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The PA General Assembly Needs to Pass The Fairness Act

Apr 13, 2018 • by Jocelyn Young
LGBT Center of Greater Reading

On April 5, 2018, Governor Wolf and state lawmakers renewed a call to pass SB613, the PA Fairness Act.  This bipartisan bill was first introduced in 2015.  The PA Fairness Act “would extend equal and comprehensive non-discrimination protection for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians”, stated Human Rights Campaign Manager Allison Van Kuiken.

The leadership of the General Assembly has continuously blocked this legislation from even making the floor for some misguided reason.  The leadership fails to recognize some important aspects to this legislation.  First, it would provide the LGBTQ community with much needed protection against discrimination.  Their lack of action forces municipalities to pass similar legislation to protect their citizens.

Secondly, there are positive economic aspects to passing such legislation.  States that have passed pro-LGBT legislation have attracted many companies and prospective employees from the “creative class”[1].  These companies bring tax revenue to the state and communities.  The employees from the “creative class” brings significantly more wealth than traditional manufacturing or service class jobs.”[2] This is also supported by several economic studies as well.

Why would the leadership of the PA General Assembly continually block legislation that has the potential to bring in new industry and attract new employment? This is a question that must be asked of the leadership of the PA General Assembly.  

[1] Lauren Box, Note, It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business: The Economic Impact of LGBT Legislation, 48 Ind. L. Rev. 995, 998 Vol 3 2015

[2] Ibid.

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