Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Monday establishing the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, comprised of 40 unpaid leaders and allies from around the state who have an interest in the community’s advancement.
Skeptics point to a Republican-dominated legislature as an obstacle to anything the commission might accomplish. But we work with the system we have, not wait for an ideal one. The commission is a milestone in the journey to equality.
The order itself provides insight into how to work around an obstructionist legislative branch: “All agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction shall cooperate with and provide assistance and support as needed by the commission to carry out its functions effectively.”
State agencies at every level will now have to work with the commission as the latter sees fit in order to carry out a mission of advising the governor on policies and legislation, strengthening the enforcement of antidiscriminatory hiring practices, serving as a liaison to state agencies and promoting the cultural arts of the community.
The order puts on the historical record that such a commission “will benefit the commonwealth” to have such an advocacy group striving for “providing equality and opportunity for all its citizens.”
To borrow from 19th-century Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz, war “is a continuation of policy by other means.” So it goes with political warfare as well.
With this new state commission, Gov. Wolf sends a clear message to opponents of equality: Shots fired.