HARRISBURG (August 30) – As a Pennsylvania Senate committee hosted a hearing today on legislation to provide gay and transgender people with legal protection from discrimination in the workplace, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania critiqued the effort as “incomplete.” The following may be attributed to Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“We are grateful that the General Assembly is finally giving serious consideration to the idea of stopping discrimination against gay and transgender Pennsylvanians. Employment protections are critical, but this bill leaves LGBT people vulnerable as it fails to provide them with the same legal protections in housing or public accommodations that are provided to every other designated characteristic under the law.

“Protections in public accommodations are particularly important for transgender and gay people, who face discrimination in aspects of daily life that many of us take for granted, such as seeking medical care or going to eat at a restaurant. LGBT people deserve to be treated equally in all aspects of the law. This work will not be finished until gay and transgender Pennsylvanians have protection from discrimination at work, at home, and in public life.”

Senate Bill 1306 amends the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the commonwealth’s non-discrimination law, to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and the Senate Labor and Industry Committee heard testimony in a public hearing today on that initiative. The act currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age (40 and over), sex, national origin, disability, and the use, handling or training of support or guide animals for disability.

The statement submitted to the committee by the ACLU of Pennsylvania is available at this link: