The Steel City Stonewall Democrats wishes to express our profound disappointment in the statement made by Senator John Eichelberger on Friday, June 19, 2009 during his debate on WHYY with Senator Daylin Leach. In that debate Senator Eichelberger made the statement (in reference to a question by Senator Leach about whether Pennsylvania policy regarding same-sex marriage should be about punishing the gay community) that Gay people were not being punished and that “we are allowing them to exist and do what every American can do…”
This statement is very hurtful because no minority group needs permission to exist. LGBT community members are important participants in the fabric and culture ofPennsylvania. It is difficult enough to listen to hurtful language about our civil rights but discussions about our right to exist are beyond the pale of civil political discourse and unacceptable from any elected leader.
We call upon leaders of both parties to repudiate this statement and request that Senator Eichelberger apologize to the LGBT men, women and children of Pennsylvania.
Steel-city Stonewall Democrats is a voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Democrats in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We endorse and recommend candidates for public office, sponsor events and try to foster progressive change throughout the community.