I am a proud ally of the LGBT community and member of the Legislature’s LGBT Equality Caucus. I have spent my career working to make sure everyone in our Commonwealth is treated equally.
Too many Pennsylvanians live in fear of losing their job or their place to live simply because of who they are. I am a co-sponsor of HB 300/SB 300 which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in employment, housing and public accommodation. This important legislation that has bipartisan support is being held up in committee by one extremist member of the House. I’ve called on Governor Corbett to use his influence to move this legislation forward.
Over half of Pennsylvanians support marriage equality. We’re the only state left in the northeast that doesn’t recognize marriages between same sex couples. It’s time for marriage equality to come to Pennsylvania and I am proud to co-sponsor Senator Daylin Leach’s bill.
Young, gay people face a number of challenges in their lives, at school, and sometimes even at home. They shouldn’t be subjected to efforts to change who they are. I’m a co-sponsor of SB 872 which would prohibit “conversion” or “reparative” therapy. These so-called treatments can have terrible results for the people going through them and they are not supported by science.
Under current Pennsylvania law, sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes under the hate crimes, or ethnic intimidation, law. I voted for the original law passed in 2002 that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down due to the procedure used to pass it. I am a co-sponsor of the current legislation that adds sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as perceived or actual race, gender, and mental and physical disabilities.
I am honored to be a part of the coalition that built the John C. Anderson Apartments in Philadelphia. This building is a first of its kind project - the largest ever LGBT building project in the country and the only LGBT senior housing building that was paid for fully by government funding and tax credits. I helped secure $750,000 in funding to make this project a reality. In early 2014, senior residents will be moving into a new home where they know they will be safe and respected.
Pennsylvania is making progress, but we’re behind the times and behind our neighbors. We need to change our laws to become more inclusive and more welcoming to individuals and employers thinking of relocating to Pennsylvania. It makes good economic sense for our state and our residents, and it’s just the right thing to do.
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