Brian Sims Wins Important Battle for LGBTQ Couples [UPDATED]

Sims succeeds in his attempts to eliminate domestic-partner discrimination in a proposed Pennsylvania tax law.

Philly Representative Brian Sims is celebrating an important victory today. After weeks of trying to encourage his Republican colleagues to eliminate a provision in a proposed tax law that discriminated against LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, he finally saw his  plan pass after a last-minute, near-unanimous vote in yesterday’s House session.

Thanks to his efforts, House Bill 468 will not discriminate against domestic partners in the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program, which now “allows any executor or administrator of a will to apply for a rebate on behalf of a deceased partner’s estate” — even if that executor or administrator is a same-sex partner. 

In a press release I received today, Sims says, “What we have here is an issue of simple fairness and I’m very pleased that virtually all of my colleagues recognized that purposefully excluding ‘domestic partners’ in this bill would have forced countless Pennsylvanians to lose their homes right after losing their loved ones.” And that could affect a lot of people. The press release states that 2010 census information shows that an estimated 283,000 unmarried couples “live together” in Pennsylvania.

Also worthy of note, the only “no” vote on Sims’ amendment was Republican Daryl Metcalf, who is front and center on G Philly’s Bigot Watch list. You better watch yourself, buddy!

Stay tuned to G Philly for updates on HB 468, which could receive final House approval as soon as today.

CORRECTION: Earlier, this article incorrectly stated that “domestic partners” will be included in the language of HB 468. In actuality, the term “domestic partner” will not be in the bill, but it will now allow any executor or administrator of a will to apply for the  Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program on behalf of a deceased partner’s estate — even if that executor or administrator is a same-sex partner.

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