Pennsylvania governor calls for statewide LGBTQ+ protections following Chambersburg Council ruling

Kristen Walters

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Currently, there is no Pennsylvania statewide law that protects the rights of those who identify as LGBTQ+.

However, many towns and municipalities throughout the Commonwealth have enacted their own local ordinances providing anti-discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity and orientation with regards to housing and employment.

According to Pennsylvania Youth Congress, "As of January 2022, at least 71 of Pennsylvania's municipalities have passed LGBTQ-inclusive local nondiscrimination ordinances."

In October 2021, the Chambersburg Borough Council enacted one such ordinance to provide greater anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. At the time of the ordinance's passage, the Borough Council had a Democratic majority.

On Monday, January 24, the new Republican-led council ruled in a 7-3 vote to repeal the existing ordinance citing "redundancy of its provisions" as the main reason for the ruling.

After learning of the Chambersburg Council ruling on Monday night, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf stated on Twitter, "this is why we need statewide anti-discrimination protections for all LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians."

Governor Wolf also made mention of the "PA Fairness Act," also known as H.B. 300. The bill is sponsored by PA state representatives Jessica Benham and Dan Frankel.

The PA Fairness Act would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Representative Frankel stated that he "is confident" that the Fairness Act will pass both the P.A. House and Senate because the Act is popular with many voters statewide.

If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania will become the 23rd state in the U.S. to have an official law on the books that protects the rights of the LGBTQ+ community on the basis of gender identity and orientation.

What are your thoughts regarding the decision of the Chambersburg Borough Council?

Do you agree that Pennsylvania should pass the "PA Fairness Act" to provide statewide anti-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ+ community?

Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

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