On Thursday, the Sharpsburg Borough Council voted down a proposed ordinance to form a Human Relations Commission and add protections for LGBTQ residents from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The measure failed by a vote of 4 to 3. Council Members Jonathan Jaso, Karen Pilarski-Pastor, Joe Simbari, and Gregory Domian voted against the bill
The Steel City Stonewall Democrats, the region’s largest and most active LGBTQ political organization issued the following statement:
“”As of this month, 59 municipalities in Pennsylvania have LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinances on the books. And we’re proud to have supported and been involved in the passage of many of those in western PA.
Yesterday, Sharpsburg’s Council had the opportunity to join that list. Unfortunately, the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance failed to pass when presented for a vote — with council members Gregory Domain, Jonathan Jaso, Karen Pilarski-Pastor and Joe Simbari voting against it.
We offer our sincerest gratitude to council members Adrienne Laing, Brittany Reno, Brad Truman for supporting the legislation, as well as Mayor Matthew Rudzki.
Despite the progress we’ve made, there is still no comprehensive law banning LGBTQ+ discrimination at the state or federal level,” the statement continued. “Absent this, we rely on our local governments to send a clear signal that all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation are free to live their lives without fear of harassment or violence.
Sharpsburg’s Council failed to meet that basic obligation. It’s our hope that members who voted against the ordinance will reconsider and commit to its immediate passage. We have full confidence that if they’re unable to recognize this failure in leadership, the people of Sharpsburg will make it clear in next year’s elections — and we will stand behind them in that effort.
The Board of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats”