We need your help to pass a LGBT non-discrimination law in Georgetown. First, make sure you’ve signed our petition. Then, read below about ways you can help:
We’ve had two very good Council meetings, and the city has started thinking about details of an ordinance. At the most recent meeting, the Council heard from Kelly Klaber, whose daughter Brittany Martin suffered housing discrimination last year because she was gay. Kelly lost Brittany last month, but her decision to speak publicly will help save others from discrimination. If you haven’t seen the video, please watch it.
Although we’ve had good Council meetings so far, it won’t be long until we face public opposition, and we need your help to get ready. When it comes, the opposition will push back not at the employment or housing provisions of the ordinance, but the public accommodations section, which says you can’t turn people away from your business just because they’re gay (just like you can’t turn people away from your lunch counter because they’re black). They will say that this violates freedom of religion for business owners who object to homosexuality. We can push back against this in two ways:
1. Letter from Christian Ministers – Many of us in Georgetown Fairness are Christians who do this work because of our faith, not despite it. Not all churches agree that homosexuality is sinful. But more importantly, you don’t have to support gay marriage to support LGBT non-discrimination. Every human being has value and deserves fair treatment because every human being is made in the image of God. If you live in or around Georgetown, please ask your minister—or any other faith leader—if he or she can sign a letter supporting a fairness ordinance for Georgetown. It says that we can disagree about morality but agree that Christian ethics call for fair treatment of all persons. Several denominations have issued guidance that say something like this explicitly: Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian (USA), to name a few.
2. Letter from Businesses – The other thing we can do is gather support from businesses. The economic arguments for fairness are clear and strong: it helps businesses hire and retain the best talent and lets employees know that they will only be judged on the quality of their work. Towns like ours have a brain-drain problem: we’ve heard many times now from gay people who grew up or went to college in Georgetown, but felt they had to move away to live an authentic life. Passing a Fairness Ordinance tells LGBT people that they matter just as much and are just as welcome as anyone else in our community. Simply put, Fairness is good for business, and it may even help grow our local economy: Midway is on the way to doubling the number of local jobs since they passed their ordinance in 2015. Please ask businesses you frequent to sign this business letter to support a fairness ordinance for Georgetown.
I won’t lie: it might be hard to walk into a business or church and start a conversation about Fairness. But once you do, the conversation goes surprisingly well, because even when we disagree about religion or morality, reasonable people agree about non-discrimination. And you can show them this handout, which answers the most common questions about Fairness in Georgetown.
We need your help! Seven or eight of us can’t do it alone, but there are 350+ people on our email list, there are 400+ people who follow our Facebook page, and the video of Kelly speaking to the Council had been viewed 14,000 times when I was writing this. There are LOTS of us who care about non-discrimination in Georgetown, and together we can make this happen.