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Senator Farnese: PA at Risk of Losing Amazon HQ2 Due to Lack of LGBT Protections
On February 3, 2018
Philadelphia, Pa. – February 3, 2018 – A recent report in Philly.com highlights an ad campaign against Pennsylvania in the Amazon Headquarter hunt due to the state’s lack of LGBT protections.
A group of LGBT activists have begun an ad campaign encouraging Amazon to take its business elsewhere because while Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have local non-discrimination ordinances, the state’s Human Relations Act does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“For years, I have been trying to pass non-discrimination legislation that would protect the LGBT community from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment,” said Senator Farnese. “For years, those efforts have been stymied by those who say the protections will negatively impact business owners and the economy. Philly.com’s report shows the exact opposite is true.”
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are on Amazon’s shortlist, but will compete against cities in states with full protections for all of their citizens, including Boston, Newark, Denver, Los Angeles and others.
One of the top items on Amazon’s wishlist for HQ2 is “the presence and support of a diverse population.”
“A statewide ban on LGBT discrimination has always been the moral thing to do, but it makes good business sense too,” said Senator Farnese. “Pennsylvania is making itself uncompetitive for major corporations and top tier employees because we refuse to protect all of our citizens. Without this legislation, we are saying that Pennsylvania is not open for business for everyone.”
Last year, Senator Farnese and Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) introduced Senate Bill 613, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill is awaiting consideration in the State Government Committee.
“We still have time to pass this legislation before Amazon makes its decision. It’s the right thing to do, and the right time to do it,” said Senator Farnese.