5,000 signatures reached
To: Pennsylvania State Legislators
Tell PA Legislators: End discrimination against LGBT Pennsylvanians
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should be a place that welcomes any individual who wants to work hard, succeed, and grow our economy without the fear of being fired or refused services simply because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Stand up for equality in Pennsylvania and support House Bill 300 to prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in employment, housing and accommodations.
Why is this important?
As a gay man living in Pennsylvania and as the first openly gay legislator in the history of the Commonwealth, I am thrilled to be able to witness the progress our country is making in regards to equality for LGBT Americans in states across the country.
Many Pennsylvanians are shocked to discover there are currently no protections for LGBT individuals under the law in Pennsylvania: employers in Pennsylvania have the right to terminate a person’s employment or to refuse employment altogether to people who identify as LGBT. And for those who are fortunate to find stable employment where they are free to be themselves, there is still the threat that they may suddenly be evicted from their homes if their landlord disapproves or their sexual orientation.
These problems are not hypothetical. The lack of a basic level of protection against discrimination for LGBT Pennsylvanians is having real-world consequences. The unemployment rate among openly transgender individuals, for example, is disproportionately high, and those who are not open about being transgender live in constant fear of losing their jobs or being harassed by co-workers.
The time has come for our Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to include a basic level of protection for members of the LGBT community in Pennsylvania. That's why I’ve not only co-sponsored House Bill 300 this legislative session, but am also working hard with Prime Sponsors Rep. Dan Frankel and Rep. Chris Ross to build support for its passage. Currently, we protect our citizens from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, ability, yet there is no protection for hate-crimes victims that are based on sexual orientation.
Reps. Frankel, Ross, and I need your help to pressure my fellow legislators in the Pennsylvania House and Senate to support this ground-breaking and historic legislation to protect the LGBT people of Pennsylvania.
Every day, millions of Pennsylvanians like you have committed to stand for justice and equality. According to a poll from CivicScience, nearly 70% of Pennsylvanians agree that LGBT workers should not be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression and 72% agree that it should be illegal to refuse service to someone based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Unfortunately, despite the change in popular opinion, Pennsylvania legislators have yet to join their constituents and support protections for LGBT Pennsylvanians.
If enough people like you stand up with me and demand your legislators support House Bill 300, we can build the pressure needed to move Pennsylvania into the future. Our legislation is a matter of fairness, a matter of economics, and a matter of common sense. The time has come for Pennsylvania to embrace this fact.
State Rep. Brian Sims
182nd Legislative District
House of Representatives
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania