Monday, August 23, 2010

Council attorney was out of line

Elizabeth Scarborough

Thanks to The Tribune for including online a copy of South Bend Common Council attorney Kathy Cekanski-Farrand's legal questions about Bill 30-10. It was interesting to get an inside look at the council's deliberations.

If she were writing to advise against accepting 30-10, as it appears she was, I would expect to see some legal arguments against the amendment to the Human Rights Ordinance. Instead, what I see are many irrelevant issues being raised. Some questions are about the use of the title “employment fairness” when the law actually addresses discrimination.

There is nitpicking about whether “in employment” means the same as “in the matter of employment.” It seems the document wasn't a legal analysis, but an attempt to bring up as many issues as possible to delay and ultimately defeat the legislation. She even brought up bathroom behaviors, a favorite diversionary topic of those opposed.

I am a Mishawaka resident, but I have LGBT friends in South Bend and I do much of my business there. Further, I firmly believe that discrimination affects us all. As a psychologist, I know that prejudice has a negative effect on those who practice it as well as those on the receiving end.

Now I'm wondering: Does the council attorney have a vote on the Common Council? Because she surely appears to be attempting to cast one.

from Voice of the People
South Bend Tribune

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