Jenkintown Bans Discrimination

The Montgomery County Borough officially banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity last night

As of today, a new non-discrimination ordinance is on the books in the Jenkintown Borough of Montgomery County.

Last night, the Borough Council voted unanimously vote to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

“When you’re discriminated against, it’s not something you want to bring in front of the public,” said Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, an LGBT advocacy group, last month in an article in the Montgomery News. “It embarrassing… and people can lose their jobs.”

The new ordinance was inspired, in part, by a lawsuit against a municipal LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, cited by council and residents (Hartman v. Allentown) in 2002. A group of Allentown rental property owners, business owners and residents filed the suit. They said the ordinance was preempted by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and that it violated Allentown’s authority under the state’s Home Rule Law, according to the ACLU.

This latest passage in favor of the LGBT community marks the 25th in Pennsylvania to ban discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender.