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Pennsylvania Legislature Urged to Extend Discrimination Protection to LGBTQ Individuals

February 20th, 2020

Pressure is starting to mount for Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass two bills designed to expand the Human Relations Act to include the LGBTQ community. On February 3, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress held a news conference in Harrisburg’s Capitol Rotunda to encourage the General Assembly to pass this legislation. Pennsylvania is the only northeast state where it is currently legal to deny housing or services or to fire someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. These newer bills were introduced in the House and Senate, although similar ones in the past did not make it through.

At the news conference, one speaker described that when a potential landlord found out the man’s sexual orientation, he told him to find another place to live. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress has records indicating that dozens of these anti-discrimination bills have been introduced over the past 20 years in the House and Senate. One reason why the past bills have been unsuccessful is because legislators who control key committees have declined to bring them up for votes.

Both Sides of the Issue

Opponents, including the conservative Pennsylvania Family Institute, have voiced concerns, claiming that the bills would make it illegal for schools, churches, and other employers to limit hiring practices. This would allegedly force them to hire people who do not have the same views about human sexuality. They also feel that the new legislation would oblige them to have showers, lockers, and restrooms that are open to the opposite biological sex.

The Pennsylvania House Republican caucus spokesman said that although they believe that discrimination in any form is wrong, passing these laws separate people and do not make the State more inclusive. Republican Sen. Camera Bartolotta countered this by saying it was time to change the old rules and ways of thinking and bring Pennsylvania into 2020. She pledged to bring the bills up for a vote on her Senate Labor and Industry Committee.

Montgomery County LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Protect the LGBTQ Community from Discrimination

No one should ever be refused services or employment because of their sexual orientation. Reach out to the experienced Montgomery County LGBTQ discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. for caring, knowledgeable legal guidance if you have been discriminated against. For a free case evaluation, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-1999. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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