By Jonathan Tamari
WASHINGTON – The first openly-gay lawmaker elected in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Brian Sims, praised Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey for supporting a bill Monday night that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sims, a Philadelphia Democrat, had particularly strong praise for Toomey, a Republican who is generally conservative on social issues but was one of seven Republicans to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), helping it move past a key procedural step and setting the stage for final Senate approval later this week.
“I have long believed that civil rights cannot be a one party issue. Sen. Casey has supported LGBT civil rights from nondiscrimination to marriage equality, and I am proud to see him continue to demonstrate that support tonight,” Sims said in a news release. “I am especially proud of Sen. Toomey who tonight confirmed to Americans across the nation that civil rights is not an issue of right and left, but an issue of right and wrong. Senator Toomey’s vote in support of ENDA shows that a conservative ideology and support for LGBT equality are not mutually exclusive.”