Central PA's LGBT News Source

Call for Middletown's elected officials to take action

Pass ordinance protecting LGBTQ residents

Posted

We are writing in gratitude and speaking to the hesitation regarding the proposed action to protect the rights of the LGBTQ population here in Middletown.

As a married, lesbian couple, who own homes in and reside in Middletown with our children, we are deeply affected by the proposal of protection of our rights … as are our children.

We have faced discrimination and ridicule as a result of our sexual orientation on more than one occasion. We have suffered property damage to one of our homes and one of our vehicles. We have been called derogative and hateful names by people in our community, in a public forum, on more than one occasion. We have even been belittled by a prominent and well-known family within the community in one of the most public forums possible… in front of our children and our friends and our friends’ children.

We have been denied access to local businesses and services as a result of our marriage. We have had to contact the police for protection as a result of the actions of others on more than one occasion.

Not only have we had to do this for ourselves … which is hard enough … but we have had to do this for our children.

That is the hardest part: knowing that our children face open ridicule and torment as a result of the fact that they have two mothers and that without the protection of ordinances and laws there is no safety net to protect them from such words and actions.

As it stands right now, if we were not to own our homes, we could easily be evicted just for being a homosexual couple. Thankfully, we do own two homes in Middletown and would not face this awful truth but it is very much a reality for our friends and neighbors.

As it stands right now, we have been and will continue to be denied basic access to businesses and services within our own community — the community that we have supported and lived in for many years.

As it stands right now, we have no formal protection.

We understand how important cultural and religious views are to everyone. They are just as important to us.

However, we cannot imagine that the community in which we live that our neighbors and friends would want us or anyone like us to face the kind of ridicule and hatred that we have had to face.

Enacting a protection of rights ordinance in the town will not harm anyone. Enacting a protection of rights ordinance in the town can only help those of us who have already faced the very real and very painful actions of others and allow us the same protection that heterosexual couples are afforded in Middletown.

We love Middletown. We are as ingrained in this community as any other couple/family is. One of us has grown up in Middletown from birth. We have raised our children here and have watched them excel and thrive within the outstanding Middletown community/school system.

We believe that this community is, on the whole, a community that bands together to support one another. We believe that this community is, on the whole, a community that promotes love and acceptance.

We have Blue Raider pride just as much so, maybe more so, than our neighbors as we are parents of several of them. However, the ignorance and hurtful words and actions that are bred out of the fear of the unknown or misunderstood is also present in our wonderful town.

A proposed ordinance in Middletown that would ban discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity has not been discussed since 2017. We ask that borough council please consider moving forward with this ordinance.