Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Sen. Pat Toomey’s LGBT record lacking

I am concerned about Sen. Pat Toomey’s lack of support for the LGBT community.

Recently, Toomey failed to publicly condemn Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which permits businesses to deny service to those whose gender orientation contradicts their religious beliefs. Although Toomey is known to present himself as unbiased on these issues, sadly his voting record suggests otherwise.

Toomey tried to amend the Constitution to ban marriage equality and voted to prohibit health benefits for domestic partners. He did not speak out against Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. He also voted against recognizing violent crimes against LGBT Americans as hate crimes.

I’m thrilled Pennsylvanians may have a chance to vote for Joe Sestak instead of Toomey, who is up for re-election in 2016. Sestak has proven himself to be a strong ally of gender equality. As a congressman, he was an original co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act. He also co-sponsored the Military Readiness Enhancement Act to end Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act extending federal protection to hate crimes motivated by the gender orientation.

As a young woman and member of the LGBT community, I believe that Joe Sestak is the type of leader we need in the Senate.

Laura Shadle

Ferguson Township