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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 26, 2013 11:06 AM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne and Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amendments to Human Relations Commission Act - prohibiting discrimination
In the near future, Senator Farnese and I will be introducing legislation which is identical to Senate Bill 1050 of last session. We are pleased that this legislation, for the first time, is being introduced in a bi-partisan manner in both the House and Senate, with Representatives Ross and Frankel introducing the bill in the House. The legislation amends the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by adding the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the protected classes in the existing statute.

This legislation is intended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the same way we currently prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, handicap or disability.

Twenty states have already amended their civil rights laws to protect against this kind of discrimination, including our neighbors New York, New Jersey and Maryland. These changes will help us stay competitive in attracting business and talent to the Commonwealth.

Many major employers and municipalities in Pennsylvania already have these policies in place. However, Pennsylvania should join the other states that have made these permanent, state-wide changes.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Vicki Wilken, Esq. at vwilken@pasen.gov or Sally Keaveney at skeaveney@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB300