PA Legislative Session Ends With No LGBT Hate Crimes Law

The Pennsylvania legislative session has come to a close for the season and, much to the chagrin of PA LGBT advocates, there has been no action taken to include LGBT people in state hate crime laws. Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin, for instance, is none too pleased with the lack of progress. The organization sent out this message from him earlier today:

Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin.

Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin.

In spite of overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature for nondiscrimination protections and a massive outcry for including LGBT people in hate crimes protections followed by a strongly bipartisan committee vote, the state legislature took absolutely NO action to protect LGBT people from discrimination over the past two years.

Legislators will now go home to focus on elections. While they are campaigning, we are sure that they will realize that voters care deeply about LGBT equality. Attitudes toward LGBT equality have only been growing stronger in recent years. Polls repeatedly show that a clear majority of voters support marriage equality and nondiscrimination. And when the legislature returns in January we expect them to live up to promises made to constituents and LGBT voters and take action for LGBT equality.

The next step, Martin says, is to elect the right leaders. Equality Pennsylvania has put together a voting guide for the entire state, which can be found here. We have a few weeks till election day, people. Let’s make this right.