Pennsylvania is currently the only state in the Northeast that does not have any protections for gay citizens.
These LGBT citizens cannot feel secure in the most basic of life necessities because they are subject to termination from employment, housing discrimination and even violence because of their sexual orientation.
New bills (HB 300 and SB 300) were introduced this past week that would ensure protection for LGBT citizens in Pennsylvania who up until this point have had no protection under the state laws.
Some people such as state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, are still very much opposed to any protection for LGBT rights, calling the legislation “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.” There are also some religious groups that oppose the bill who claim that “A law protecting gays and lesbians from wrongful termination would violate their right to fire [or not hire] someone based on their moral convictions.”
Research done on the claim that this problem does not exist has shown that Metcalfe is wrong. At the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School “widespread” discrimination based on sexual orientation has been documented.
After a recent Public Policy Polling poll the state of Pennsylvania reports that the voters are far more in favor of LGBT rights than some of the people in government with 74 percent of Pennsylvania voters supporting either same-sex marriage or civil unions.
Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin explains that the current needs in Pennsylvania are to have non-discrimination protections rather than focusing on marriage equality because the well being of LGBT people is more important at this point. If they do not have their basic protections they will not be safe to live in their lives even if they were granted marriage equality.