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Westmoreland County commissioners' proclamation touts diversity

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Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Westmoreland County commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a proclamation touting the county's diversity.

It was a move criticized by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community who gathered at the courthouse in to ask commissioners to approve a more specific resolution that would have declared June a month of awareness of their cause.

Rebecca Harvey of Greensburg called the proclamation a “watered-down” version of what her community requested.

“The needs of the LGBT community are not part of the agenda. To reverse that trend, we need something specific,” Harvey told commissioners.

Republican Commissioners Charles Anderson and Tyler Courtney said they favored the more generic proclamation that “celebrates diversity” and cites the 1964 Civil Rights Act that “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin or sexual orientation.”

“We're embracing the diversity of Westmoreland County and included all groups,” Anderson said. “The real strength of this county is the wonderful diversity we have here.”

Democrat Ted Kopas said he favored the proclamation requested by the LGBT community, but that to force a vote on the issue would be only symbolic because it was likely to fail.

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