Legislation protects LGBT citizens from housing, accommodation and employment discrimination

Harrisburg, May 7, 2013 – PA Sen. Larry Farnese and PA State Rep. Brian Sims released the following statement on the introduction of House and Senate Bills 300 which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

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“Today’s introduction of SB 300; an important piece of legislation that prohibits discrimination in employment and housing because of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; marks one of my proudest moments as a Pennsylvania Senator. I’m excited to co-sponsor this bill with Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) in the Senate and Reps. Frankel (D-Allegheny) and Ross (R-Chester) in the House. And to take this important step with my friends Rep. Sims (D-Phila.), one of our state’s strongest LGBT champions, and Sen. Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), head of the LGBT Caucus is exciting. Together, and thanks to the support of some amazing advocates, we can strike a blow against discrimination in our Commonwealth and make life better for every single Pennsylvanian,” said Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila.).

“Today was nothing short of historic and it is no surprise to me that the charge for equality across the Commonwealth finds some of its strongest voices in Philadelphia. For over 30 years, the City of Brotherly Love has fought to protect its gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens, and for over a decade, Philadelphia has led in the effort to protect its transgender citizens. The prime sponsors, Sen. Farnese, along with Sen. Browne in the Senate and Reps. Frankel and Ross in the House, and all of my colleagues who are co-sponsors in the House recognize that we are woefully behind when it comes to realizing the dream of an equal America for all citizens. Pennsylvania’s citizens, its businesses, and now its elected leaders are demanding these most basic protections and I am honored to be a part of such historic leadership,” said Rep. Brian Sims (D-Phila).

As of today, the bills have a combined 102 sponsors, 77 in the House and 25 in the Senate, including seven House and two Senate Republicans.


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Senator Larry Farnese was elected to the Senate in 2008 to represent Pennsylvania’s First Senatorial District which contains some of Philadelphia’s most unique and vibrant neighborhoods from Port Richmond on the Delaware River to Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River and South Philadelphia, Center City, the Navy Yard, Philadelphia International Airport. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee, the Law and Justice Committee and the Judiciary Committee.

Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims is a policy attorney, advocate & speaker, most notably on issues pertaining to LGBT civil rights. In 2012, he was elected as the Democratic nominee for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd legislative district. Facing no challenger in the general election, he became the first openly LGBT state legislator elected in Pennsylvania history.