In a surprise move today, Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett announced his support for a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. The governor joins other Republicans in the state who are in support of such legislation, including State Senator Pat Browne. Congressman Dent and Senator Pat Toomey are supportive of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act which passed the senate in early November and now heads to the House for consideration. Their position on the state legislation is unknown.
Over the past few years, Equality Pennsylvania has been working hard across the state to shore up support for employment, housing and public accommodations protections. Pennsylvania currently has thirty-three local jurisdictions with non-discrimination protections, but the majority of residents in the Keystone State remain unprotected. Unfortunately, like Governor Corbett himself, the majority of people in Pennsylvania believe these protections already exist at either the state or national level.
With partners across the state, EQPA will be increasing their focus in the coming months on educating people across the state about the need for the law. The Human Rights Campaign will be standing beside them supporting this work for as long as it takes to ensure that all people in Pennsylvania are finally safe protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.