Commentary by Andrea Anastasi
Last year, Pennsylvania made significant progress toward LGBT equality when a federal court overturned the State’s ban against same-sex marriage allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in the commonwealth. Notwithstanding this critical step forward, Pennsylvania still has a long way to go to protect LGBT individuals within its borders.
A ‘weak’ grade on LGBT non-discrimination
The current situation in Pennsylvania is not only regrettable, but also disconcerting. As the Center for American Progress Action Fund notes, Pennsylvania is very “weak” at protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination. At present, Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state where it is legal to discriminate against LGBT people in areas of employment, public accommodations, and housing. No state law protects LGBT Pennsylvanians from violence against them based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity. However, neighbors New Jersey The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination) and Delaware (employment, public accommodation, and housing) both offer extensive protections for their LGBT citizens.