Donna Pandori

Breaking: South Bend Mayor To Protect LGBT City Workers

Filed By Donna Pandori | June 24, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics

From WSBT Newstalk

South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke is issuing his first Executive Order and it will prohibit discrimination against city employees who are gay, bisexual or transgender.

The mayor says the new personnel policy book will include language against bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity for city employees or prospective workers.

Luecke says it is similar to actions taken by other municipalities and businesses and is an issue of fairness for city workers.

In an email to council members, Luecke says he realizes this topic has been a difficult one for Council members and was rejected adding similar language to the Human Rights ordinance.

The mayor says he believe it is important to include these protections as a principle of City employment.

Anyone who was around when the amendment to include similar protections in the city's Human Rights Ordinance was debated knows this is a huge deal for South Bend. The HRO amendment was heavily fought by the conservative religious right who used scare tactics, lies, and rhetoric to defeat it. It will be interesting to see the reaction this brings from that fringe community.

Efforts are also currently underway again to get the HRO amendment passed. Now that Mayor Luecke has taken a leadership role in this area perhaps the common council will follow suit? T

he longer this executive order is in place the better it will be for garnering support for the amendment. The public will see the scare tactics, lies, and rhetoric spread by opponents for what they are - bigotry and discrimination.

If any council members were looking for a reason to vote yes on the HRO amendment, you now have a reason to do so. Follow the leadership of Mayor Luecke.

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Ayn Elise | June 24, 2009 8:31 PM

Wow. Of all the nights I don't watch the news.
Totally agree, Donna, for South Bend this is huge.

I was around for the first round, and I have to admit that I felt so under-whelmed that I couldn't get off my butt and do something for myself.

And please consider this before some say " not for me, too." We have had nothing to date. And we have to get some thing to get any thing. So, I am going to attempt to get all that I know to send in their show of support for fairness. Rest assured, there will be some complaining and posturing over this.