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Why we still need statewide protections from discrimination

Email_Graphic_EEOC3There’s been a lot of news lately about progress on the national front on discrimination.

You may have heard about the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruling last week that employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. And, in an earlier ruling, the EEOC had ruled the same on the basis of gender identity.

Yesterday, it was widely reported that a group of Democratic members of congress will be introducing sweeping nondiscrimination legislation at the national level tomorrow.

These are huge steps forward—especially at a time when we’re trying to lay the groundwork to pass statewide non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

But the EEOC ruling is not the end. EEOC rulings are not binding on federal courts and they don’t apply to companies with 15 employees or fewer—it doesn’t change Pennsylvania law. Many employers can still legally discriminate. And it’s still perfectly legal to discriminate against LGBT people in housing and in public spaces like hotels and restaurants.

The proposed legislation at the national level is important and necessary, but it may take a long time to pass.

The progress we have made for LGBT rights in recent months is historic, but you and I both know: LGBT people in Pennsylvania still face discrimination every day. And to fix that—we need to update our state law.

That’s why we are continuing to focus on the Campaign for Fairness to update Pennsylvania’s laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

We need your support! Click here to tell us your story about nondiscrimination.


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