The Union League of Philadelphia, that place that didn’t have a Black members until 1972 and didn’t allow women members until 1986, now appears to be good with their LGBT members just as long as they don’t say they’re LGBT. Yep, they endorsed that policy this week by their example.
This week, the Union League gave their highest award, not just any award, but their highest award, to the man who literally stands in the doorway of LGBT rights and who is the visionary behind Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Yes, you read that correctly. Ron DeSantis, who in his support of Trump demonstrated his lack of support of the peaceful transfer of power. Ron DeSantis, the Governor who supports banning books. Ron DeSantis, the Governor who wants to censor school curriculum and teachers. Ron DeSantis, whose administration just rejected a high school course on African American studies.
Does this award mean that the Union League is supporting his campaign for President? It certainly looks like it.
Giving an award to the man who signed his name to “Don’t Say Gay” is homophobic. This is not up for discussion. And giving an award to Ron DeSantis makes your organization homophobic, plain and simple. Would you give an award to a Governor who does not want schools to mention the Black community, the Latino community or the Jewish community? If your organization supports such ideas, you are among the hateful right wing. Is that who you are, Union League?
To the members of the Union League and to Corporations and Law Firms who hold events at the Union League I ask the question: do you really want to support an organization who stands by someone who wants to disappear an entire community?
As Groucho Marx said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” What about a club that doesn’t want LGBT members, doesn’t want people who believe in libraries, and doesn’t believe in allowing teachers to teach? How welcoming are you when you honor a man who wants to silence you and your entire community?
The Union League should hold its head in shame. The CEO and President too should hold their heads in shame and either apologize to Philadelphia or resign. And who are the board members who voted to give this award? What law firms and corporations do they represent?
Rev. Robert Collier, the president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, said it best “We’re all appalled.”