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Pennsylvania Home to First LGBTQ Commission

October 3rd, 2018

Montgomery County LGBTQ discrimination lawyers report that PA is home to the 1st LGBTQ Commission.The pressure to conform to social norms is felt by everyone. Social norms can be helpful as these unwritten rules of conduct in common situations can help delineate what is acceptable behavior. They enable people to have a sense of predictability and safety in social situations and to avoid being subjected to random chaotic behavior. Yet, social norms can be stifling. No one appreciates this more than LGBTQ individuals whose appearance and sexual differences often alienate them from others.

The LGBTQ community has been subjected to misunderstanding, scorn, and prejudice for some time. The Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit civil rights organization, found that, among LGBTQ youth, 92 percent say they hear negative messages about being LGBTQ and 40 percent say their community does not accept LGBTQ people. LGBTQ youth are twice as likely as their peers to be physically assaulted and more likely than their peers to attempt suicide.

We have made inroads to expand social norms to enable LGBTQ individuals to feel accepted and allowed to express themselves. However, we have a long way to go. Federal laws against discrimination in the workplace have sometimes been broadly interpreted to ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. However, certain states had to supplement federal laws to provide more protections.

Pennsylvania Initiates Change

Pennsylvania is one of only 28 states that do not have legislation to protect a person from discriminatory acts, such as being denied service in a restaurant, an apartment rental, or an interview for a job, based on their sexual orientation. The proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act, supported by Governor Tom Wolf and state lawmakers, would make it illegal to terminate or deny services to someone based on their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, the efforts to pass the legislation have not yet been successful.

Governor Wolf recently signed Executive Order 2018-06, creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, to advance the cause of protecting LGBTQ individuals. The first of its kind in the nation, the Commission will include a diverse selection of up to 40 members from throughout the state, appointed by the Governor, to represent the LGBTQ community.

The Commission will provide forums for the LGBTQ community and develop strategies and programs to expand the civil, social, educational, cultural, and economic status of LGBTQ people. It will act as a resource to identify programs, scholarships, sources of funding, and other resources to benefit LGBTQ people. In addition, it will provide advice to the Governor on policies, regulations, and legislation that impact LGBTQ people and serve as a liaison to governmental entities to ensure their programs that affect LGBTQ people are effectively used and promoted.

Montgomery County LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Represent LGBTQ Individuals

If you were a victim of discrimination in the workplace, then you have a right to legal recourse. These cases can be sensitive and hard to prove. Contact one of our experienced Montgomery County LGBTQ discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. to evaluate your case and choose appropriate action. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation. Our office is in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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