State Lawmakers Emphasize Crucial Need to Pass the Pennsylvania Fairness Act

by Ianthe Metzger

The bipartisan legislation would update the state's non-discrimination law to include protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians

WASHINGTON -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released the following statement after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and state lawmakers renewed calls for the passage of SB 613, the Pennsylvania Fairness Act.

“We welcome these renewed calls to pass the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which would extend equal and comprehensive non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” said HRC Pennsylvania State Manager Allison Van Kuiken. “But Governor Wolf and the bill’s cosponsors cannot drive progress alone. For too long, lawmakers in the General Assembly have refused to take action to protect the thousands of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians at risk of losing their jobs or being denied services simply because of who they are. Make no mistake, come November, the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania voters who support equality will hold their lawmakers accountable at the ballot box. No matter who they are or whom they love, all Pennsylvanians deserve to be able to live, work and thrive in their communities free from unfair and unjust discrimination.”

The bipartisan Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which was first introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2015, would update the state's non-discrimination law to explicitly include protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination at work, in housing, and in public places. While both chambers have so far failed to show the leadership needed to take action on the critically important legislation, dozens of Pennsylvania municipalities have passed separate ordinances to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, including Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Erie, Harrisburg, Scranton, and Philadelphia.

HRC recently launched HRC Rising, the largest grassroots expansion in its history that will include significant investments in Pennsylvania ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community


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