This morning I caught part of a local newscast on the radio and heard that Newark, a fairly small town in Ohio, will be adding protection against discrimination for LGBT folks to their existing laws that prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and other areas. The city council voted on it last night and I heard a brief interview with a councilman in which he said the events in Orlando at least partly inspired their decision.
I do not believe that good must come
from tragedy. Good begets good, you know? Tragedy begets pain, sorrow,
and suffering. But it helps if we can find some meaning in a great
loss, and if some good can come from this, then let it come. Let our
tears of sorrow water seeds of hope. We reap what we sow, but we do not
have to reap what one gunman tried to sow in Orlando. Let's sow
something else. Let's sow love and peace and acceptance where he tried
to plant hate.
I have decided to contact my landlord, which is
actually a fairly large property management company, and ask them to
develop a written policy against discrimination against LGBT tenants,
because they do not currently have one. They comply with the Fair
Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination against people on the basis
of race, religion, disability, etc. But does not include sexual
orientation or gender identity.
So in addition, I plan to contact HUD
and ask them why the FHA doesn't include that.
What are you going to do? It
can be something little. Like saying "Hey, that's not OK" the next
time you hear a gay joke. Or it can be as big as writing President
Obama telling him we need federal laws protecting LGBT people from
discrimination. It isn't so much what we do that
matters, sometimes, but that we do something.
We need to mourn
for the dead. And we need to acknowledge that we fear for our own
safety. But after the tears, we need to act. Action is what fights
fear. And of course, it is what brings change.
So do something. This is the time to act.
And reply to let me know what you're going to do. I really want to know.