Support for Nondiscrimination in PA – By the Numbers

Pennsylvania Competes commissioned a survey of voter attitudes in Pennsylvania around updating Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Act of 1955 to include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The survey found strong support for common sense nondiscrimination protections:

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

93%of Pennsylvanians believe that protecting people from discrimination, including people who are gay or transgender, is about treating others as we want to be treated. They believe that we should focus on what we have in common — taking pride in our work, respecting our coworkers and customers, and getting the job done.

84%of Pennsylvanians indicate that they have a family member, friend, someone they are close to, or a close work colleague who is gay or lesbian. Even among senior citizens, 72% indicate that they are close to someone who is gay or lesbian.

78%of Pennsylvanians indicate they would favor the State Legislature updating Pennsylvania’s current nondiscrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity – with 61% indicating they would “strongly favor” the legislature taking this action.

73%of Pennsylvanians mistakenly believe it is already illegal to fire someone or refuse to hire them because they are gay or transgender.

71%of Pennsylvanians support the State Legislature changing the state’s nondiscrimination laws to include protecting gay and transgender people from being fired from their job or evicted from housing when they learned that 50% of Pennsylvania’s largest employers already have similar anti-discrimination laws in the workplace.

64%of Pennsylvanians would be more likely to vote for a state legislator who voted “yes-in favor of” adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws.

57%of Pennsylvanians believe that business owners should not be allowed to refuse service to serve gay and lesbian people based on their religious beliefs.

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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