Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Searching for Equality

I've written a few times about non-discrimination ordinances being passed at the local level, since the state's doesn't include protection for gays and lesbians. You may wonder, as many have at public meetings, what difference it makes. Does anyone really care about such things from a practical other than emotional standpoint?

Regular readers may remember that I've mentioned a habit of closely tracking usage statistics. Most of the time it gives me little data on where people are when they find the blog but it does often tell me what search terms someone typed in that brought them here.

As an example, a few weeks ago someone from out of state searched google for

can unrelated people rent a house in Abington township, PA

and that brought them to my post on non-discrimination clauses. Abington does not have a non-discrimination ordinance. Therefore a landlord can refuse to rent to a perceived gay couple and can refuse a rental contract based on their proclaimed or perceived sexual orientation. So someone could legally refuse to rent a house to two people of the same gender based on assumptions about their social status in relation to each other.

If the search was from one person, who is likely to decide to live elsewhere, that's one thing. But if the person doing the search could possibly be the HR person at the larger firm, as part of corporate research before moving their manufacturing plant or corporate headquarters, it cost the township a number of jobs.

It's something to think about.

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