Major LGBT Rights Bill Coming to City Council

Tomorrow At-Large Councilman Jim Kenney will announce a piece of sweeping LGBT rights legislation. Here’s what he’s proposing:

*   Create the first in the U.S. “Equality Tax Credit” to incentivize employers to deduct the cost of employee health benefits when adding new plans that do not discriminate against LGBT employees and their life partners.
*   Require the Mayor to report on the state of LGBT equality in Philadelphia, which must identify government services and policies providing unequal treatment to LGBT Philadelphians.
*   Guarantee spouse-equivalent treatment in hospitals and banning discrimination in medical decision making.
*   Require accessibility for LGBT families on city forms (ex. “Parent 1” and “Parent 2”).
*   Add equal treatment for life partners of LGBT city employees and employees of city contractors in pension and retirement benefits (including health and welfare), survivor benefits, and ethics and lobbying rules.
*   End discriminatory exclusion of health benefits for transgender City employees by Jan. 1, 2014 and allowing employers offering health care to transgender employees to qualify for the “Equality Tax Credit.”
*   Require all new city construction and major renovation to provide gender-neutral bathrooms.
*   Require all new city forms and online websites to offer gender neutral “self-identify” option.
*   Grant all private employees right to adhere to a dress code consistent with their gender identity.
*   Allow transgender individuals to request name and gender changes throughout their city records.

One figures a healthy chunk of those make it to the Mayor’s desk. Full hearing on the subject tomorrow at 3 p.m. on the fourth floor of City Hall.