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Congressional candidate blames black illiteracy for passage of legislation that bars discrimination against gays

September 27, 2018

Congressional candidate blames black illiteracy for passage of legislation that bars discrimination against gays

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican congressional candidate Beverly Goldstein attributes Cuyahoga County’s passage this week of a law to protect gays from discrimination to the failure of “literate” black churchgoers to weigh in on the issue.

Goldstein, who is making her second run for Congress against Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, posted a statement on Twitter that linked Cleveland’s 66 percent illiteracy rate to Tuesday’s passage of the legislation meant to grant equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.

“If CCC had LITERATE inner-city church attending Black voters following this issue=entirely opposite outcome,” her tweet said.

AWFUL CUYAHOGA OUTCOME HRC 2 be created. Must launch effective legal challenge. Shout out: hubby Michael testified. Outcome directly tied 2 CLE 66% adult illiteracy. If CCC had LITERATE inner-city church-attending Black voters following this issue=entirely opposite outcome https://t.co/EaJwXOhcHs— Beverly4Congress (@BevGoldstein) September 26, 2018

Fudge, a Warrensville Democrat, called the statement “ill-informed, racist and homophobic,” and said she would not dignify it with a response.

“Offensive statements like those made by Ms. Goldstein don’t merit a response,” agreed a statement from Phillip Robinson, a Democratic state representative who backed the initiative. “Instead what I will say to you is the majority of Americans including residents here in Cuyahoga County agree with me that this is a matter of equal rights and basic human decency.”

Goldstein, of Beachwood, has made fighting adult illiteracy a cornerstone of her congressional campaign. She wants to open literacy centers where they are needed in District 11, so inner city residents who can’t read can do so and improve their job prospects, said her husband and campaign manager, attorney Michael Goldstein. He said the beneficiaries of her plan would be mostly African Americans. He noted that a Case Western Reserve University study indicated 66 percent of adults aged 16 or over in Cleveland cannot read for content, with worse problems in some areas.

Goldstein said his wife could not personally answer a reporter’s questions because she was attending the Inaugural Conference of the National Action Network Midwest Region. He said her tweet would have better reflected what she meant to say if she wrote: “If CCC had more inner-city church-attending black voters who were literate and were following this issue=entirely opposite outcome.”

 

“Beverly’s point is that the problem is illiteracy, not race,” Michael Goldstein said in an email. “Race is not the issue. In the City of Cleveland 66% of adults aged 16 or over cannot read for content. The attached information, which is based on a CWRU study cited in the document, shows that the estimated adult illiteracy figure for East Cleveland is 83%. In the Kinsman neighborhood of Cleveland adult illiteracy is 97%.”

He said that inner-city church-attending black people tend to be socially conservative.

“If most of them understood that this ordinance would allow transgender males, or sex offenders who masquerade as transgender males, to use women’s bathrooms regularly used by mothers and daughters, thereby endangering the safety of girls and women, they probably would have brought pressure to bear on their elected county representatives not to bring the resolution in the first place,” Michael Goldstein said. “But those who cannot read cannot be expected to know about the negative effects of the resolution.”

In addition to protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination, the law would create a commission with the power to level fines if it finds discrimination occurred. It passed along party lines with support from all the council’s Democrats and opposition from its Republicans.

Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Rob Frost was among those who testified against the legislation. During the meeting, he told the council the legislation would trample religious freedom and that a new law isn’t needed to send the message that discrimination, intimidation, and bullying is wrong. He deferred comment on Goldstein’s Tweet to her husband.

“I am aware that in responding to your inquiry, Mr. Goldstein acknowledged that the tweet in question was not optimally phrased to communicate the message that the candidate, Dr. Goldstein, intended to communicate,” said Frost, whose party apparatus has endorsed Goldstein.

Michael Goldstein testified against the legislation in his capacity as Ohio director and general counsel of a group called , a Christian organization dedicated to educating Christians on their Biblical duty to support and defend the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

He argued that the commission the legislation would establish would likely protect the “rights of secular people and groups” that may or may not be protected by the U.S. Constitution rather than the rights of religious people whose rights are constitutionally protected.

“Where there are such competing rights considered by such commissions, the religious rights usually lose,” Michael Goldstein told the Cuyahoga County Council. “This is because such commissions are almost invariably created by left-leaning political entities and are staffed by left-leaning appointed commissioners. The results are inevitable. As people of faith, we object to this.”

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