HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, August 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pennsylvania’s Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Monday creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, a body dedicated to promoting homosexual and transgender interests in a wide variety of ways.
“The creation of the commission on LGBTQ Affairs is one step of many we have taken to ensure obstacles are removed for anyone who is facing an unfair disadvantage based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” Wolf said. “It’s a step we took together with our stakeholder and advocacy groups and one that those involved asked for – a commission to help coordinate and drive statewide equality efforts.”
The commission will be led by executive director Todd Snovel, the assistant dean for engagement and inclusion at Lebanon Valley College; Anne Wakabayashi as chair, and Shaashawn Dial and Tyler Titus as co-vice chairs. All 40 members are listed in the press release, which noted the commission is the first of its kind and follows existing state commissions for blacks, Asians, Latinos, and women.
Other commissioners prominent in state activism include LGBTQ Victory Fund political director Sean Meloy, William Way LGBT Community Center director Chris Bartlett, the Philadelphia Youth Network’s Jere Mahaffey, state Sen. Larry Farnese, and state Rep. Brian Sims.
Wolf’s executive order declares a need to “acknowledge the myriad contributions of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, while also recognizing challenges still faced by many LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” and details several functions in pursuit of those ends.
The commission will give the governor advice and recommendations on LGBT-related policy questions, work with state agencies to “strengthen the enforcement of the Commonwealth’s antidiscriminatory hiring, retention and promotion policies,” and liaise with federal, state, and local governments to ensure LGBT-related programs “are effectively utilized and promoted.”
The body will also help community organizations develop programs and other ways to “expand and enhance the civic, social, educational, cultural and economic status of LGBTQ individuals and communities;” identify resources such as scholarships and mentoring programs to benefit “LGBTQ individuals and communities;” and promote the “cultural arts of LGBTQ communities throughout the Commonwealth.”
While pro-homosexual activists are celebrating the news, pro-family advocates are much more wary.
On Tuesday, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) responded to the announcement by warning that the commission would “specifically target those with deeply held religious beliefs that homosexuality and transgenderism are wrong,” and effectively make the 40 commissioners into “lobbyists pushing their agenda in the halls of the Capitol and pressuring our elected officials to ‘toe’ the line when it comes to LGBT issues.” The group further noted that while the commissioners are unpaid, they will be reimbursed for travel. “How much will this cost PA taxpayers?” they asked.
“This effort again shows Governor Wolf’s misunderstanding of what the average Pennsylvanian wants,” AFA of PA president Diane Gramley said. “He obviously thinks normalizing homosexuality and allowing men in women’s bathrooms is at the top of the list. Pennsylvanians are a fair-minded people, but they do not want this agenda pushed on them and that is the exact purpose of this commission.”
While the new commission may currently be the only one of its exact kind in the United States, other bodies in both Pennsylvania and other states have served similar functions.
Philadelphia Gay News reported that former Pennsylvania Gov. Milton Shapp formed a Council for Sexual Minorities in 1976, and various states, including Pennsylvania, have so-called “human rights commissions” that have attempted to punish private citizens for various deviations from homosexual or transgender dogma.
First elected in 2014, Wolf is a left-wing governor who has also aggressively promoted abortion since his days as a Planned Parenthood volunteer. In office, he has vetoed legislation that would have banned late-term and dismemberment abortions, promised to veto legislation banning abortions that target Down syndrome children and abortions on babies with detectable heartbeats, and praised a Planned Parenthood facility, Keystone-Warminster, which has repeatedly failed state health inspections.