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State Lawmakers Call on Gov. Corbett for Discrimination Protection Legislation

January 7, 2014- Howard Ondick
PHILADELPHIA- A group of state lawmakers appeared at Philadelphia City Hall Monday to call on Gov. Corbett to back up his recent remarks in acceptance of discrimination protection for gay, lesbian and transgender citizens. The lawmakers want the governor to help pass civil rights bills now before the state legislature.

Our speakers are Senators Mike Stack and Larry Farnese, both of Philadelphia, and Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery County.

Senators Stack, Farnese and Leach applauded Gov. Corbett’s recent recognition of the need for equal protection for gay, lesbian and transgender Pennsylvanians and urged him to provide executive leadership as two critical civil rights bills make their way through the state legislature.

Senate Bill 300, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Republican Senator Pat Browne, prohibits discrimination in employment and housing because of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by adding the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the protected classes in the existing statute. This legislation is intended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the same way we currently prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, handicap or disability.

Twenty states have already amended their civil rights laws to protect against this kind of discrimination, including our neighboring states of New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

Senate Bill 300 is now before the Senate State Government Committee for consideration.

Similar legislation, House Bill 300, has been introduced in the House of Representatives and is in committee for consideration.

Senate Bill 719, sponsored by Senator Leach, would legalize same sex marriage in Pennsylvania. That bill is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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