Mayors from across Pennsylvania – urban and rural; Republican and Democrat– have joined PA Competes to call on members of the General Assembly to end discrimination by passing the Pennsylvania Fairness Act. This legislation – Senate Bill 974 and House Bill 1510 – will include gay and transgender citizens in the protections of the Human Rights Act. Pennsylvania’s mayors have joined in support of this important legislation because of the positive impact it will have on economic vibrancy in their communities.  The PA Fairness Act will foster and support an environment that attracts the best and brightest talent.

Click here to join Mayors for a Competitive PA!

"In order for Pennsylvania's economy to thrive, we need to be able to attract the best and brightest talent. We can only do that by ensuring everyone is welcome to live, work and do business here without fear of discrimination. That is why it is time for our legislators to pass the Pennsylvania Fairness Act." - Mayor Kim Bracey, York
"Policies that provide fairness for our citizens are policies that play a big role in advancing our city as a place where businesses want to set up shop and where the workforce is enthused and productive. The Pennsylvania Fairness Act is one of these policies and I urge legislators in Harrisburg to pass this bill." - Mayor Bob Donchez, Bethlehem
"As the Mayor of Philadelphia, I work every day to develop and nurture a vibrant environment for business owners and employees—including all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is critical that we welcome and protect anyone who wants to work hard and make a living in Philadelphia, whether that is working for a major corporation like Comcast or starting a bakery in south Philly. Though Philadelphians are protected from discrimination in the City of Philadelphia by our Fair Practices Ordinance, it is critical for the Pennsylvania legislature to pass the Fairness Act. This law will protect hardworking LGBT Pennsylvanians from discrimination in the workplace, and it will prevent the firing, as well as refusing to hire or promote LGBT people based on their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Without it, Pennsylvanians are stuck with policies of the past. We are committed to building a community for the future." - Mayor James F. Kenney, Philadelphia
"As a multicultural educator, a community leader and a Republican elected official, it is important for me to continue to work towards creating communities that are inclusive, welcoming and safe. The PA Fairness Act will advance this goal. However, it should be more than a goal to demonstrate that Pennsylvania is a state that welcomes all residents regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression—it is our responsibility, as leaders, to cultivate inclusive and welcoming communities for anyone who wants to start a business, make a living, or raise a family in Arendtsville or anywhere else in the Commonwealth." - Mayor Jessica Knouse, Arendtsville, Adams County
"Pittsburgh has had its non-discrimination laws on the books for decades, and has seen the business and job market growth that comes with it. It is past time for the state to sign on as well. - Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh
"Our economic competitiveness depends on our ability to attract and retain the very best talent. We can only do that by providing an environment in which no one feels excluded. Passing the PA Fairness Act is one step our state can take in ensuring that everyone feels welcome in Pennsylvania, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity." - Mayor Tim Scott, Carlisle
Mayor Anthony CampuzanoBorough of Lansdowne
Mayor Carolyn ComittaBorough of West Chester
Mayor Frederick T. CourtrightBorough of Mount Pocono
Mayor James Curry, IIIMiddletown
Mayor Ed FoleyBorough of Jenkintown
Mayor Robert GallagherTown of Delaware Water Gap
Mayor Elizabeth GorehamState College
Mayor Laurence D. KellerBorough of New Hope
Mayor Rick GrayLancaster
Mayor Kelley KelleyBorough of Turtle Creek
Mayor Josh MaxwellBorough of Downingtown
Mayor Eric PapenfuseHarrisburg
Mayor Tarah D. ProbstBorough of Stroudsburg
Mayor Jeanne SorgAmbler
Mayor Michael J. SpeckBorough of Phoenixville
Mayor Ron StrouseBorough of Doylestown

Pledge of Support by Pennsylvania Mayors for Nondiscrimination in Pennsylvania

In our role as mayors of Pennsylvania municipalities, one of our primary responsibilities is to advance policies that move our communities forward economically.

We believe a key element in economic advancement that will positively impact our job market and our workforce is to foster and support an environment that attracts the best and brightest talent. Many cities and towns in Pennsylvania, along with more than 750 Pennsylvania businesses and academic institutions, agree and have joined in support of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act. In addition, all 18 Pennsylvania Fortune 500 companies protect their employees from discrimination with sexual orientation nondiscrimination policies.

We believe updating the state’s Human Relations Act – originally written in 1955 – to ensure that all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability, and – with passage of the Fairness Act - sexual orientation and gender identity – is essential to ensuring all can participate in the state’s economy. Our municipalities are centers of economic entrepreneurship. Our state policies must support and grow the vibrancy generated by this type of economic activity.

We believe the Pennsylvania Fairness Act will provide the framework to ensure that our state is able to perform as a strong economic competitor in attracting the highly skilled millennial workforce, particularly considering that 70 percent of the workforce in the year 2030 will be comprised of members of the millennial generation.

Therefore, we sign this pledge in support of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, House Bill 1510 / Senate Bill 974, and in doing so, urge the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass this important legislation.

Click here to join Mayors for a Competitive PA!
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.
Read the Full Editorial
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"
Read the Full Editorial
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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