Last week, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signed SB101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, into state law.
Philadelphia City Council-at-Large candidate Sherrie Cohen is speaking out against this measure which she believes legitimizes discrimination against the LGBT community. Today, she sent an open letter to Mayor Michael Nutter asking him to sign an executive order barring city travel to Indiana.
The full text of the letter is included below:
“Mayor Michael Nutter,
I know you were horrified, as was the Philadelphia LGBT community to witness the recent developments in Indiana last week regarding SB101. With Gov. Mike Pence’s signature the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in effect legalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The following day San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee signed an executive order, “Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of Indiana that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety.” Today I along with the LGBT community call for you and your administration to take the same bold stand against discrimination and hatred. Philadelphia taxpayers should not fund or inadvertently subsidize legal discrimination whether it is in our borders or beyond. As noted theologian Martin Niemoller wrote, ‘First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.’
Philadelphia should be on the right side of history; I urge you to sign this order without delay.
Candidate for City Council At Large”
This weekend, Congressman Bob Brady announced that Cohen will receive the support of the Democratic City Committee. She will be the first openly gay candidate the party has ever endorsed.