Jul 14, 2017

Beyond Allentown City Council's Purview

Next week Allentown will past an ordinance banning gay conversion therapy, and there were no objections at a widely attended and publicized committee meeting. Let me be the first.  While the intent of the ordinance may be commendable,  it is clearly outside of the purview of City Council.

What motivates this post is council's historical failure to properly regulate things that are in its purview. While there are many such topics,  I will mention some recent examples concerning the park system.

Allentown City Council gave permission to demolish the Robin Hood Dam in Lehigh Parkway, just to solely accommodate the Wildlands Conservancy.  Council approved spending $1.5 million dollars to purchase two parcels for additional parks, while the existing park system is in deteriorating condition.

While much of my activism has centered on the park system, there are others who could cite numerous examples where council has rubber stamped one initiative after another. Some were done to accommodate the mayor, before he lost favor.   The better interests of Allentown's general public should be the only criterion used on council decisions.


Scott Armstrong said...


How many of us even know what this is? How many of us think this is a front burner issue here in the city? What the Hell is wrong with these council people? There are many very serious problems they should take the time to address. Does "Ed's good friend" Ray O'Connell think this is a wise use of council time? Maybe he can tell us here how it will positively affect residents here in our blighted, poverty populated and disruptive neighborhoods.

Jeffrey Anthony said...

Let one municipality anywhere in America ban abortion within their city limits, and then we'll see how much the left really likes this sort of municipal activism.

I have no dog in the fight as to conversion therapies ethics or efficacy because I am not a medical professional. Neither are any members of Allentown's City Council. Nor do the have a medical regulatory infrastructure to advise them.

Medical issues are regulated at the state and federal level for a very good reason: the states and the federal government have experienced and highly capable medical boards and research bodies.

Moreover, just how is this going to be enforced? Don't get me wrong, I'm not disparaging the Allentown Police Department in any way -- they have my complete support and utmost respect and admiration -- but they simply don't have the expertise to enforce this. With very good reason, local PDs don't go around hiring doctors as detectives. So, who is going to decide which therapies employed by medical practitioners in Allentown constitute conversion therapy and which don't? How would law enforcement determine probable cause to initiate an investigation and bring charges?

It doesn't seem that this has been thought through by Council very well.

Jamie Kelton said...

This has come out of the blue? Who sponsored this and why is the city concerned with it?

Rich Fegley said...

This is a waste of time and money just like the cell phone ban in the City. Out of bounds.

Jeffrey Anthony said...

Fully agreed, Mr. Fegley.

It's not at all about the reasonable debate around conversion therapy. It's simply a question of municipal overreach.

ironpigpen said...

Democrats doing Democrat-type things.

Scott Armstrong said...

The truth is, those pursuing this very likely feel it is of paramount importance to them. What they are failing to realize is that their very special interest is of little interest to everyone but themselves. The media makes a big deal of it, and city council ends up looking like fools addressing a problem no one knew we had or even understands. In the end, they are making all involved seem either disconnected, clueless, and/or panderers to an elitist interest.
They should have tabled this for further study and discussion.

michael molovinsky said...

scott@7:56, if council felt compelled to address this issue, a proclamation or resolution against conversion therapy would have been the appropriate vehicle. however, to pass an ordinance, which now requires establishing a special outside oversight committee for enforcement expertise, only dilutes other ordinances more relevant to the general population. allentown might consider putting such energy into the noticeable littering problem.

Chris Casey said...

I am not opposed to protecting individual rights, but I agree that there are much more pressing issues to deal with. Available Fire Equipment? Public Safety at large? Will the Cedar Beach pool ever open again? Council fiddles while Allentown burns? Pretty much.

Jeffrey Anthony said...

Anyone know how Allentown proposes to determine if a physician is offering conversion therapy without running afoul of HIPAA regulations? Was that even considered by Council?

doug_b said...

Attention --- Attention

Former A-Town resident, living 40 years in the PDRMPLS - Peoples Democratic Republic of Minneapolis.

It's gonna get worse.