Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Betrayal in Butler -- Call for Rally on Oct. 27!

from PFLAG Butler - Oct. 26, 2011:

As you may or may not know, PFLAG of Butler County Pennsylvania has been working quietly with Mayor Stock and Butler City Council to create a HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION in the City of Butler. We have been at work on this since last year.

In September the City Council voted to approve the first reading of this ordinance and they voted unanimously to do so. The next step was for a second and final reading of the ordinance at the October meeting (tomorrow night) with a vote to enact it. If there were no objections then the ordinance would be law. All that changed today.

We received an email from the Mayor telling us that the bill would not pass because of the objections of some council members (there are a total of 4 members on the council). We had been in constant communication with the mayor to see if she had received any objections from anyone. We were assured that all was well -- until today -- the day BEFORE the final vote.

If they vote on it tomorrow night then the issue and our effort will be dead. Once a bill has been disapproved chances for a rematch are slim to none. We are strongly encouraging the Mayor and Council to NOT vote but to shelve the idea so that we can address the issues with them.

To make matters worse an article appeared in the Butler Eagle this evening which misrepresented the intentions of the Human Rights Commission. Council member Bratkovich and the City Attorney Coulter told untruths about the commission and its important work. They took this issue to the public after they asked us not to do the same. We feel betrayed and are quite angry at the treatment we have received.

We have no choice now but to go public, go big and bring the issue to them in a new and more aggressive way. That’s why the officers and board of Butler County PFLAG, in a meeting this evening, decided to call a RALLY together before the meeting tomorrow evening.

This is the first step in a strategy we have developed to bring this effort to the public and let everyone know what it is EXACTLY that we are asking.

All marginalized groups, i.e. mental and physically handicapped, the elderly, veterans, as well as sexual and gender minorities, would have been protected by the commission whose main task would be to mediate complaints of discrimination and render decisions to empower those who are oppressed to take their causes to the courts. The Commission, like all commissions in Butler, would be totally volunteer and requires no budget.

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday October 27, at 6PM at the City Building for a show of strength and support around this important issue. Is Butler a place where discrimination is given free reign? Is Butler a place where people who are vulnerable are powerless to confront their persecutors?

Please consider showing your support by being there! If you bring signs please make your slogans be about JUSTICE and EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW UNDER THE US CONSTITUTION! Be positive about our aim. We don’t wish to give any media coverage the chance to call us names or to further misrepresent out intentions.

In addition, contact the council members individually. Flood their emails and phones. Their contact information is found HERE.

The Council members are Bratkovich, Reese, Kline and Schontz. Let them and Mayor Stock know how you feel.

You will receive any updates via email and on this Facebook page throughout the day on Thursday. We’ll be in touch. Can we count on you?

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