Two executive orders were signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe last week which aim to protect state employees and contractors with commonwealth agencies from LGBT discrimination. In the wake of the controversial anti-LGBT laws that have recently been passed in other states, Gov. Wolfe is sending a strong message that LGBT discrimination in Pennsylvania will not be tolerated and that his administration will continue to push for broader legislation to protect the LGBT community.
In an interview with the Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia employment lawyer, Sidney L. Gold, Principal Shareholder at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, recognized Gov. Wolfe’s orders as “a clear statement as to what should be public policy in Pennsylvania.” However, Gold also made it clear that LGBT anti-discrimination laws need to be expanded further.
“The problem I’m having of course is that no one has yet to take the lead in the legislature in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act with amendments that would cover LGBT people,” said Gold.
Gold is referring to HB 300, a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression protection to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and provide members of the LGBT community with protection from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation. The bill has been in limbo in the state legislature since 2013, and Gold would like to see the governor garner greater support in the General Assembly for the pending legislation. Although anti-discrimination LGBT legislation has been widely embraced by constituents throughout the state, some Pennsylvania politicians are reluctant to support broader measures at the risk of alienating conservative voters.
“It becomes a political football in some states, and some government officials are afraid to espouse their positions because of losing some portions of the electorate,” said Gold.
Philadelphia LGBT rights lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBT employees in Pennsylvania. If you have been a victim of unlawful workplace discrimination in Pennsylvania, our Philadelphia discrimination attorneys will fight to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 for a free case review.