Patrick. You're a real riot.


Wilson46201 said...

Since religious affiliation is definitely a personal choice and not genetic, can we assume the HRO opponents would quickly approve the deletion of any and all special rights and protections extended against religious persecution?

Anonymous said...

I would wager that this will go down to defeat again, if the South Bend Equality folks don't do the following:

1) know their council members -- they should have been workin on those campaigns.. earning chits, etc.

2) be able to count on the right number of votes PRIOR to the meeting

3) avoid engaging on the religious question... you can never win if you allow the debate -- last times hours long and heated -- to veer from the civil rights aspects

4) get at least some substantial support from local known Catholics-- the nature of the beast up there

5) begin to realize that bringing stuff like this back over and over without changing your tactics and behind the scenes work is just futile.. like SJR7 will be hopefully one day..

Anonymous said...

Yep. Patrick Mangan is a real riot. This is the same man who made the Chippendales wear T-shirts when they performed in South Bend. The man has some serious issues.

Personally, I'm really getting tired of these hypocrites making money off of my family.

Of course, the irony of Patrick signing all of his letters "In Him" is just plain amusing.