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Pennsylvania governor responds to spate of anti-gay laws with LGBT rights order

Nick Duffy April 7, 2016

The Governor of Pennsylvania has responded to a spate of anti-LGBT laws in other states – by signing an executive order expanding protections for LGBT people.

In recent weeks the Governors of North Carolina and Mississippi have both signed dangerously anti-LGBT legislation that permits discrimination on the grounds of ‘religious freedom’.

Both states have come under fire – with the laws subject to legal challenges, and the states suffering boycotts backed by major corporations.

However, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf decided to respond by enshrining LGBT rights protections in his state.

A statement from the Democratic Governor’s office reads: “Last week, North Carolina passed a law banning anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and requiring transgender people in public buildings to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.

“This week, Mississippi’s governor signed into law a bill allowing individuals, religious institutions, and private businesses to decline services to people if serving those customers would violate their religious beliefs.

“Governor Wolf has made clear that this startling trend in other states will not find success in Pennsylvania.

“That’s why today Governor Wolf will sign two executive orders – one pertaining to commonwealth employees and the other to the commonwealth grants and procurement process – that each say no agency under the governor’s jurisdiction shall discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity, among other areas.”

It adds: “This is an important step in ensuring equality, but it is not the last step: Pennsylvania must do more to protect its citizens.

“What happened in North Carolina, and what is going on in other states, should be a call to pass non-discrimination legislation in Pennsylvania now.

“The governor wants to make clear that Pennsylvania is inclusive, welcoming, and open for business for everyone.”

The Governor said: “What happened in North Carolina, and what is going on in other states, should be a call to pass non-discrimination legislation in Pennsylvania now.

“The time is now, and I urge the legislature to send a bill to my desk. We need to send a signal that Pennsylvania is inclusive, welcoming, and open for business for everyone.

“We must show that Pennsylvania is the place that William Penn envisioned when he founded our commonwealth on the principle that it is open, diverse, and inclusive for all people.”

More: executive order, governor, Law, LGBT, order, Pennsylvania, Rights, Tom Wolf, US

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