Governor Tom Wolf encouraged the General Assembly to pass bipartisan legislation that extends anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals.
The Pennsylvania Fairness Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Republican Sen. Pat Browne and Democrat Sen. Larry Farnese are the co-sponsors of the bill in the State Senate. Democratic State Cong. Dan Frankel is the sponsor of the bill in the House.
In the northeastern United States, Pennsylvania is the only state without a law that protects LGBT community from discrimination.
Based on recent surveys, over 70% of Pennsylvanians support legislation providing same protections for the LGBT community.
Discrimination against LGBT community is “simply wrong”
On Monday, Wolf said Pennsylvanians have been requesting the General Assembly to create fairness for employment, housing and other services under state law.
According to him, Pennsylvania Fairness Act hasn’t been brought to a vote despite broad bipartisan support. He emphasized, “Our nation has made great progress in recent years, and marriage equality is now the law of the land.”
Additionally, the governor said Pennsylvanians across the state denied of services, fired from work, or evicted from their homes because they are LGBT.
Wolf said, “This is simply wrong and it hurts our economy and our future by closing the door to new businesses and residents. It is time for the PA Fairness Act to get a vote and remove this black-eye from our commonwealth’s laws.”
Legalized discrimination happens in Pennsylvania
On the other hand, State Senator Farnese, commented, “For too long this commonwealth has allowed legalized discrimination to continue. He shared the governor’s observation that LGBT Pennsylvanians have been systematically denied of their basic human rights.
According to him, it is unacceptable that some legislators are comfortable with denying basic human rights for their fellowmen.
Meanwhile, Frankel noted that many people are surprised that discrimination is still perfectly legal outside of the 44 municipalities in Pennsylvania.
According to Frankel, he appreciates Wolf for putting the issue on the front line. He also grateful the governor wants to join other northeast states that provide civil rights protections to the LGBT community.