Fast Facts

34 municipalities already have passed separate ordinances to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, including Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Erie, Harrisburg, Scranton and Philadelphia. A statewide uniform nondiscrimination law – similar to all of the other states in Northeast – provides certainty and clarity to Pennsylvania employers and employees.

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Today in Pennsylvania, gay and transgender people can be fired, evicted and turned away from a business simply because of who they are and who they love.

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78% of Pennsylvanians support updating the law to include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.*

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To date, 21 other states have passed nondiscrimination laws – leveling the playing field for employers and employees and attracting new companies and new jobs to those states.

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The Pennsylvania Fairness Act will update the Human Relations Act, originally written in 1955, by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

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Nearly 400 Pennsylvania small businesses have signed a letter supporting updating the Act to include protections from discrimination for gay and transgender people.

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34 municipalities in Pennsylvania already prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or both including the cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Erie and Scranton.

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95% of Pennsylvanians believe that everyone needs to be able to earn a living – including gay and transgender people – and that employees should be hired, fired or promoted based on their qualifications, experience and the jobs they do – nothing more, nothing less.*

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All 18 of Pennsylvania’s Fortune 500 companies prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression … and more than 50% of PA’s largest employers have nondiscrimination policies, including: UPMC, Aramark, Comcast, CONSOL, Hershey Foods, Mylan, PPL, Rite Aid, Sunoco, and UGI.

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Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Protection Act allows individuals, religious organizations, and nonprofits whose religious practices are threatened by state or local government regulations or laws to seek a court order exempting them from the regulation.

We commend the many Pennsylvania mayors, lawmakers, businesses, academic institutions and nonprofits who support adoption of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, an update of the Human Relations Act originally written in 1955.

The update would grant protection from discrimination in housing, employment and business services to gay and transgender people.

As the proposed law’s supporters point out, it’s not only fair and morally right, but also would be good for business in Pennsylvania.
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The Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which would protect all state residents from discrimination, remains bottled up in House and Senate committees, where it has languished for far too long… Every right-minded state resident should join him in demanding they move now to bring these long-overdue bills to the floor. There could be no better time. Read the Full Editorial
Pennsylvania businesses also support the Pa. Fairness Act because having an inclusive workplace helps attract and retain quality employees.

In 15 years, more than 70 percent of the national workforce will be composed of millennials, the release notes, which means "...Pennsylvania’s policies must support the reality of the economic marketplace and be positioned as a strong economic competitor in attracting the highly skilled millennial workforce or face the likely negative economic consequences"
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It seems like a no-brainer that legislation should be passed to protect the civil rights of all the commonwealth’s citizens against discrimination. Read the Full Editorial
Business leaders and residents continue to voice their support for legislation that would ensure employment and housing protections to gay and transgender individuals. It’s time our lawmakers do so, too. Read the Full Editorial
So, even though same sex couples can marry in the commonwealth, they have no legal recourse against discrimination on equally important matters, such as employment and housing... The Legislature should act this year to close that gap in Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws. Read the Full Editorial
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