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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 31, 2021 03:24 PM
From: Senator Timothy P. Kearney
To: All Senate members
Subject: Removing References to Homosexuality in PA's Crime Code
It has come to my attention that Pennsylvania’s Crimes Code still has specific references to homosexuality that are unnecessary, offensive, and in need of correction. This language was recently identified by LGBTQ+ citizens in Upper Darby Township after discovering mirrored language in the township’s ordinance book, which the Upper Darby Council quickly repealed. I will soon be introducing legislation to remove these references to honor the calls of my constituents and respect the dignity of LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians.

Specifically, my legislation will remove references to homosexuality in Title 18 Chapter 59, where it is unnecessarily included in the definition of sexual activity in section 5902, and in the definition of sexual conduct in regards to obscene materials in section 5903. In 2021, there is no good or technical reason to distinguish homosexuality within our Public Indecency statute.

My legislation would seek to correct this issue. While there are many more significant reforms that we should make to our laws to protect LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians and to make our public institutions and services more inclusive, this small reform is a commonsense measure we can easily make today that will help promote equality.

Please join me in taking these discriminatory references out of our Crimes Code. 

Introduced as SB609