State Lawmakers Reintroduce PA LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

The proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act would update a bill from 1955.

Brian Sims and other key lawmakers in the State welcomed the reintroduction of bipartisan Pennsylvania LGBT non-discrimination bills in the state House of Representatives.

Sims, who is co-sponsoring the bills, stated, “While Pennsylvanians have enjoyed the right to marriage equality for over a year now, we are long past due for equality in our discrimination laws. This is no longer a progressive issue, but an issue of basic fairness. As we see in the bipartisan support for this bill, this is not a matter of left and right, but a matter of right and wrong.”

The proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act would update the original bill from 1955 “to ensure that all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability and now – sexual orientation, gender identity and expression – can participate in and contribute to the state’s economy,” according to press materials.

Several key Philadelphians weighed in on today’s announcement: Jim Kenney stated, “Today, state legislators took an important step towards moving all Pennsylvanians forward. A statewide nondiscrimination bill will not only ensure equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters in the workplace, but it will also end Pennsylvania’s status as the only Northeastern state without such a law. This bill will make our state economy more inclusive and competitive than ever before.”

Philly’s Director of LGBT Affairs, Nellie Fitzpatrick, agreed that the bills were a huge step in the right direction.

“It’s time that Pennsylvania step to the front of our Nation’s economic landscape by welcoming all visitors and residents with the guarantee that you may visit, live, work and thrive in Pennsylvania free of discrimination for who you are or who you love,” she said.

Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Rue Landau added, “We understand that the best and brightest can come in all shapes, sizes and colors. It’s high time the rest of the Commonwealth does, too. Passing this bill would give us hope that all Pennsylvanians will be protected from discrimination, be it in the streets or in the workplace. It would allow us to finally live up to our credo – virtue, liberty and independence.”