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Goshen Embraces Discrimination Against Gays

The Goshen City Council has voted down an amendment to it’s current anti-discrimination policy. The amendment would have added a prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

I have to admit that I was surprised that a small Northern Indiana town would make such a profound move as protecting their LGBT community from discrimination. What wasn’t much of a surprise was the backlash, hateful comments and the same-old-same-old Christian Right arguments against it. What absolutely floored me was the fact that one of the amendments sponsors, Councilman Chic Lantz, ended up voting against it! WTF?

Lantz changed his mind out of fear of possible legal action against the city.

“I don’t want Goshen to have to go through that,” said Lantz.

So, you want to offer protection to minorities in your district… as long as they don’t actually expect the protection or go through the proper channels when they are “harmed”? Are you an idiot? Really? People actually elected this guy to something other than the “Indiana Association of Nimrods”?

Here’s something for you to chew on Councilman Lantz, if you’re not busy matching your left socks with the right ones… Pass the amendment. Then make sure the city of Goshen embraces the ideas behind the amendment. If city offices, agents and employees are acting with the spirit of inclusion, acceptance and community…. you should have no worries of lawsuits.

Of the 150 or so people that took part in the debate most were against the amendment. Not for the same reason as Lantz… Surprise surprise… It’s because of their moral objection to protecting us evil doers.

“By its very nature, homosexual actions are intrinsically evil,” said resident Robert Roeder. “This is not to say that all homosexuals are evil. We all suffer temptation.”

“What about our rights as Christians? Why do we always have to take the back seat?” asked resident Lisa Drapeza. “Always push us back, push us back. What has this world come to?”

Well folks, why should your rights be protected and not the other guy? What the hell makes you so damn special. Every time I hear this argument I wont to ask them to leave the country, since they hate the ideas of individual freedom and religious separation. You know, the building blocks of our country?

You can still worship, pray, keep me and everyone you don’t like out of your church. What we are saying here is… The government shall not discriminate or barre any citizen from equal protection under the law. I can’t wait for the day when these people are the SEVER minority. Then they’ll see what it’s really like having NO RIGHTS.

There were a handful of supporters for the amendment. Just a handful though. Next time this is going on, we GLBT Hoosiers need to travel and pack these halls.

“People make assumptions about my character before they learn my name,” said resident Beth Beck. “I ask not that you support a lifestyle or even agree, I merely ask that you support people who are trying to get by when unemployment is at an all-time high and morale is at an all-time low. We are all still human and we all still deserve an equal chance.”

“The communities which are thriving and growing are those that are welcoming to minorities and various sexual orientations and women,” said resident Gina Liechty.

Councilman Jeremy Stutsman, the other sponsor, said he plans to bring this topic up for discussion again in the near future. I only hope it’s not twenty years from now.

I could not get a comment from any of the Goshen City Council members. They seemed to be avoiding me like the plague. Not sure if it was my cologne or the fact their comment would appear on this gay blog. So, if you live in or near Goshen… You should encourage your City Council to speak with me. I promise to be fair…ish 😉

About Bad Evan

I am the one and only...Bad Evan.

4 comments

  1. Just a few corrections. Goshen, Indiana is in northern Indiana – not southern. Also, the majority of those from Goshen who spoke were in favor of the ammendment. Yes, there was lots of opposition (and in not so kind terms), but the majority from Goshen who spoke, spoke in favor of anti-discrimination.

    But there was a large out of town contigent brought in to fight this battle – and they were overwhelmingly against the ammendment. So that may have skewed the feeling of the meeting. When the out of towners were allowed to speak at the end, nearly all of them spoke against the ammendment.

    Goshen’s come a long way to even propose this ammendment! The battle’s not over yet. The LBGT has a lot of people in Goshen who will fight for their rights. Unfortunately, there happens to be a good contingent that prefers to discriminate against them as well. I just don’t want everyone, from reading your article, to come away believing there wasn’t a majority at that meeting (from Goshen) supporting the ammendment.

  2. Hi Kimber,

    I meant to fix that error in calling Goshen a Southern Indiana city. Sorry about that. I’ll fix it now 😉

    Now remember, I am a lgbt rights activist… so bare that in mind when I say this. My source for this story noticed, during the meeting, that there were a lot of out of towners. Being the good source that she is, asked them way they cared what happened in Goshen. So gave the normal… cause God would want me to stop this. But a large number of them were connected to Goshen in some way. Either they work in Goshen or have a business there… Something that makes Goshen a “second home” for them.

    I can respect and understand that. I even applaud them for taking part of the process. Even though I don’t agree with their opinion. Just because they are not residents, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t speak up. They too are a part of Goshen. Granted they don’t get a huge say in the matter… as it should be.

    The second thing is, after speaking again with my source and with others that were there for the entire meeting… I can agree that the out of towners were the largest ‘voice’. But saying that the majority of the residents were in favor of the amendment just doesn’t sound right. My sources said that a major majority of those that called them selves “resident” were in fact against the amendment.

    Not to forget the many calls and emails that were recieved against the amendment by the Goshen City Council. The people stood and spoke. Then spoke again through their elected leadership.

    So to your fear that people, from reading this article, will believe there was not majority support for the amendment… Well… there wasn’t. At least from the 7 people that I have been in contact with on this issue over the past few weeks.

    I do have to admit that Goshen has made some major steps in the past 10 years. But there is a long long way to go.

    I would like to extend my hand and support to the LGBT community of Goshen and it’s neighbors. If I can help anyone there advance the cause of equality and justice… simply let me know and I’ll be there. I’ll come with volunteers to hand out brochures, help plan town meetings or rallies. What ever you need and when ever you need it.

    Much Love,
    BadEvan

  3. There were council members there who counted how many from Goshen spoke FOR the ammendment and how many spoke AGAINST the ammendment. According to the council members who counted (they announced it at the end of the meeting), the majority from Goshen who spoke, spoke in favor of the ammendment. I’m not sure if your sources were there to the very end and heard that bit.

    The numbers were close – but still, of those from Goshen who spoke, the majority were in favor of the ammendment – at least that is what was announced at the meeting, and it seems about right to me. (Sadly, the council members didn’t fall in line with the voice of the Goshen citizens that spoke at the meeting.)

    Our city is definitely divided over this issue, but for a medium sized Hoosier town in the heart of cornfields, there was a surprising amount of support for the amendment. Our city is growing and learning. The amendment’s failure to pass, while sad, seems like it may ultimately lead to better things for our city – bringing movers and shakers together to bring about even more positive change. While the amendment may have failed this time around, it has brought like-minded people together and readied them for action. It’s not the end of this issue.

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