Pennsylvania may be on the verge of banning discrimination against LGBTQ people.
There have been many obstacles so far since the first attempt to prohibit such discrimination was launched in 1976. Since then, legislators have defeated dozens of bills one after the other.
But perhaps everything is about to change. The signs are there.
First of all, many municipalities in Pennsylvania have banned discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. But clearly, municipal ordinances are not enough, the state itself must now protect our LGBTQ community.
Pennsylvania is still the only state in the northeast that lacks protections. It is legal to fire, evict, or deny service to someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Leaving behind talented individuals because of [their] sexual orientation or gender identity is surely going to fail Pennsylvania,” said Republican Senator Camera Bartolotta at a rally with LGBTQ rights advocates and allies. “It’s time that we change some of those antiquated, ancient rules and thought processes and bring Pennsylvania into 2020.”
Last but not least, legislators have evolved on this issue and are less and less opposed to LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws.
Jason Landau-Goodman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, says the cause is supported by an “unprecedented” coalition of legislators.
So we may be on the verge of seeing one more state in the U.S. blocking discrimination against our LGBTQ community.