Pennsylvania State Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks/Montgomery) decided not to march with other local politicos from Lambertville to New Hope Saturday in the the area’s famed LGBT Pride Parade after last week bashing a new federal directive to make public schools transgender-inclusive, say sources close to the situation.
Petri ‘s office did not respond to requests for comment.
New Hope resident Petri, who maintains a “satellite office” in the borough well-known as a bastion of LGBT rights, just days ago co-signed a letter with 96 other P.A. lawmakers to President Obama lambasting his directive threatening legal action against public schools that prohibit transgender students from using restrooms.
Petri and his fellow co-signers believe the administration’s move to protect transgender students is “an unconstitutional intrusion by the federal government into an area that should be and is legally handled locally by school districts who best know their students and parents.”
Petri and his colleagues went on to say in their May 17 letter, “At its core, the [Obama] letter sacrifices the fundamental privacy rights associated with intimate bodily functions for millions of school students. Plainly, this directive will allow men to go into legally sex-separated bathrooms with young girls. The parents of these young girls are rightly concerned about your policy and its implications for their daughters’ safety.”
Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, the state’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political advocacy organization, was clearly appalled by the remarks.
“Its astonishing to me that Rep. Petri wouldn’t be talking to the people he represents before he signs on to a letter like that,” he said.
Martin and other LGBT rights advocates have been critical of the recent “bathroom wars” hoopla, saying it represents a red herring that distracts voters from more serious issues involving LGBT rights.
“Fourteen years ago, New Hope Borough Council unanimously passed a landmark comprehensive ordinance protecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community relating to housing, employment and public accommodations,” said LGBT activist and former New Hope Borough Council Member Geri Delevich. “The state of Pennsylvania still does not have such protection for its LGBT community. New Hope protects its LGBT family and those elected officials who represent New Hope should be aware of our commitment to equality for all.”
Petri‘s satellite office is located at 123 W. Bridge St., and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; (215) 862-1940.
[Updated 10:30 p.m. to reflect additional corroboration. Headline updated 11 p.m. Updated to include Delevich remarks 11:59 p.m.]
Regarding Liz Miles comment about Rep. Petrie not listening to the people he represents, how about the schools in the various districts survey the students that attend their schools?
At the New Hope Solebury’s monthly school board meeting in Feb., I asked the Board to consider giving ther affected students- 900 middle school and high school students a survey about their views concerning the transgender issues, purely anonymous and voluntary and with the permission of their parents. Guess what? No response from the administration and school board, because they are afraid are that a HUGE number of students who value their privacy of their private parts would reject having those of a differeent gender be in the same bathroom and/or locker room as them.
I am wondering,did Neale Dougherty march in the Gay Pride Parade Perhaps? Perhaps Liz Miles can answer that question.
It is unfortunate that in the year od 2016 that we have a representative, (Petri), who lives in the dark ages and refuses to hear the people he represents. Neal Dougherty is a friend of the LGBT community and represents the forward thinking people of PA. Petri appears to be pandering to those who would strip individuals of their right to public services because of their gender identification. I would think that PA legislators would have more important things to do like ensure all students in PA have decent schools, qualified teachers, and well equipped buildings in which to learn. Shame on you Petri for signing this letter. Mr. Petri you do not represent me, I plan to vote for someone that does.
Whether a person sides with or against the 97 Pa. State lawmakers including Scott Petri, the fact of the matter is that we are a country of laws, laws that must be obeyed and defended until such time that they are amended or thrown out.
One such law is the law dealing with Due Process which is found in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution for which all members of all three branches of government took an oath to uphold and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. And until such time that the courts rule on which side’s interpretation of the law dealing with transgender bathrooms must prevail, the status quo must be obeyed.
I am curious if Columbia University’s Law school( President Obama’s alma mater) has made that clear to its students both past and present.
Thank goodness we have a choice this year who we can elect to be our representative in the PA State Assembly. We can remove the right wing conservative Petri, who, albeit, provides nice sandwiches at the polls and is pleasant enough in a one on one, but who votes against progressive issues and is clearly NOT on the side of LGBT rights. We can vote this year for the Democratic candidate, Neale Dougherty, who clearly IS on the side of LGBT rights and shares our progressive values. Vote for LGBT rights, not for cocktail conversation.
Another low voltage Republican. It is sad that the Republican Party was once the party that defended personal rights. Today, it is a bizarre mixture of people attacking anything different in their opinion and supporting measures that eviscerates the middle class.