Governor Wolf Draws Up Petition for LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill in Pennsylvania


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The worrisome passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has elicited a lot of responses in people—from calls to ban travel to the state to outright protests. Yesterday, lawmakers in Harrisburg sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf, asking him to take a stand against RFRA, and today he has responded by drawing up a petition calling on PA legislators to support a law that would protect Pennsylvanians from ever being subjected to a discriminatory religious freedom law. As you may have heard, we live in a state where it is legal to fire someone or kick someone out of their home or a place of business for being gay. Wolf has said he would sign a bill protecting LGBT people from discrimination, but, unfortunately, no such bill exists.

Last year’s legislative session saw the introduction of House and Senate bills 300, which would protect LGBT people in the state of Pennsylvania from discrimination. Even though the bills had support on both sides of the party lines, the session ended without any definitive votes being cast. So far, this year’s session hasn’t seen any such bills, which is why Wolf is calling on lawmakers to get the ball rolling.

In an email sent out Thursday morning, he wrote:

I simply don’t understand what the Governor of Indiana was thinking when he signed a bill that allows discrimination against people based on who they love.

It’s not only wrong on a human level, but also ill-advised for attracting businesses and creating jobs in today’s global economy.

When I was a CEO, I wanted to hire the best workforce possible, and that meant being able to attract employees from a broad talent pool. We took diversity, inclusiveness, and fairness seriously because it was right and because it was smart for business.

I’m not surprised that companies from all across the country have spoken out.

But we have some work to do here in Pennsylvania as well. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that doesn’t prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression — and that needs to end.

William Penn founded our commonwealth on the values of fairness and tolerance, and he came here on a ship called the “Welcome” because he envisioned this new land to be open for everyone.

Without a non-discrimination law, LGBT Pennsylvanians and their families can be fired, denied a mortgage, or refused service at a hotel, library, or even a hospital.

That’s not welcoming, and that’s not right. Make a stand for fairness and equality here in Pennsylvania — sign the petition and tell the legislature to pass a non-discrimination law:

With your help, we can show the world that Pennsylvania is the place William Penn envisioned: inclusive and open for all.

The petition asks voters to “call on the state legislature to pass a non-discrimination bill so I can sign it into law.” You can—and should—put your name on it here.