PHILADELPHIA - The Lancaster County Commissioners voted today 2-1 to eliminate the county's human relation commission. The ACLU of Pennsylvania strongly objects to the closure of the commission and believes that local human relations commissions are essential to protecting residents from discrimination.

The following statement can be attributed to Andy Hoover, ACLU of Pennsylvania legislative director:

"It's unfortunate that the Lancaster County Commissioners have chosen to take a big step backwards on civil rights. This sends a clear message that Lancaster County cares more about saving money than protecting its citizens from discrimination.

"Local human relations commissions play a vital role in addressing complaints of discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. Without a local agency, Lancaster County residents will now be forced to take time off work and drive long distances to reach an office of the state human relations commission. Undoubtedly many will be discouraged from filing a complaint at all. The residents of Lancaster County deserve better."