What towns, counties or cities in Pennsylvania have laws or ordinances that protect people from discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
There are 40 PA Municipalities that protect citizens based on sexual orientation and in most places gender identity as well, other protected classes vary in these municipalities:
Of the 15 Largest Pennsylvania Cities, 13 have inclusive Non-Discrimination Laws
The 13 Largest Pennsylvania Cities in order of population, that already have a non-discrimination laws that includes sexual orientation *and in most cases, gender identity*.
1. Philadelphia* - pop. 1,526,006 (passed this law in 1954, amended 2002)
2. Pittsburgh* - pop. 305,704 (passed this law in 1992, amended 2005)
3. Allentown* - pop. 118,032 (passed this law in 1964, amended 2002)
4. Erie (as part of Erie County) - pop. 101,786 (passed this law in 2002)
5. Reading* - pop. 88,082 (passed this law in 1955, amended 2009)
6. Scranton - pop. 72,485 (passed this law in 2003)
7. Bethlehem* - pop. 71,329 (passed this law on June 21st, 2011)
8. Lancaster* - pop. 55,381 (passed this law in 1991)
10. Harrisburg* - pop. 47,196 (passed this law in 1992)
11. Wilkes-Barre* - pop. 41,498 (passed this law in 2016)
12. York - pop. 40,862 (passed this law in 1998)
13. State College* - pop. 38,420 (passed this law in 2008)
15. Easton* - pop. 26,080 (passed this law in 2007)
And these 23 PA towns and 2 PA counties also have fully inclusive non-discrimination laws all these laws were passed since 2002 when New Hope was the 1st of the small towns to do so: New Hope*, Swarthmore*, Lower Merion Township*, West Chester*, Landsdowne*, Doylestown*, all of Erie County*(2002), all of Allegheny County*(2009), Haverford*, Conshohocken*, Springfield Township* and Newtown Borough, Whitemarsh Township* (passed Nov. 17, 2011), Jenkintown* (passed Nov. 26, 2011), Susquehanna Township* (passed Dec. 8, 2011), Cheltenham Twnship* (passed Feb. 15, 2011), Abington Twnship* (passed April 11, 2012), East Norriton* (passed July 24, 2012), Upper Merion Township* (passed Sept. 13, 2012), City of Pittston* (passed May 28, 2013), Bristol* (passed Sept. 9, 2013), Downington* Borough (passed March 20, 2014), Ambler Borough* (passed May 17, 2016), Dickson City* (passed June 14, 2016), Carlisle* (passed December 8th, 2016), Kennet Square* (passed March 6, 2017) Phoenixville* (passed March 15, 2017)
*Includes gender identity for sure.
These 2 Pennsylvania Cities (of the largest 15 cities) in order of population, still do not have this law. These are the 2 cities in Pennsylvania where it is still legal to fire someone for being Gay, or on the basis of marital status, ancestry, gender identity, or if a worker has children or is pregnant. These 2 cities do not have local volunteer Human Relations Commissions to help with issues of discrimination (race, age, marital status, sex, religion, ethnic origin, disability, etc). In these cities and in any town or county area not in the list above, you are not legally protected from discrimination if you are GLBT.
9. Altoona - pop. 49,523 no protections
14. Williamsport - pop. 29,304 no protections
PA has a state-wide non-discrimination law but it does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. Unless you are in a municipality in the list above that has a law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, you are not protected from discrimination by law. However, in some instances you may be protected by law or company policy.
If you have more questions about what areas of PA have these laws and what they include please call Liz Bradbury at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center at 610-432-5449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Call the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Infoline if you have been discriminated against and we’ll try to find help for you. 610-432-5449.
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